Concept design studies for a biomass pyrolysis unit and biochar production


Since 2020, out client’s purpose has been to respond to the climate emergency by focusing on the pyrolysis of biomass that produces biogas (recoverable in heat or electricity), bio-oil and biochar.

In this context, the client commissioned Assystem for the conceptual design of an identified site, considering the uses of biochar and byproducts.


Conceptual design:

  • Design of the installation
  • Operating descriptions of the units
  • Calculation of material and thermal balances
  • Cost and time calculation
  • Regulatory analysis and consents

Consultation with suppliers of pyrolysis technology:

  • Establishment of the least restrictive specifications possible
  • Selection and consultation of potential candidates
  • Analysis of bids received, technical consolidation, and selection
  • Definitions of three standard configurations adaptable to the client’s market and strategy

Interfacing with client's partners upstream and downstream to:

  • Define the objectives
  • Define the valuable incoming and outgoing products
  • Evolve iterative study by integrating supplier solutions

Perform a full-cycle carbon balance from source to end user

Client benefits

Assystem was able to provide its knowledge of biomass boiler plants and cogeneration, particularly:

  • Thermodynamic optimisation of the installation, on-site logistics, types of biomass and its byproducts
  • Facilitating consultations between internal EDF stakeholders (technical management, research and design, operators) and external (consultants, partners)
  • Proposing operating scenarios to consider operational needs and outcomes depending on the time of year
  • Presenting hypotheses and COPIL (Steering committee) results to the client