Company History

Pilot PhotosIntegro Earth Fuels was formed in 2007 to develop and commercialize a coal-like fuel from biomass waste. Integro conducted extensive lab testing followed by an unsuccessful search for a turn-key commercial torrefaction system. Unable to locate a commercially viable system the company set out to create its own system using off-the-shelf technology. Existing technology was used to construct a successful pilot plant which was in operation for 14 months. 
 
Integro’s technology approach was aimed at development of a robust system that could utilize multiple feedstocks in production. The company adopted a vertical tray dryer approach and created a modularized technology on a small commercial scale. 
 

In early 2008 the Company began to pursue development of a coal-like fuel from biomass waste with virtually identical energy generation characteristics as coal. It would be used in existing coal-fired power plants and be economically justifiable.

The process is called torrefaction, a mild pyrolysis developed in France in the late 1970’s and commonly used in the production of coffee and cocoa. Torrefaction creates a product that has many of the qualities of coal but very low density. It therefore cannot be transported or handled effectively. At this time no company in the world is known to have developed a process to effectively solve this problem and generate a fuel with the handling qualities of coal.

From early 2009 through the beginning of 2012 Integro worked to create a process that met the requirements of the company’s mission. Research in the lab with experts from around the world led to development of a pilot facility and finally construction of a small commercial scale plant in Greenville, SC. The result is Integro’s proprietary product, NuCoal, the first practical biomass-based fuel exhibiting similar qualities to coal and manufactured at a commercial level.

The company’s Intellectual Property has been validated at its production facility in Greenville, SC. Over the next few months sample material will be produced and delivered for use in large scale test burns in boilers at major utility power plants.

Integro will now focus on development of long term fuel contracts with utilities and combined heat and power producers throughout the world looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The immediate demand in Europe can be met by using low cost forest residue and waste gathered from sustainable forestry operations the Southeastern US. The company will also pursue opportunities with utilities and universities in the United States where NuCoal could provide a cost-effective renewable fuel solution.

In addition, the development of a valid torrefaction technology allows Integro to deliver production facilities development and operating expertise. The company will be working with strategic partners to develop NuCoal production facilities around well-developed supplies of biomass waste in targeted markets in the US and internationally.