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"Sunrise Renewables" has got planning consent for 9MW plants in Barrow-in-Furness, Hull and Barry in South Wales. These plants chip feedstock before drying to 10% moisture prior to grinding to <5mm then fed to the pyrolyser to produce the syngas, subsequently utilised by a gas engine. I would be interested to see whether a 2 stage system as you proposed was anymore efficient. I would add that although this is a Combined Heat and Power Plant, there is still excess heat to do the drying or potential first stage torrefaction.
Feel free to message me if you want to look at the documents submitted for planning permission for the plant in Barrow (it is all public information, just slightly difficult to find!)
It strikes me as a good a good technique for something like eucalyptus plantations, an oft cited biomass crop (around 10T per ha per year) which are too full of oil to be of used directly as a fuel.Mind you it still amazes me that hemp is still overlooked as a biomass crop - it grows like a weed in most places, the seeds can be processed for oil, the stalks have a lot of cellulose to process into alcohol or used for clothing fibres etc.
The same technology [that generates hydrogen from a combination of sunlight and steam] can also be used to split CO2 – the resulting CO can be combined with the hydrogen to form hydrocarbon fuel