Biomass Combustion and Co-firing

About us


Worldwide, combustion already provides over 90% of the energy generated from biomass. The main benefits of combustion compared to other thermochemical conversion technologies (i.e. gasification, pyrolysis, liquefaction) is that combustion technologies are commercially available and can be integrated with existing infrastructure.

For further implementation of biomass combustion, combustion technology should nevertheless be optimised to keep it competitive as gasification and pyrolysis develop. Co-firing biomass with coal in traditional coal-fired boilers (subsequently referred to as co-firing) represents one combination of renewable and fossil energy utilisation that derives the greatest benefit from both fuel types. An overview of the most important issues that should be considered is provided here.

Within the IEA Bioenergy agreement, Task 32: Biomass Combustion and Co-firing works on further expansion of the use of biomass combustion for heat and power generation, with special emphasis on small and medium scale CHP plants and co-firing biomass with coal in traditional coal-fired boilers. This is done by generating and disseminating information on technical and on non-technical barriers and anticipated solutions. Task 32 runs at least until 2018, an overview of upcoming reports is available here.

Enhancement of industrial participation is realised by formulating joint projects between participating members and industry. The emphasis of the activities in the Task is on:

  1. market introduction for expanding the use of Biomass Combustion at a short term;
  2. optimisation of biomass combustion technology to remain competitive at a longer term.


Operating Agent / Task Leader
The Operating Agent for the Task is RVO, represented by Kees Kwant
The Task Leader is Jaap Koppejan of Procede Biomass

The country participation includes Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. Contact information on the country representatives is given here.

The participation of industries is a key success factor in Task 32.
Further, Task 32 is closely related to other IEA Bioenergy activities, especially to activities in the field of Biomass Gasification (T33), Biomass Trade (T40) and Resources (T43).
There is also interaction with other IEA Implementing Agreements and industry organisations, such as

the IEA Clean Coal Centre
IEA Fluidised Bed Conversion
VGB, biomass power group