The thermo-catalytic reforming technology TCR® enables added value products such as syngas, green hydrogen, bio-oil and biochar from residual biomass from industries operating in the food, agro, forestry and processing sectors. Such products can be treated for energy production and /or building blocks for chemistry. Sewage sludge, digestate, organic waste can be treated among the several residual biomass types as well as lignocellulosic residues from agricultural crops and animal manure. TCR technology was adopted in collaboration with Fraunhofer UMSICHT Su-Ro.

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Andrea Contin
Specialization Area
Energy and Sustainability
Residual biomass
Green Hydrogen
Thermo-catalytic reforming layout Thermo-catalytic reforming layout
Innovative aspects

The most innovative feature is the ability of the system to process several types of biomass and the high quality of the products compared to traditional pyrolysis plants.

Potential applications

Energy production is the simplest application for the products. However, biochar can be used as soil improver for agriculture and the other products can be further transformed and purified into green hydrogen and building blocks for the chemical industry.

Flexibility of input feedstock and products obtained Flexibility of input feedstock and products obtained
Application example

TERMOREF Zerowaste project

Application description and results

Within the TERMOREF Zerowaste project (funded by EmiliaRomagna ERDF 2014-2020) four biomass types were treated using thermo-catalytic reforming: wood pellet, corn cobs, chicken manure, digestate from biogas plants. The specific objective is to verify the suitability and yield by changing the operating conditions. Products were further characterized for the production of biochar, green hydrogen, biomethane and fuel oil as well as chemistry building blocks.

Involved partners

CIDEA, Università di Parma, CNR-ISTEC, CRPA-Lab, Iridenergy e Sauber Technology Services

Implementation Time
12 man months
Technology Readiness Level
TRL6 - Technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)

To better enhance the value of results from the laboratory, our group also provides: a) detailed information on local availability of biomass types derived from our regional database; b) consult on project and regulatory risks; c) carboon footprint and LCA; d) system/ecosystem analysis; e) environmental management systems.

Applications of thermo-catalytic reforming in the TERMOREF Zerowaste project Applications of thermo-catalytic reforming in the TERMOREF Zerowaste project
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