Le Pont Co., Ltd


Torrefaction is a thermal process that involves the heating of biomass in the absence of oxygen to a temperature of typically 200 to 400 degrees. This process converts biomass into a coal-like material which is hydrophobic, stable, easily grindable, more homogeneous with far greater energy density and calorific value than the original feedstock and lower sulphur and ash content compared to the coal.
Le Pont’s Partners in Climate Resilience
We have partnered with multi-disciplinary forest products and renewable energy product groups based in Ashfield, Massachusetts. The companies are situated on a rural manufacturing and product development campus 120 miles west of Boston, Massachusetts. For over 73 years, this group of companies have been sustainably managing forestland in New England using environmentally conscious techniques including prescriptive land management methods through the services of licensed forestry professionals. These highly effective methods include non-invasive timber harvesting activities which enhance forest growth, protect ecological diversity, and sustain the continued existence of open space.
Long an industry leader in the production of traditional forest products including dimensional lumber and specialty timbers, our partners have recently diversified their product offerings through the work of a group company manufacturer to produce torrefied wood pellets for the global industrial and utility markets. Through its relationship with our company Le Pont Co., Ltd., a commodities brokerage group leading in the advanced biomass procurement sector, this manufacturer is ready to supply electric utility customers with a wide range of diverse options. Such options include long-term supply agreements for torrefied pellet fuels specially tailored to meet the needs of particular renewable energy generating facilities. Le Pont Co., Ltd has acquired exclusive marketing rights granted by our producer to market its torrefied pellets within the territory (Japan).
Our partner’s torrefied pellet fuels production process begins with the company’s sustainable forest activities. As a company certified with the Forest Sustainability Council (SCS-COC-004645), our manufacturer makes forest sustainability and responsible sourcing of its raw materials for torrefied pellet fuels manufacturing a top priority. The timber industry is actively engaged in providing consumer products for a global society. From lumber for building construction to specialty products used in the manufacture of furniture, flooring, and paper products, the lumber sector is filled with diverse opportunities to meet growing consumer demand. Through manufacture of timber products which are permanently incorporated into physical structures and goods, our partnered group is sequestering carbon on mass scale.
However in the harvesting of timber for these lumber-grade logs, a sizable quantity of low-grade wood and residuals are set aside as waste products in the process. In most cases tops and branches of trees harvested for lumber are set aside at the harvest site (accounting for between thirty and forty percent of a merchantable tree). These harvest residuals are an ideal raw material source for torrefied pellet fuel production considering a lack of higher and better uses. In other cases, small diameter logs which are unsuitable for the production of lumber either due to diseases or poor growth characteristics are harvested for reasons other than use as lumber. These trees are also ideal for use as a raw material in the torrefaction process. Lastly, sometimes the necessities of protecting wildlife habitat for many species including those which may be endangered require restorating forest conditions suitable for particular wildlife species. The woody fiber removed in this important activity is also set aside as waste and much of it can be used to produce torrefied wood pellets. By using these wood resources in its production lines, our partners are using the lowest valued raw materials for important climate resiliency goals in Japan and elsewhere.