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In Industrial Processing, Scale Matters

14-Feb-22 In industrial processing, scale matters. 

Torftech have worked at  every scale, with the largest members of the TORBED fleet being 6m in diameter and visible on Google Earth. Although our clients are often focussed on scaling up their processes, it can also be challenging to scale down.  We have used the recent advances in additive manufacturing to rapidly prototype designs and have developed a micro-TORBED processor (50mm diameter) fabricated in resin using 3D printing at the University of Newcastle (UoN).

At UoN, The micro-TORBED processor is being utilised for sorbent screening in various applications with a particular focus on carbon capture and storage. This system has been used for both academic and commercial studies.

Similar techniques have been used to create larger blade rings in material suitable for higher temperatures and there is great potential to showcase the benefits of the TORBED technology empirically as we look to novel manufacturing methods to advance industry.

Seasons Greetings to you all

 21-Dec-21  Seasons Greetings to you all

Whilst 2021 has been a challenging year across the globe, Torftech has still passed a significant milestone. We were especially pleased to see the number of TORBED system installations top 200, with our spirit of innovation and proven track record bringing a steady stream of new and repeat applications into the fold. 

In addition, we launched the new TORWAVE technology, a combination of the TORBED design with high power microwave energy. This has opened up a whole new way of high temperature microwave processing to industry and provides many process benefits around temperature control and novel products. This technology featured on the front cover of The Chemical Engineer magazine which can be read here

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As we move forward to 2022 and the world continues on its journey to net zero, we are excited to be able to contribute.

Practical Steps on the Journey to Net Zero


12-Nov-21 Practical Steps on the Journey to Net Zero

Some of the steps on the journey to net zero are clear: bring an end to fossil fuel power generation,  deforestation and unnecessary waste.  However, completing the journey successfully will also require planning authorities, businesses and households to change the way they do things. Reduction of energy usage is in Torftech’s DNA.  Our TORBED and TORWAVE processors intensify processes, increasing efficiency, optimising resource utilisation and reducing operating costs.  They’re also compact, reducing the resources needed to make them.

We are also working on solutions for industrial applications where carbon emissions are necessary, for example, the cement industry.  Our TORBED processors are also highly effective at efficient carbon capture. This gas scrubbing ability was first demonstrated thirty years ago, and we are turning that expertise towards carbon dioxide and methane capture.. The TORBED processors intensify the gas scrubbing process, ensuring value and efficiency that is key to our journey to net zero. 

Get in touch to discuss how the TORBED and TorWave technology can help you on the journey to net zero.


A Step Ahead: Total Process Control


08-Nov-21 A Step Ahead: Total Process Control


Another milestone for the Torftech team! After three and a half years of development, design and experimentation by a joint team from Torftech and the University of Nottingham, we are pleased to announce the launch of the TorWave, a revolution in industrial processing.  Combining Torftech’s TORBED reactor and microwave energy, TorWave offers unparalleled thermal control.  Processing of materials from both the inside and outside at high temperature if required, it enables homogeneous processing of materials, total control over the thermal gradient within particles and a reliable scalable platform that can harness the abilities of microwaves in industrial processes at temperature.  It opens a world of possibility for industries from food to speciality chemicals.  It’s green too: electrically powered and high efficiency through concentrating energy on the material being processed, it helps the move towards net-zero. To find out how TorWave can help you visit


201st TORBED Processors milestone achieved


20-Sep-21 - 201st TORBED installed - Despite the difficult global environment, 2021 has seen a special milestone for Torftech and its Licensees, with the installation of the 201st commercial TORBED processor.  Our journey through the “190s” has seen repeat applications including further sawdust and bulk starch dryers.  It has also seen cheese drying added to our range of food applications and insect frass, clay and speciality chemicals applications added to our broader dryer fleet, underlining the flexibility of our technology and continuing a long tradition of innovation. The 201st TORBED processor has already commenced commissioning, starting the next century of TORBED processors.

Happy 25th Birthday to these 24/7 Scrubbers!

 23-Apr-21 An array of 12 TORBED dry gas scrubbers, each 6m in diameter, has been in 24/7 operation at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters now for 25 years providing world leading performance. 

These dry gas scrubbers remove highly corrosive hydrogen fluoride (HF) from the exhaust gases from the smelter in order to stay within discharge limits. The chart below was fist published in New Zealand's Aluminium Smelter Sustainable Development Report in 2016.

New high temperature 'Hybrid Microwave TORBED' (HMT) technology is demonstrating its huge potential

31-Mar-21 High temperature microwave processes have the potential to provide step changes in energy and resource efficiency and unlock markets worth £140 billion across sectors as diverse as food, catalysis, mineral processing, industrial minerals, and energy. 

These applications have significant promise at laboratory scale with over 2000 journal papers published annually. However, few if any, applications of microwave technology exist at a commercial scale above 200°C.

Attempts to date have failed due to the range and complexity of a number of multidisciplinary challenges which must all be addressed to reliably scale up. Work at the University of Nottingham has shown that solutions to these challenges relate to integration of expertise around materials of construction, microwave/material interactions and changing microwave property absorption, and process engineering.

The new high temperature hybrid microwave TORBED (HMT) which is currently being demonstrated is absolutely unique in the marketplace. A second industrial scale plant is in production for installation later in 2021.

This technology overcomes the challenges presented above and offers unmatched levels of process control and microwave selectivity. 

This platform enables collaborative work with interested end users to demonstrate both the technical and commercial business case for this unique new platform technology for specific sectors and applications. 

Confidential discussions are currently underway with blue chip end users in various sectors. Interested parties are invited to contact us for further discussions.

More wood driers

06-Apr-20 Four more large scale wood driers have been shipped and are being commissioned. These biomass fired wood driers are definitely leading the way with their small size and increased efficiency.

Torftech - advancing technologies for advancing industries

10-Jan-2020 This photograph shows a blade ring for a 200mm diameter TORBED processor.  Designed by Torftech and 3D printed in high temperature resin at the University of Newcastle, it is shown whilst curing.

Part of ongoing work on carbon capture being carried out by the University, this processor will take the exhaust gas from a small scale biomass boiler and allow it to flow through potential carbon capture reagents to allow kinetic and breakthrough testing of the material and process.  The use of 3D printing techniques has made what would otherwise have been a complex and costly fabrication, feasible and cost effective.  This ongoing collaboration previously saw production of the smallest working TORBED processor at 50mm internal diameter.

A baby in the family!

03-Apr-19 The largest ever TORBED processor installation is a bank of T6000 units, with an internal diameter of 6 metres, for scrubbing HF from an aluminium smelter exhaust gas each TORBED unit handling ± 250,000 m3/h of gas. Working with the University of Newcastle, we have now gone to the other extreme and created a T50 TORBED processor with an internal diameter 50mm. It will be used to screen adsorbent materials for carbon capture as part of an EPSRC collaboration with Heriot Watt and Sheffield Universities.

This is the first TORBED processor not fabricated principally from metal. This “micro” processor is no more than 12cm in height. 3D printed in high temperature polymer it enables rapid screening of sorbents at temperatures over 200°C and at pressures of 3 bar. Although substantially smaller than typical industrial TORBED units, the ‘correct’ and unique swirling flow formulation of the TORBED processor is preserved at this small scale. It illustrates perfectly the Torftech technology’s qualities of low resource use, high specific throughputs, flexibility and high process efficiency.

Large scale biomass drying continues to grow in Poland

22-Mar-19  TORBED processors make both economic and environmental sense.  Typically smaller and lighter than competing equipment, it takes less resource to make and operate them.  Their simplicity means that nearly all of them are remotely operated, saving on manpower cost.   Their accuracy gives process control, consistent quality output and reduced energy consumption.

These qualities are illustrated by the growing fleet of TORBED biomass driers in Poland.  The latest two to be installed, the fifth and sixth, have been brought into operation.  These large 4.5m diameter TORBED driers are each capable of handling up to 10 tonnes per hour of biomass at 50% moisture content.   Most of the feed for these latest systems will be sawdust, demonstrating again our technology’s abilities with fine materials.

We expect more of these systems to be installed between now and the end of 2019.

A production line of TORBED Mineral Processors

22-Feb-19 This is the first time we have seen a production line of mineral processors being constructed. These units which are to be applied to the exfoliation, or puffing up, of vermiculite are state of the art as they were when first introduced. The technology uses less energy, produces a better exfoliated product and does not release fines into the environment. Each plant saves 150 tonnes of CO2 per year from being emitted to atmosphere - what's not to like!

Launch of new Hybrid Microwave TORBED platform technology

29-Aug-18 With regulators and markets increasingly demanding the decarbonisation of high-emitting industrial sectors, we are on the verge of a low-carbon industrial revolution. However, to get over the line the products and services supplied to these sectors need to transform. To embrace this rapid shift towards precise, electrically fuelled novel solid processing, Torftech, University of Nottingham (‘UoN’ - Microwave Process Engineering Research Group) and Teledyne e2v (supplier of large scale industrial microwave generators) have agreed to develop and launch a new Hybrid Microwave TORBED ('HMT') technology platform. In total, some £1m has been committed to demonstrate this world leading technology at a significant scale.

This demonstration facility will be capable of producing commercial quantities of a range of products such as:

  • Food - pasteurisation, cooking, blanching, drying, roasting, toasting, puffing, expansion and baking.  This follows on from the successful pilot trials already completed with the HMT.
  • Minerals - bloating, exfoliating, expanding, roasting, drying, calcining, thermal shattering and carbon removal.
  • Catalysts/zeolites - impregnation, regeneration, recovery, calcination.
  • Carbon activation - biomass and coal devolatilisation and activation, impregnation.
  • Waste streams - pasteurisation, devolatilisation.
In all cases, the ability to process materials in very short retention times and with absolute precision enables the much lower energy consumption that is necessary for renewable energy sources. 

Back to our roots...

01-Aug-18 - The TORBED processors were originally conceived to increase the efficiency and reduce the scale and cost of bulk manufacture of vermiculite.  They have subsequently been used in many other applications.  We are delighted to have received an order for our twenty-first vermiculite machine.  When shipped in December, it will join an operational fleet the oldest of which is approaching its 30th anniversary. 

Camstar Ingredients Herb and Spice processor in production

26-Mar-18 180th TORBED Processor successfully in production - see Camstar Ingredients of Eye in Suffolk

Large Scale Biomass Drying Grows Apace

14-Nov-17 - Last year we announced the successful commissioning and continuous operation of a biomass dryer built by Cedrus in Poland.  This machine can handle up to 10 tonnes per hour of sawdust at 50% moisture and is designed to dry it to a 12% moisture content.  Following on from this, we have just completed and commissioned a further dryer for the same application and also a dryer that is being used to dry vegetable matter from over 80% moisture content.  These relatively high-volume dryers are compact, 3.5 or 4.5 metres in diameter, and together with their ancillary equipment, occupy a space no more than 10mx10mx10m - much less than that taken by rival technologies.  The TORBED processors’ traditional strengths of simplicity and accuracy combine to produce evenly dried biomass of consistent quality around the clock. 

Orders currently in hand include one dryer for sewage sludge.  A more complex, double tiered, stainless steel dryer designed to dry citrus pulp with a moisture content of around 90% is also in manufacture.

180th TORBED Processor in production

12-Nov-17 - We are currently manufacturing 180th TORBED processor.  Due for commissioning in early January 2018, this T750 unit will be used for drying and roasting spices and food flavourings.

Production of Activated Carbon from Straw

23-Jun-17 - Significant quantities of activated carbon are now being produced from wheat straw. The 1m diameter TORBED non pressurised air blown gasifier installed at a heating station near Wroclaw in Poland is producing more than 20 tonnes per week as a valuable byproduct that is finding a ready market for environmental application. The char characteristics can be seen here.

Ingetecsa commission two starch driers utilising the TORBED Technology

31-March-2017 - Process engineering group Ingetecsa of Barcelona has announced that it has commissioned two new spiral flash drier plants utilising the TORBED processs reactors under licence from Torftech. The driers were installed in Indonesia (4m diameter) and Thailand (3m diameter). With the successful commissioning of the 10 t/h 4.5m diameter sawdust drier by Cedrus of Poland with an increasing order book developing, it is clear that these new drier ranges are finding growing markets with their reduced capital costs, higher efficiency and greatly reduced footprint.

TORBED Biomass and Waste to Energy Technologies to be made available in India

23-Nov-2016 - Following on from the November visit to India led by the British Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, the Torftech Group of the UK and Mago Thermal of India have signed agreements to allow them to work together in India on the establishment of distributed power plant utilising biomass and wastes as fuel. The Torftech Group offers their proprietary TORBED process technologies for converting rice husks, rice straw and other biomass to energy and valuable by-products. Mago Thermal is an established supplier of complete systems to the Indian marketplace utilising their energy conversion plant construction experience.

Chris Dodson OBE DL, Chairman of the Torftech Group, commented “This is an exciting opportunity for the two companies to work together to supply India’s biomass to energy sector. The TORBED technologies allow unique by-products such as biochar which significantly improve the economics of these plants.”

Naveen Goswami of Mago Thermal stated that “The TORBED process technologies are an ideal fit for the Indian biomass to energy market.  This technology transfer between our two companies will enable Mago Thermal to increase focus on delivering the unique power plant solutions that give Indian customers a competitive edge on both costing and efficiency”.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Dodson on and +44 1635 898 754 #1021

Naveen Goswami on and + 91 9971406655, + 919971466655

Torftech travels to India with British Prime Minister Theresa May

07-Nov-2016 - We are proud to have been selected to travel to India with the British Prime Minister and Dr Liam Fox of DIT - see here

Biomass Dryer Commissioning in Poland

23 Sep 2016 - The TORBED dryer order by Cedrus earlier in the year has been completed and will start commissioning tests in early October.

Continued Exploration

20 Sep 2016 - Being an IP and design engineering company, curiosity, supported by rigorous science, has been at the heart of everything Torftech has done and has led us around the globe and across industrial sectors.  Continuing in this tradition, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Rob Blissett as Process Development Manager.  Rob comes to us from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between Leeds University and Torftech. His experience in ashes and carbon product development will be invaluable to the group.

Prototype Delivered

09-Sep-2016 - Building on our experience with Angkor Bio Cogen, we were asked if we could design a small rice-husk fired TORBED reactor-based system to generate heat from rice husk for use in driers at rice mills.  The key performance target for the unit was that it would not produce carcinogenic crystalline silica ash.  We are pleased to announce that initial tests on the ash were passed with flying colours and that the reactor is now being prepared for its journey to Cambodia for extended field testing.

Biomass Dryers

26-Aug-2016 - Torftech receives a follow-up order from Cedrus of Poland for two further TORBED dryers.

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