As the worldwide demand for power keeps growing, the energy sector is diversifying its mix of sources. Pellet fuel offers a fossil-free alternative suitable for industrial and domestic sectors. But turning raw biomass, into pellets that comply with standards is a specialized process. Pellet fuel manufacturing equipment combines materials and additives to produce pellets of uniform size, density, and moisture content.
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Pre-treat biomass to remove water and contaminants
Pellet fuel is made from recycled biomass like wood waste (e.g., wood chips, sawdust & hardwood), agricultural residues (e.g., straws, corn stalks), and wastepaper.
Raw materials have different physical and chemical properties and must be pre-treated into a homogeneous feedstock material. Load the biomass onto the cleaning system to strip away the fibers. Dry the mixture in a heating cabinet or evaporator technology to decrease the moisture content. The pre-treatment of biomass is a crucial step in pellet production to ensure premium and quality pellets that meet the standards of governing bodies, such as the Pellet Fuels Institute in the US.
Mills are essential pellet fuel manufacturing equipment
Size reduction is a crucial step in the pellet production process. Smaller material particles facilitate homogeneous distribution in the feedstock mix and make the material easier to process.
Use a hammermill to crush the treated biomass into a uniform powder. This produces a balanced pellet with a high rate of burning efficiency. Heating pellets is a lot more efficient compared to traditional fossil fuels.
Harden the pellets by cooling them down after milling
Feed the treated stock to the pellet mill, which will be ground into a mass and pushed through a die to form the end product. The mill knives cut the pellets into the right shape and size.
Mix the ingredients in a pre-conditioner if you use additives such as fire retardants or binding agents. Straight out of the mill, pellets will be plastic. Bring the temperature down in a cooling chamber to solidify them into finished pellets.
Manufacture economical pellets from torrefied wood
A torrefied wood pellet has a higher energy density (almost half) than its regular wood pellet cousin. Biomass like straw, hemp, and many more are also suitable for torrified pellets, opening further options.
This biofuel type is produced using the same pellet fuel manufacturing equipment. In the case of wood, it goes through the drying and milling process to get to a moisture percentage below 15%. But then, to produce torrefied pellets, the biomass is heated to 300°C in an anaerobic environment, reducing the mass and increasing energy content.
Make alternative pellet fuel from recycled waste
To fully harness the potential of bioenergy, fuel pellet producers seek to broaden the range of feedstock to non-woody biomass (e.g., dried green forage) and recycled waste. Agricultural leftovers, industrial food byproducts, and municipal solid waste can be integrated into bio-pellet production. However, it is important to ensure that organic wastes are pre-treated, to remove any contaminants from the material before processing it.