Biomass Pellet Making—The Ultimate FAQ Guide
Biomass pellets are among the most reliable sources of fuel as they produce less waste and are relatively non-toxic.
But are you unaware of the biomass pellet machine and don’t know how to make biomass pellets?
Well, don’t worry.
Here is an ultimate FAQ guide answering all your queries regarding biomass pellets and their machinery.
So, let’s begin!
Table of Content
What is Biomass Pellets?
Biomass pellets are one type of biofuel that is used to run various machines in industries, factories, and even households.
It is one source of renewable energy like wind or solar energy.
When burnt, they can make heat as well as electricity for life while causing minimal environmental damage.
These are frequently made from biomass feedstock using biomass pellet machinery.
A sequence of operations is necessary for its making, such as crushing to the required size, lowering moisture content, pelletizing, chilling, and packaging.
Biomass pellets are now gaining more and more attention as their percentage is increasing in fuel markets.
What are Biomass Pellets Used for?
The biomass pellets are made from various things, such as wood, animal dung, plant debris, agricultural wastes, organic residues, grasses, and several other sources.
That is why biomass pellets have a wide range of applications in different sectors as they allow efficient energy, mainly for the heating and electric power generation processes.
It is used for initiating fire for cooking in homes and factories, in electric plants for power generation, industries to run machinery, heating broilers, and several other applications.
You can also take them with you if you are stuck in the forest; biomass pellets will keep you warm as you can set fire for yourself.
What are the Raw Materials for Biomass Pellets?
Generally, any substance can be converted to make biomass pellets through a pellet biomass machine.
There are mainly three types of raw materials that make biomass pellets.
They are forest residues, agricultural waste products, and solid waste.
All three of them contains different materials such as:
Forest waste: Tree branches, leaves, the residue of sawmill residue, and bark, etc.
Agricultural waste: Rice husk, sugar bagasse, coffee husk, coconut shell, cotton stalk, straw material, palm shell, and crop stalk, etc.
Solid waste: Waste plastic, junk paper, and cardboard, etc.
These materials determine the strength of the biomass pellets and give them their characteristic properties.
What are Biomass Pellets Applications?
As biomass pellets are made from various materials with the help of biomass pellet machinery, they have a wide variety of applications.
Mainly they are used for producing heat or used as a source of igniting a fire at different places.
The following are the main applications of biomass pellets.
Biomass pellets could be used to ignite pellet stoves and furnaces to heat rooms in a school, healthcare units, marketplace, or office, among other places. It is also possible to cook with such biomass pellets.
Bio-pellets can partially (or completely) be used as an alternative to coal or other fossil fuel in co-firing warming for massive commercial operations, lowering energy costs.
Biomass pellets can be applied to deal with the issue of limited electrical supply in power stations.
Bio-pellets made from softwood are used for the animal bedding used to raise animals.
Are Biomass Pellets Renewable?
Yes, biomass pellets are regarded as a renewable source of energy.
They are produced quickly by planting new trees as well as plants.
The sink on natural fuel is unmatchable to that of gas, oil, and even coal.
The coal took years to replenish, and mining for gas is also harmful.
Biomass Pellets Vs. Coal, Which is Better?
Well, let’s compare the biomass pellets and coal through different aspects.
The heat efficiency of biomass pellets is generally 10% lower than coal’s heat efficiency.
However, in a real-world setting, biomass pellets could be entirely burned, whereas coal cannot be fully burned because there are about 10%-15% burning constituents in coal combustion byproducts.
As a result, in a real-world application, the heat efficiency of biomass pellets and coal is the same.
Biomass pellets have a much shorter igniting time than coal.
Wood flakes, crop residues, and other biomass products are used to make biomass pellets.
On the other hand, coal is a type of organic rock that is combustible.
Because biomass pellets are so much simpler to burn than coal, the setup time of the boiler gets reduced.
Biomass pellet solid waste is way lower than that of coal, resulting in reduced slag discharge fees and less environmental pollution.
Ash is the waste material of biomass pellets.
The overall mass of biomass pellet waste material is roughly 0.4 percent to 7 percent of the overall weight of bio-pellets.
Coal is among the most polluting substances in the air.
There is a significant amount of powdered carbon as well as harmful corrosive gases, including SO2 and CO.
The harmful gases will also contribute to the rusting of the boilers.
The major part of biomass pellets seems to be the C-H molecule.
The smoke produced by the combustion of biomass pellets contains no powdered carbon.
The smoke produced by burning biomass pellets is primarily contained in C-H volatile gas, with very little SO2 and CO released.
Biomass pellets are less expensive than coal for industrial boilers.
Furthermore, using biomass pellets could save time.
For instance, if you use biomass pellets as a fuel source in a 0.5 tons boiler, its cost will be 11% lower as well as the duration is 34% shorter than if you use coal.
Biomass pellets have an 8-10 times longer continuous burning time, which is more than enough for constant burning in industrial boilers.
How to Make Biomass Pellets?
You can make the biomass pellets at home, but that would be a thing of the past now.
Biomass pellet making in homes took many days, but thanks to modern technology.
Now, the biomass pellets are made using various biomass pellet machines.
This entire process of biomass pellet manufacturing has now become efficient.
As there are a variety of biomass pellet machines available to you, including small biomass pellet machines, homemade biomass pellet machines, and others.
The whole biomass pellet-making process is crucial, and every step in this is important.
Let’s see the whole palletization procedure in detail and learn how to make biomass pellets.
Pelletization of biomass material is a common method for producing high-density energy sources from biomass.
Pellets are made in a variety of forms and grades for use as biofuel in power generation plants, houses, and other applications.
Pelletizing equipment like biomass pellet machine production line is available in a wide range of sizes and weights, allowing for both domestic and industrial manufacturing.
Pellets are usually cylindrical, with a diameter of 6-25 mm with a length of 3-50 mm.
Steps involved in biomass pellet making
The pre-treatment of raw material, pelletization, and finally post-treatment are all processes in the biomass pellet making process.
- Pre-treatment of raw materials
Selection of feedstock
The selection of a feedstock suited for this procedure, as well as its filtering, storage, and preservation, is the first phase in the biomass pellet making process.
Sawdust, forest residues, wood scraps, agricultural wastes such as straw, grasses, and other items are utilized as raw resources.
Filtration is used to eliminate undesired items like stone, metal, and other contaminants.
The feedstock must be stored in a dry, clean environment free of contaminants and moisture.
A blending procedure is used to ensure consistency when there are multiple varieties of feedstock.
The amount of moisture of biomass can be rather high, ranging between 50 and 60 percent, and must be lowered to 10 to 15 percent.
The most frequent piece of machinery for it is a rotary drum dryer.
You can also employ high-temperature steam dryers, flashing dryers, spouted bed dryers, even belt dryers.
Working principle of rotary dryers
The biomass materials move into one part of such a rotary dryer and emerge from the other.
The high content of moisture biomass materials is introduced into the rotary cylinder, and hot air is passed from the dryer to boost the internal temperature.
Biomass absorbs heat, which dries the materials and reduces moisture content.
Drying biomass improves its efficiency and creates nearly no smoke when burned.
It is important to remember that the feedstock must not be excessively dried, as a tiny amount of moisture aids in the attachment of biomass granules.
The drying process consumes the greatest energy, accounting for roughly 70% of the overall energy consumed in the pelletization process.
Prior to feeding biomass feedstock to pellet grinders, it must be cut to small particles with no more than a size of 3mm.
If somehow the pellet diameter is too big or too small, the efficiency of the pellet suffers, and energy usage rises as a result.
As a result, the particles must be of a constant size and shape.
Crushing with a hammer mill paired with a screen having a size of 3.2 to 6.4 mm is used to reduce the size.
If the biomass feedstock is very large, it is chipped before being ground.
Pelletization would be the next but most crucial stage, which involves pressing biomass versus hot metal plate using a roller.
This plate is known as a die.
The die is made up of fixed-diameter slots whereby the biomass is forced to pass at high pressure.
As the frictional forces grow as a result of the high pressure, resulting in a significant rise in temperature.
The lignin, as well as resins in the material of biomass, melt at high temperatures, acting as a binder material between the biomass fibers.
As a result, the biomass granules bind together to create pellets.
The type of raw materials and operating conditions, including moisture level and feed size, have a strong relationship with the pace of manufacturing and electrical energy utilized in biomass pellet making.
The average amount of energy needed for pelletization is around 16 and 49 kW hour/turn.
A considerable portion of the process energy is made to produce the biomass flow further into holes of the pressing channels for pelletization.
In some circumstances, binders or lubricating elements may be included to generate higher-quality granules.
Binders make the pellets denser and more durable.
Natural resins, which function as a binder, are found in wood.
Sawdust, too, includes lignin, which helps to keep the pellet together.
Crop residues, on the other hand, lack resins and lignin, necessitating the use of a stabilizing agent.
Binders such as distillers’ dry granules or potato starch are routinely utilized.
Natural additives are used in different ways depending on the biomass mixture and the mass percentage of cellulose, lignin, inorganic compounds, and hemicelluloses.
Extra heat is produced in the die as a result of the friction.
As a result, the pellets are extremely soft and heated (about 70 °C to 90 °C).
Before storing or packaging, it must be chilled and left to dry.
Fine materials can then be removed by passing the pellets via a vibrating screen.
This guarantees that the source of fuel is dust-free and clear of contaminants.
An upper hopper, as well as a conveyor belt, are used to put the pellets inside bags.
Overhead storage bins, as well as surface-level silos, are used to store pellets.
The pellets must be shielded from moisture and contaminants by the packing.
5tph biomass pellet machine, as well as other pelletizing equipment, seem to be available commercially all over the world.
You can get these biomass pellet machines for sale through reliable manufacturers like Taichang , which has pellet machines making the experience of more than 13 years.