In the wood pellet plant faq part 1, I have included several questions regarding to wood pellet plant set up, let continue with more questions.
Q 06: Is there any differences between the biomass pellet mill and the feed pellet mill?
A 06: For a pellet plant investor, to choose the right pellet mill for the pellet plant is very important. And there may be some feed pellet plant owners hope to explore a biomass pellet business with their feed pellet mills. The working principles of the biomass pellet mill and the feed pellet mill are the same. But the characteristics of the feed pellet and biomass pellet are different, especially the moisture contents of the feed pellet and the biomass pellet. Therefore, the feed pellet mill can not be used directly to produced biomass pellet. However, if you looked for the history of pellet mill, you can find out that the pellet production technology is first utilized in feed production industry, and the manufacture technology of the first biomass pellet mill is adopted from the feed pellet mill, but with a different technological parameters and device layout.
During the consulting services that Gemco provides for the biomass pellet plants around the world, there are a lot of confusions which is proposed by the pellet plant owners. In summary, Gemco finds out there are a batch of questions that has been asked over and over again. In order to provide the most effective service for the pellet plants whole world round, Gemco summarized the basic confusions the customers have, hopes it would help the investors who have a interest in biomass pellet manufacture industry.
There are a lot of claims which is proposed by the biomass pellet plants, one of the interesting claims is about the interrelation between the abrasion of biomass pellet and particle density of biomass pellet. In 2006, an investigation has been carried out on the second World Conference on Pellets, which compared the abrasion and particle density of biomass pellets produced of the same raw materials, different fineness and with different compression channel lengths. The result shows that there are no obvious relations between abrasion and particle density of biomass pellets.
The Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen And Volatiles Content of Biomass Pellets
Biomass, is organic matter which comes from living and recently living organisms. Therefore, the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and other volatiles content are the main components of the biomass raw materials for pellet production. Although these elements does not influence the applicability of the biomass materials for pelletisation, it does have an influence on the gross calorific value and the net calorific value. The volatiles effect the combustion behaviour of the biomass pellets, as carbon and Hydrogen are the main elements which is responsible for the energy content during the combustion. For the record, the woody biomass contains higher carbon and hydrogen and volatiles concentrations than the herbaceous biomass. The volatiles in woody biomass is about 70 wt.% - 86 wt.%(d.b.), and the volatiles in herbaceous biomass is about 70 wt.% - 84 wt.%(d.b.). This high volatile content causes the fast vaporisation of the biomass materials which has a strong impact on the thermal degradation of the biomass pellets.
For the production of wood pellet plants, the physical characteristics of the pellets greatly effects the wood pellet quality. Therefore, in order to control the quality of the wood pellets, the first thing to do is to determine the applicability of biological raw materials, and the evaluation criteria for the raw materials.
Europe is the most important market for wood pellet products, in order to give the users a clear quality classification of wood pellet products, many European countries established their national wood pellet quality standards to regulate the wood pellet quality, for instance Austria, Germany, France, Italy, etc. To have an clear knowledge about the European wood pellet standards is very important for every wood pellet plant. The majority of the world wood pellets are sold to the European countries. Also, as the pioneer of the utilization of wood pellet fuel, Europe is at a superior position of establishing the wood pellet standards, and many other countries are willing to adapted to the European wood pellet standards.
With the raising price of fossil fuel and the serious concern about the environment, wood pellet is becoming more and more popular in the western countries. Therefore, a considerable numbers of pellet plant projects has been established and realized in reality.
Pellet plant, is a kind of manufacture facility which uses the pelletizing technology to mold the raw material into pellet product. Due to the raw materials and application of the pellet, there are many different kinds of pellet products in the market, such as: wood pellet, biomass pellet, animal feed pellet, iron ore pellet, and plastic pellet. It is obvious that the type of pellet plant is different based on the different kinds of pellets.
Nowadays, the pellet production is widely used in various industries and markets. At first, the pellet manufacturing technology is used in the feed manufacturing industry, many farmers hold their own pellet equipment to manufacture the feed pellets by the crops from their own farm. Therefore, the small scale pellet plant is becoming popular in the feed pellet industry. After the oil crisis and the environment problems occur, the demand of using a low carbon renewable energy becomes a urgent problem around the world, which makes the wood pellet and biomass pellet growing fast in the renewable energy market. Wood pellet is recognized as a substitute fuel for both heating purpose and power generation purpose. Despite of the industrial pellet plants, there are also some small scale wood pellet plant customers. For example, the farmers may pelletize the agricultural waste into pellets for their own heating purpose or sell them to make some extra money.
The ENplus certification is a quality control system not just focused on the manufacturing process of the wood pellet, but also covered the whole wood pellet supply chain ( from the production of the wood pellet to its delivery to the end users) . The goal of the ENplus certification system for wood pellet is to make sure that the wood pellet maintain a clearly defined quality for heating purposes. Therefore, all the interested parties of the wood pellet supply chain can become ENplus certified, which include the wood pellet plant, the wood pellet traders, and wood pellet service providers, etc. The ENplus certification is likely a quality guarantee for the wood pellet.