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Biomass Energy Advantages Of Palm Kernel Shell

Date: 08/14/2020 08:36:37 From: wood-pellet-plant.com Clicks:

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Palm kernel shells are the shell fractions left after the nut has been removed after crushing in the Palm Oil mill. Kernel shells are a fibrous material and can be easily handled in bulk directly from the product line to the end use. Large and small shell fractions are mixed with dust-like fractions and small fibres.

Moisture content in kernel shells is low compared to other biomass residues with different sources suggesting values between 11% and 13%. Palm kernel shells contain residues of Palm Oil, which accounts for its slightly higher heating value than average lignocellulosic biomass. Compared to other residues from the industry, it is a good quality biomass fuel with uniform size distribution, easy handling, easy crushing, and limited biological activity due to low moisture content.

Palm Kernel Shell
Palm Kernel Shell

Press fibre and shell generated by the palm oil mills are traditionally used as solid fuels for steam boilers. The steam generated is used to run turbines for electricity production. These two solid fuels alone are able to generate more than enough energy to meet the energy demands of a palm oil mill.

Advantages of Palm Kernel Shells

PKS has almost the same combustion characteristics as wood pellets, abundantly available are and are cheap. Indonesia and Malaysia are the two main producers of PKS. Indonesian oil palm plantations cover 12 million hectares in Indonesia and 5 million hectares in Malaysia, the number of PKS produced from both countries has exceeded 15 million tons per year. Infact, the quantity of PKS generated in both countries exceeds the production of wood pellets from the United States and Canada, or the two largest producers of wood pellets today.

Interestingly, United States and Canada cannot produce PKS, because they do not have oil palm plantations, but Indonesia and Malaysia can also produce wood pellets because they have large forests. The production of wood pellets in Indonesia and Malaysia is still small today, which is less than 1 million tons per year, but the production of PKS is much higher which can power biomass power plants across Europe and protect forests which are being cut down to produce wood pellets in North America and other parts of the world.

Market Prospects Of Palm Kernel Shells

Europe is the largest producer of wood pellets, which is currently estimated at 13.5 million tons per year while its consumption is 18.8 million tons per year. The biggest wood pellet producing countries in Europe are Germany and Sweden. Europe relies on America and Canada to meet its wood pellet requirements and there is an urgent need to explore alternative biomass resources. In recent years, palm kernel shells (popularly known as PKS) from Southeast Asia has emerged has an attractive biomass resources which can replace wood pellets in biomass power plants across Europe.

In addition, a wide range of industries in Indonesia and Malaysia have also began to use PKS as an alternative fuel triggering increased domestic demand. In recent years, PKS is also being processed into solid biomass commodities such as torrified PKS, PKS charcoal and PKS activated carbon. Thus, there is very limited scope of increasing PKS supply from Southeast Asia to large-scale biomass consumers like Japan and South Korea.

West African countries, such Nigeria, Ghana and Togo, are still struggling to find a sustainable business model for utilization of PKS. Keeping in view the tremendous PKS requirements in the Asia-Pacific region, major PKS producers in Africa have an attractive business opportunity to export this much-sought after biomass commodity to the Japan, South Korea and even Europe.

Biomass Energy Advantages Of Palm Kernel Shell
Biomass Energy Advantages Of Palm Kernel Shell

Advantages of using PKS as biomass

The features and characteristics of the offered product make it the best among the available biomass fuels. High repeatability of the fuel's parameters along with competitive price assure economy, low CO2 emmision and tax allowances, as well as lower costs of inner logistics and savings in exploitation of kettle's peripherals (such as loaders or transporters). There is also no need to invest in such expenses as canopied storage yards.

Main advantages:

- high calorific value 14-20 000 kJ/kg,

- very low ash content about 2%,

- stable moisture content 10-20%,

- non-absorbability,

- resistance for crushing also in long-lasting shipping,

- constant granulation curve,

- constant granulation (similar to II A coal dust),

- advantageous apparent density – possibility to use also in bottom-blowing hearths,

- inexpensive inner logistics (thanks to high callorific value),

- resistance for atmospheric conditions - no need to store inside,

- possibility of regular deliveries,

- blends well with coal dust,

- far more resistant to rotting than wood.

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