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How To Make Wood Pellets, Wood Pellets Manufacturing Process

Date: 08/28/2020 08:37:09 From: Clicks:

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How To Make Wood Pellets, Wood Pellets Manufacturing Process
How To Make Wood Pellets, Wood Pellets Manufacturing Process

Wood is considered humankind’s very first source of energy. Today it is still the most important single source of renewable energy providing about 6% of the global total primary energy supply. Wood fuel is a fuel, such as firewood, charcoal, chips, sheets, pellets, and sawdust. The particular form used depends upon factors such as source, quantity, quality and application.

Today, burning of wood is the largest use of energy derived from a solid fuel biomass. In the case of burning wood, stored potential energy (in the form of chemical energy) in the log is released due to heating by other excited atoms. Wood pellets and other agglomerated energy products are made from dried sawdust, shavings or wood powder, with the raw material being compressed under high pressure. Pellets and agglomerates are currently the most economical way of converting biomass into fuel and are a fast-growing source of energy. They can be used for electricity production or directly for combustion in residential and commercial heating.

Wood fuels arise from multiple sources including forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests, co-products from wood processing, postconsumer recovered wood and processed wood-based fuels. Wood energy is also an important emergency backup fuel. Societies at any socio-economic level will switch easily back to wood energy when encountering economic difficulties, natural disasters, conflict situations or fossil energy supply shortages. Today wood energy has entered into a new phase of high importance and visibility with climate change and energy security concerns.

How To Make Wood Pellets, Wood Pellets Manufacturing Process
How To Make Wood Pellets, Wood Pellets Manufacturing Process

How To Make Wood Pellets, Wood Pellets Manufacturing Process

The production of wood pellets involves:

1. Wood fiber arrives

Trucks arrive at the plant carrying one of the following loads: low-grade roundwood such as thinnings and diseased or misshapen trees; wood chips produced from harvesting residuals, including branches and treetops; sawdust and similar by-products from other wood product manufacturing operations; or bark. The roundwood is delivered to the woodyard where it is staged for processing, while the wood chips and sawdust and delivered directly to the woodchip pile. Meanwhile, the bark is delivered to a separate area where it is stored for use as fuel for the woodchip dryer.

2. Bark is removed

The roundwood in the woodyard is fed into a rotating drum debarker, which tumbles the logs against one another to dislodge the bark. A conveyor belt redirects the bark to a storage area for use as a fuel, while the debarked logs are readied for chipping.

3. The wood is chipped

The debarked logs must be chipped into small, uniformly-sized pieces before they can used to create pellets. A wood chipper at the end of the drum debarker uses multiple spinning blades to cut the logs into chips roughly 10mm long and 3mm thick. The chips are then delivered on a conveyor belt to the woodchip pile, where they await the next step in the manufacturing process.

4. Wood chips are screened for quality

The wood chips sometimes include unwanted material like sand, bark or stones. To remove this waste, the chips pass through a screener to ensure only properly-sized chips reach the dryer.

5. Drying the wood chips

The chips enter an industrial dryer, where they are exposed to a stream of super-heated air produced by burning the bark from the drum debarker. The dryer reduces the moisture level in the wood chips from 50% down to roughly 12% – a critical step in ensuring the quality and energy content of the finished pellets.

6. Dry wood chips are shredded into fiber

The dried chips are then fed into a series of hammer mills that contain spinning shafts mounted with hammers. The hammer mills shred the chips into a fine fiber, the last step before pelletizing.

7. The pellets are formed under extreme pressure

The wood fiber is then fed into the pellet mill where a rotating arm forces the material through a metal die containing a number of uniform small holes. The intense pressure heats up the wood fiber and binds it together as it passes through the die. This process forms the compressed wood pellets.

8. The pellets cool down

The newly formed pellets are then transported to large storage silos, where they can cool and harden while awaiting shipment to the port facility.

9. The journey begins

The pellets are finally loaded on trucks and driven to the Baton Rouge Transit Facility, where they’re stored in specially designed and constructed domes that can safely hold 40,000 metric tons. This is the final stop in the pellets’ journey before being shipped to the UK to be used at Drax Power Station.

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