Wood Pellets Production

Straw Pellet Machine


Straw Pellets

Straw pellets are presently a largely un-known pellet fuel, however have great potential. Example of straw residues which can be upgraded into pellets includes wheat and barley straw. At Biofuel Tech we have successfully produced fuel pellets from both these materials. Other similar agricultural wastes that could be processed into pellets include corn cobs and stalks, among many others. All of these resources are currently seen as a waste by-product from the food industry, or in the case of oil seed rape straw the fuel industry. Therefore there is an abundance of these raw materials which can be utilized locally for fuel.

Renewable Energy Systems for Heat

For instance chicken and pig sheds have to be heated in winter months in some areas, which can be extremely expensive via oil or gas. Straw pellets could be used for this purpose, and the waste straw used for animal bedding could then be reprocessed into pellets also, to provide heat for the barn. In fact all the heating requirements of the farm could possibly be met by straw pellets. Therefore straw fuel pellets are a very renewable sort of energy. Excess straw fuel pellets can also be sold into the neighborhood to generate extra earnings for the farm.

Burning straw fuel pellets however does generate higher ash content than wood pellets, and there is the issue of possible clinker, slag and corrosion.

Wood Pellets Cost Significantly More

The cost of straw pellets compared to wood pellets could be substantially lower also, as the raw material is far more abundant, and available at a much lower cost. Also straw pellet production requires a lower energy input, with a higher productivity rate. Therefore, the cost of production is much lower. Finally if the pellets are produced and used within the neighborhood, pellet transportation costs are substantially reduced. Not only does this profit the consumer, it also benefits the environment as there is a lower carbon foot print. It also means less traffic jam on the roads.

Pellet Mills Suitable For Straw

Straw is a low density material, and once it has been processed ready for the pellet mill, it is in a really light powered form. Generally flat die pellet mills are used because of their reduced cost. However flat die pellet mills generally lack the control of a material feed hopper or a conditioner. In the conditioner water, oil or steam can be introduced. What this does is finely control the compression within the holes of the die to produce the highest quality pellets with the lowest energy input.

Burning Biomass Such as Straw Pellets

Most people have some experience of burning wood, but very few have any experience of burning straw. Straw doesn't burn like wood, it produced roughly double the amount of ash, therefore requires more work to keep the fireplace clean. However significant cost savings can be made and the straw can in most cases be produced 100% from local fields. Having that ability to produce all your fuel locally is a huge asset.

Making straw pellets is generally pretty simple, but straw pellets do tend to produce more fines than wood pellets and have a lower mechanical durability.