6,000,000 KCal/Hr HGG

Yes this one is huge, capable of combusting 2 ton per hour of rice husk. This unit were use to supply hot gas to a ball mill in a cement plant in the Philippines.

                                 6,000,000 KCal/Hr HGG

It is equip with sensors and inverters for control from a DCS which is 50 meter away. Only one person are posted on site and monitoring and control are carried out from the control room.
Key Features of the HGG
- 18 inch furnace wall with extra outer insulation for very low heat loss
- Automatic Deashing
- Automatic Feeding
- Inverter for FD and ID Fan
- PLC built in
- Ash Auto Mix to Ball Mill
- Over Temperature Release Vent
- and many more


                             PLC control in DCS

Maximum Savings of RM4,000 per hour is possible when compared to the use of fuel oil for combustion.


Hot Gas Generator

One of the plant we sold have a more advance furnace which reduce manpower and also ease of operation .
As pelleting need very accurate moisture content , the Hot Gas Generator help tremendously especially for big scale operation and also for less experience operator .
The Moisture Content of dust was constantly within ± 1% MC after exiting the dryer . This eliminates one of the most important varible in pelleting , in my previous post I mentioned that MC consistency are very important for good pelleting .
To explain a bit why the Hot Gas Generator helps a lot and normal furnace have it's pertinent issues . Normal furnace feeding of fuel is by hand , worker tend to overfeed the furnace which have small grate , by doing so the worker will have longer time to sit , by doing so too the temperature of the furnace will fluctuate through very wide range which cause drying inconsistency . Hot Gas Generator feed fuel automatically at set parameter and flame in furnace can be control by fan , this will give consistent flame in furnace continuously thus consistent Moisture Content of the sawdust output from dryer .

3 Pellet Plant within 6 months

The last 6 months was hectic, nevertheless installing and commissioning them successfully was most satisfying.
Much improvement have been added to these plant which makes pelleting success a breeze, not many can claim good pelleting within few days of commissioning .
4 pellet mill 

2 pellet mill

1 pellet mill in operation

 If you notice the pellet quality , there is little dust and pellet was just nicely compact ( not black ) and the length is what was set by the knife ( not short or broken ). I believe those who produce this kind of pellet will have very low electricity consumption and low wear and tear on parts . 
As for us , our motto is finding the " SWEETEST SPOT " . Achieving this will automatically reduce tremendous cost thus higher profit per ton .

GOOD DAY TO ALL 
It have been quite some time since I last blog due to my moonlighting in a biomass power plant on top of the normal business of setting up pellet plant . After the power plant stint , much needed experience were gained and would be useful for future opportunities that would arise .
Currently we are setting up a new pellet plant with capacity of 4 ton per hour with initial target production of 1,200 ton per month . Production will increase to 2,000 ton per month within 6 month of commissioning . As we have space and electricity supply ( main factor to go big ) and possibly sufficient raw material , it is hope that capacity can be increase to 5,000 ton per month in a few years ( finger crossed  ) .
The new plant with much design and engineering upgrade as compared to the old plant would cut down workers to bare minimum of 4 worker per shift for the whole line , thus pushing operation to 3 shifts would be easily achievable .
Some upgrades as below :
1 ) All conveyor are connected , no human intervention , reduce fine dust dusty environment 
2 ) Use of inverter for motors to control speed when changes happens
3 ) All storage area for raw material are calculated and engineered to ensure non stop operation even though there is prolong holiday or shortage of raw material , up time per annum can be push beyond 300 days . We do not just take off the shelf design for this plant after our first plant many many problems .
4 ) many more upgrades
Lastly , any taker for our pellet please contact us at 

leesengann@yahoo.com

Thank you for your time .



PELLETING DIFFICULTIES

Maybe I am not convincing enough in my statement that PELLETING is very difficult . 
My records and visits to many pelleting plant , be it Wood or EFB  Pellet , till todate the failure is nearly approaching 20 plant , big and small included . Definitely the number is much higher than this figure .
Potential Investor must understand the reason behind it to figure out why so many failure in this industries .
I append the major factor for the failure :

1 ) Wrong Machineries
  •   Pelleting process need very high pressure to bind the dust back into pellet , many machineries are not able to cope with the HIGH PRESSURE and thus will be damage before it even start to really produce pellet .Talking about pressure , do you know how it work ?
  • Pelleting need dry dust , dryer are needed to do the job , that is why American Dryer price are in the range of USD1 Million and above , the reason is you need consistent Moisture Dust to be able to produce consistently good grade pellet , otherwise there will be no pellet at all . I doubt many understand the science of drying !!
  • Small Pellet Mill smaller than 500 kg / hour are a definite no no unless you are willing to put your money to burn , go calculate the returns !!!
  • Go look at my video on Wood Pellet Manufacturing again , look at the rate of output and then compare the price of machineries . Then go visit the supplier and look at their output to be convince .
The above are only 20% of the main factor , if you do not know about the above , please do not invest , do your homework again , don't waste the precious cash for FAILURE .

2 ) Service and Training 
  • I did mentioned earlier about this . The machineries from China is cheap because they do not provide proper Service and Training , this cost will easily increase their pricing by at least 20% . Low price act as an inducement for potential investor , so many will jump in but end up without anyone to turn to when failure stare at them 
  • Supplier of machineries are just supplier , I am convince many are great Marketeer , they have never run a pelleting plant before . So when the going gets tough the supplier do not get going , they just ignore you .... , sounds familiar I guess . 
  • Supplier are from China , they are not locals , they cannot stay long to guide and train local staff , so you can guess what will happen if problems start to crop up , who you gonna call !!
3 ) Experience and Skill
  • Ask yourself , how much you know about Biomass and Manufacturing , I would say , if you are going to invest based on the so many inquiries you get from the market , please keep your cash in the Bank , at least it earn interest . If you do not have over few years on Material experience and few years in manufacturing it is a definite no no to invest 
  • Do you have an enquiring and analytical mind ? Every action will have a reaction , when something happen there must be REASONS why it happen , it cannot happen just out of nothing . There is a Chinese saying , Die also don't know because of what !! I am saying this because this will happen many many times and you will need your skill and experience to overcome it 
Mark my word , go check around before you really decide to invest in this industry . There are too many failure which is not good for this industry overall .





Drying Cost

Pellet Burner
Now let us go into the details of drying .
We refer to the data gathered during the running of BSR500 in our furnace which channel hot flue gas to drum dryer to dry sawdust .
Below you can find a table which shows our furnace burning wood offcut , wood pellet with Pellet Burner Model BSR500 and compared it with diesel . ( based on calculation )
The table shows that Wood Pellet with the correct Pellet Burner are capable of competing with even the lowest cost fuel  . The reasons are as follows :
1 ) Burning wood are OLD TRADITIONAL METHOD of producing heat , so the efficiency are very low , we gather that if the wood offcut calorific value is 2,500 KCal / kg , the efficiency is only 36% as compared to 80% for wood pellet with the Correct Pellet Burner .
2 ) Wood Offcut have fluctuating calorific value , the feeding would not be consistent , the air fuel ratio will be different , so the worker tend to blow air full blast thus lowering the temperature in the furnace in the end causing higher consumption of wood to maintain high temperature .
3 ) Pellet Burner work exactly like Diesel Burner , it fires when temperature drop to lower set value and stop firing when it reach the upper set value . This will ensure no wastage of over firing or under firing .
4 ) If you have seen worker work at furnace then you will know what I mean with this statement .
" FEED THE FURNACE FULL AND SIT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE " .
 HOW CAN YOU GET EFFICIENCY WHEN THE FURNACE IS FULL BUT NOT BURNING , worst still plenty of smoke will come out from the chimney waiting for DOE to write you a summon . This will also cause temperature to drop until your production are lowered and this cause money too . That is why some company keep using Diesel Burner even though biomass are much cheaper because loss from production are much more higher than savings .
As to the comparing with Diesel you can see the savings come up to 75% . This is a lot of money if you are burning RM100,000 of Diesel per month .

If you are in this Situation , please consider a Wood Pellet Burner :
1 ) Burning Diesel / Gas
2 ) Material Dried not dry enough or not up to specification
3 ) Dryer output too low
4 ) Furnace too small
5 ) Factory space too small for big biomass boiler
6 ) Want to increase capacity of furnace
7 ) Heating / Drying are not consistent
8 ) Shortage of workers
9) If you love mankind , do your part in reducing CO2 increase 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 

LARGE PELLET BURNER


BSR500 Pellet Burner
At last we have arrive at the Ultimate Pellet Burner with European Standard Capability .
When we say European Standard , we mean it , in terms of many facet . It run 24/7 , for many weeks without intervention , just fill up tank , set correct temperature , light up , walaaaaaa . No hassle , no worker   ( " go to sleep if you like " ) , consistent heat output , no smoke , no cleaning and many many more .
BUT MOST IMPORTANT , PLENTY OF SAVINGS .
  
 BSR500

This picture shows a flame of 8 feet height and 4 feet length . The power of this Burner is 500,000 KCal / hour . 
BSR500 Burner features :
1 ) Multi Pellet Fuel
2 ) Automatic Function just like Diesel or Gas Burner 
3 ) Fuel savings of over 50% compared to Diesel or Gas 
4 ) Over 80% Efficiency of energy conversion from Pellet to Heat 
5 ) Robustly Build with minimum maintenance ( no burning chamber to repair )
6 ) No operator needed , just fill the tank and run 
7 ) Quick startup time of less than 5 minute to peak capacity
8 ) Size can be made to order depending on your furnace , minimal modification needed
9 ) High power fuel use lesser storage space , Only option for SME with small factory space
10 ) Very Very clean , no smoke , no pollution 
and many many more reason for you to change to RENEWABLE ENERGY 
If you are doubtful about this burner and supply of pellet fuel , we can supply the burner with fuel and charge based on your usage or fixed monthly rate , we guarantee savings before taking up the replacement of your current burning method .

Currently we have a unit running in Kelantan , firing into furnace . The heat are used to dry sawdust in a drum dryer at rate of 2 ton per hour output . Previously the furnace use wood offcut to the tune of 4 ton per shift of 8 hours , currently with the new burner , the furnace consume wood pellet of less than 1 ton / shift .

Some pictures of the Burner in position firing into the furnace .
Flame in Furnace



Burner Replacing Wood

Burner and Furnace

EFB PELLET


EFB Pelleting
I get many calls enquiring about pelletisation of EFB ( Empty Fruit Bunch ). We did sample production many months back , it was easy for us as EFB is a single species raw material as compared to wood sawdust where the range of wood density varies widely which is difficult to control during material preparation . You can see the quality of EFB Pellet from the test run was of higher quality in terms of length and density ( Shinier ) . The tricks of getting good quality EFB Pellet is at the material preparation side  . If the input quality is good and with properly setup Pellet Mill there will be no problem in pelleting EFB .


EFB Pelleting Plant is more expensive compared to Wood Pelleting Plant as material preparation section will be needed to process EFB strand into smaller particles . EFB Input can be in the form of Whole Bunch EFB or Shredded EFB . Shredded EFB is the result of EFB being pressed in Palm Oil Mill for additional oil extraction .
EFB Plant setup are therefore different from Wood Pellet Plant because of additional machineries and thus planning ahead will bring tremendous profit later  .

In the case ot Shredded EFB or Pressed EFB , it need to be cut to shorter length . Thereafter , I would like to Dry it here when the EFB is in short length . But there are other ways to do this depending on your setup and dryer capability .
 Material Sizing is very important before the material enter pellet mill otherwise if the strand is too long it will choke the Pellet Mill and jammed the machine . This is where the skill and experience comes into play .

Some say Flat Die Pellet Mill is better and some argue   Ring  Die is as  good , this  depends  on  the " DRIVER " if you get what I mean !!!
The good pellet mill is the one that give you good quality pellet and high efficiency with minimal maintenance and downtime .

 "  DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS STUNT WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE  "

There are many cases of failure to do it right from start and in the process losses are huge . Get correct advice from reputable and reliable supplier with know how to start . Many a times the seller of machineries just want to close sales and promise you the sky where in fact ( and most does ) they do not have the skill to run a pellet plant , worst if their machineries are not reliable . I have been to many plant which is a failure , my statistic , 7 - 8 out of 10 are failures or loss plenty of money before they can even start to make profit .

BIOMASS DRYING


I have touch on this topic in December 2010 in the title of Sawdust Drying . In many cases material needs to be  dried to certain acceptable  Moisture Content before it can proceed to the next stage of manufacturing  . 
In my visits to many plant , I have seen too many mistakes made in the selection of drying system , either wrong fuel are used , wrong design of furnace , wrong design of dryer , wrong design of conveying system for input and output of materials and etc . This mistakes cause many other problems down the line especially during pelletisation not mentioning high cost of drying . Make no mistake , you cannot have good system if you do not have proper knowledge of drying and combustion . That is why drying system are expensive because it will saves you money later and in some cases a matter of do or die . 

Drying Efficiency
Drying for pelleting process are normally done with direct chanelling of hot flue gas into the drum dryer where the hot air are in direct contact with the material to be dried . This process of direct contact are of highest efficiency as compared to indirect heating with a heat exchanger . Depending on material , moisture content of the material and structure of the material , the hot flue gas input temperature can be as high as 800ยบ celcius . The higher the temperature , the faster the material are being dried and you will get higher output from the drum dryer otherwise the drying section will become bottleneck . Consistent temperature from the furnace to the dryer are also important so that the Moisture of Biomass dried is consistent . To achieve consistency and narrow range of Moisture , firing into furnace or dryer need to be consistent , this can be achieve by having good Burner .

Drying Cost
Many  a times this was overlook , everything we sell have a selling price and it also come with a cost . Similarly in wood pelleting , there is cost to manufacturing of wood pellet , and to those who use wet sawdust or even EFB , there will be need for drying , this is one section which is often overlook . Good cost structure will be drying cost of below RM20 / MT of dried raw material . How do we achieve this : 
1 ) use low cost material like timber offcut , woodchip , EFB , Palm Fibre etc
2 ) use high efficiency pellet burner because you are producing pellet 
3 ) do not use electricity , gas or diesel burner , you calculate the cost yourself to find out 
That being said , the planning of Good Drying System is pertinent to keep the cost low so that there will be profit in the selling of pellet . If you dry your material above RM50 / MT then this business will be unprofitable . 
In short it is not easy to keep cost low as currently for any fuel there is cost involved , selection of correct drying system are important .

Drying Quality
During pelleting process , consistent Moisture Content of material input are important to give consistent quality of pellet output , otherwise one minute you will get good and the next minute bad quality pellet . Therefore dryer must have flexibility to ensure Consistent MC for biomass output from dryer .
For your information , any sawdust or even EFB will have sand and stone in it , too much of it will increase the ash content of pellet and thus pellet price will be affected . A good dryer will have system to remove partial of the sand and stone . Removal of sand and stone will also prolong the life of roller and die during pelleting process . 

3 of the above factor are important in the selection of the correct dryer . Wrong selection will cause the followings : 
1 ) Under or Over Capacity of dryer 
2 ) Low temperature input will cause slow drying 
3 ) Inconsistent temperature cause fluctuation in drying thus MC of biomass dried will not be consistent 
4 ) Wrongly build furnace do not give enough heat input to dryer causing under utilisation of dryer 
5 ) Wrong air flow of hot flue gas are not sufficient for drying of biomass 
6 ) Wrong design of input and output conveyors reduce the efficiency of drying
7 ) Non Flexibility of dryer controller make it difficult to get good drying results
8 ) Wrong biomass used for firing , increase cost of drying , whole project not viable 
9 ) Manual feeding of biomass fuel in big furnace are not recommended as labour incur cost and optimum drying are not achieved 
10 ) Inconsistent MC of biomass dried cannot be pelletise into good quality pellet 
11 ) Too much sand and stone will jam the Pellet Mill and damage other parts
and many many more .

Make sure Dryer are selected correctly .

QC and R & D

Quality Control and Research and Development Programme 

Manufacturing is define as : 

The process of converting raw materials , components or parts into finished goods that meet a customer's expectations or specifications .

That being said , I would like to add , to be able to make profit the whole process is a race against time to reach optimum level of operation in shortest possible time .

As of now I believe there are more than 10 wood pellet plant in Malaysia , probably over half have difficulties in producing high quality pellet and running at low efficiencies . Some are not running at all . I admit mine are also having problems with breakdown here and there , but importantly improvement are carried out after each obstacles thus weakness becomes strength .
Wood Pelleting are more an arts rather than skill . There are just too many variables especially for China Made Machines . 
Unless and until you get all the parameter right , it is near to impossible to get high efficiency and quality .
In many organisation QC and R & D are lacking especially in the SME . This is the nature of business as it is too costly to setup and followup . But without these you would be FLYING BLIND , that is what happen and the blame is simple , on the machine . No doubt , China Machine is bad but there are ways to go around to get it better . Unless you are willing to invest in American or European Machines which will cost a bomb .
In wood pelleting , the person in charge MUST be able to setup proper recording so that improvement can be carried out . Proper records are just like a GPS in a foreign country . You use it ( the records ) to see : 
1 ) Who can help 
2 ) What happened 
3 ) Where are you now and where are you going 
4 ) When can you arrive 
5 ) Why things happen 
6 ) How did it happen 

Remember the 5 W's and H


!! GHOSTBUSTER !!  SOUNDS FAMILIAR
Imagine that you are starting , you get into problem , the supplier of the machines did not give correct procedure ( friend , they are seller of machines , they will promise you sky to sell , they are not production man , how do you expect them to give full range of advice when we are paying pittance for the machines ) and your machine are damage or you are running at very low effciency .
What do you do ???
You try and try , after 2 months time loss you give up , losses amounts to RM50,000 or more , you still want to carry on but do not know where to start and when can solve all this problems . Sounds very familiar , it happen to me too !!
What do you do ??? or better WHO YOU GONNA CALL !!! GHOSTBUSTER  , CALL ME .
For now enjoy the song & video .


Word of  Advise , if you are not able to solve the problems in 2 months , it is not possible for me to solve it by phone , it is just impossible , there are just too many parameters and you will need tools to help just like the GPS .
With all the advice and tools hopefully you are on the way for higher efficiency and higher quality of wood pellet . 
Many people called but are unwilling to pay ( no free lunch ) , so advice from the phone are limited in quality , they try the method advised still doesn't work , it won't work , we take 6 months of blood sweat and tears to perfecting our method , so with 30 minutes advise you expect it to work , I wish how simple it is .

In fact I would advise , after you have commission your machine and it does not perform to expectation within 2 weeks ,  better call me immediately for consultation , if not you will lose 2 months at least and over RM50,000 for trial and error . 

WHO YOU GONNA CALL !!!



COMBUSTION


STOICHIOMETRY




Combustion is said to be STOICHIOMETRY when fuel and air are in perfect balance . Sounds too technical !!
In layman terms :

 Stoichiometry = Perfect Combustion

i.e. Highest Heat Power output at the lowest fuel consumption .

The above graph can be easily explain as follows :

EXCESS FUEL - A lorry laden with overweight goods climbing steep hill , the driver hits the accelerator full throttle but there was no extra power only more black smoke , in such circumstances more diesel escape without full combustion in the engine thus EXCESS FUEL but no extra power . While 

EXCESS AIR - In a furnace , say you need 6kg of air to fully combust 1kg of fuel ( normally biomass ) , but you input more air which is at ambient temperature of 30°C while the furnace temperature was 700°C , by channelling too much cold air into the furnace , temperature will drop and thus loss of heat energy .

Please note the grey highlight " Highest efficiency " , the graph show that it is not possible to have perfect combustion ( stoichiometry ) but always burner are design with certain % of excess air , normally 10 to 15% more air to ensure full combustion . 

To achieve this , Burner design are critically important . Design of burner take into account factor as follows :
1 ) timing and quantity of fuel feeding 
2 ) volume of air corresponding to fuel input
3 ) robustness of burner to ensure low maintenance
4 ) automatic control to achieve highest efficiencies 
5 ) safety features of the burner 
6 ) simple design but high efficiency 
7 ) user friendly 

Penny Wise Pound Foolish 
Many executives of companies do not understand this and only think of cheap material to burn in their boiler but in fact not always cheapest biomass wins hands down . Then you got to know the calorific value of the cheap biomass and also the efficiency of burning this cheap biomass . More often than not cheap biomass are very low in calorific value of not more than 2,500 kcal / kg and due to the fluctuation of the Calorific Value it is not possible to have high efficiency during combustion . 
I always say this , the boiler man being normal layman will open exhaust valve fully to let more air in so no black smoke in the chimney but by doing so Excess Air will drop the efficiency to below 50% . This means instead of having good burner with efficiency over 80% there will be loss of 30% in combustion efficiency .
So the combination of Biomass Calorific Value and Combustion Efficiency might overwhelm even the cheapest biomass in terms of dollar and cents .

I hope the above will enlighten misconception on pricey biomass .

WOOD PELLET FOR SALE




We now offer wood pellet for sale in the local market .

Price delivered Klang Valley at RM300 / MT in Bulk Bag .

Below are the test certificate and photo of wood pellet .






Call me at 012 9887 118 Lee Seng Ann .

WOOD PELLET MANUFACTURING

Pellet Production Report
We have started manufacturing a few weeks ago and everything is going fine with small adjustment here and there . The longer than expected delay are due to testing of various materials available to us like sawdust , wood shavings and rice husk .
During testing , we encounter very big problem with local pelletising materials which we have solved . This have cost us 2 weeks delays and substantial losses . It is a journey to get the correct mix for most optimum production efficiency and yield . There is a saying ' FAILURE IS A FAR GREATER TEACHER THAN SUCCESS '

Production are now ramming up to about 1.2 ton per hour ( TPH ) per unit of Pellet Mill Model SZLH420 which is quite efficient since the supplier only promised us 1 TPH . Operation time for the machine is now 10 hours / day .

If everything is fine we will be trying to get 1.5 TPH in another month or so with 12 hours operation / day giving a total of 36 ton per day volume if raw material is available .

VIDEO - WOOD PELLET PRODUCTION


We are marketing this 2 TPH Full Production Line at RM850,000 with spare parts . Local fabrication and civil work will cost another RM150,000 or so depending on setup . We throw in service and technical advise which is the Most Important part in the setting up of wood pellet plant . Otherwise new player will have big headache in achieving optimum production within a short time .
If you notice in the video , the Plant we have are quite clean in terms of dust control even with all the machineries in operation . Some of the plant setup do not cater for dust control and in the long term it will become health hazard and difficult to maintain staff .


Costing
With this setup , we manage to bring down the total number of worker to only 8 including 2 Supervisor per shift without stoppage during tea time break and also lunch break . This is a huge savings on manpower and also during this difficulty time of getting worker . With time and additional accessories we would be able to cut another 2 worker per shift in a few months time .

Electricity consumption for the whole plant , at below 300 Ampere consumption is 125kWh of electricity which comes to RM45 / hour for a 2 TPH production . Cost of production per ton will be RM22.50 .

To achieve 1.5 TPH High Quality Wood Pellet consistently , a few problem need to be solve :
1 ) consistently stable moisture content of sawdust
2 ) particle size of sawdust
3 ) good pellet mill and accessories with proper maintenance
4 ) properly design full production line for efficient production
5 ) correct mix of tropical sawdust / rubberwood sawdust


Quality
Quality wise it is above expectation . The Certificate of Test shows that ash is below 1% and Pellet Unit Density is at 1.2 ton / m3 .

This specification is upto Germany DIN Plus Standard on Size , Unit Density , Moisture Content and Ash Content .

Like I said previously , investor need to see for themselves if it is true that the pellet mill can produce 1.2 TPH consistently and operate over long hours without stoppage .


Come visit us to see for yourself .

But no Video & Photos Allowed ( company policy ) .

Pellet Manufacturing

Choosing the Right Pellet Line
I received many enquiries from potential investor on setting up wood pellet or EFB pellet Plant .
Most of the questions asked are as follows :
1 ) Price of Pellet Production Line
2 ) Capacity per Hour per Pellet Mill
3 ) I want to visit your factory in production
We are more than glad to received any visitors and offer quotation for our pellet line .
In my opinion , what potential investors should have asked are :
1 ) Effciency of the Pellet Production Line
2 ) Maintenance of the machineries especially the pellet mill
3 ) Return on Investment ( ROI )

Efficiency
We claim that our pellet mill and the whole line can produce > 1 TPH for a pellet mill with 420 internal diameter die , CONSISTENTLY over prolong period of production time . I believe not many can claim this !!!
You can buy Pellet Mill from so many supplier from China are reasonable price , most can produce 1 TPH consistently but not over prolong period of time .
Pellet Mill from China are still in infant stage as the same pellet mill are for feed production . Therefore it is not as robust as machines from USA or Europe which price are at least double .
Efficiency are very important in Pellet Production as the capacity are very small i.e. 1 TPH per machine , you need to be efficient to make profit . If your machine can only run 8 hours per day but others can operate 15 hours per day , others will make double your profit .
In short pellet manufacturing is a race against time .

Maintenance
Many stories from friends regarding their pellet mill performance .
Die cracking , roller bearing need constant change , pellet refused to come out , need additives for smooth production and etc .
1 piece of Die cost RM5,000 , should last 500 ton production , if the die crack by 250 ton , then your cost will go up to RM20 per ton instead of RM10 per ton . Not mentioning down time and failure to deliver to customer will cost you more .

Return on Investment
I am not sure how many of the potential investor have data on the profitability of wood pellet manufacturing . But I believe most do not have complete and accurate data and depends on the fact that they want to go into this business as there is so many enquiries for this product .
This business are definitely lucrative as of now if you have this advantages :
1 ) ample supply of raw material
2 ) good wood pellet production line
A friend of mine once said if you get the correct combination of raw material , machines and customer , you are simply printing money every second .
Conservatively , Our Wood Pellet Line should have payback within 2 year and ROI of over 6% per month .




Whole Line Wood Pellet Plant

2 Ton Per Hour Pellet Plant
We are a bit delayed in the installation of our 2 Ton Per Hour ( 2 TPH ) Whole Line Wood Pellet Plant . New date for commissioning have been push back to End of April 2011 .
Lots of minor problems with China Whole Line Design and Installation .
I admit we overlook a few areas and also the professionalism of China Machinery Supplier are in doubt especially in Project Management and also the linkage between each section in the Whole Line Plant .


But in the process we also learn a lot for our future expansion plan and possibly our new 2nd line maybe in 6 month to 1 year time .
We now believe that our pellet mill are one of the best from China and hopefully when it is in production it should give us above 1.2 TPH for the Model 420 unit with minimal maintenance .

Here are some of the photos during installation of machineries at my plant .

Current Pellet Mill / Pellet Mill Plant from China have the following problems :

a ) Pelet Mill Die cracking after short time of usage
b ) Roller Bearing need constant change
c ) Constant Jamming in the Pellet Mill Die Chamber
d ) Low Density of Wood Pellet Produced
e ) Sawdust need additives during production to ensure smooth output of pellet from Pellet Mill

We also found out that many China supplier are not genuine factory owner which means they buy and sell the machineries , thus technical wise they are not up to standard unless they are supplying the best machines from the best fabricator . Normally this is not the case as the buyer will haggle about pricing , therefore the supplier will tend to get the cheaper machines which will create problems in the end . How would you know which is the best machines from China , there is more than 100 supplier of pellet mill machineries from China , everyone say they supply the best . Unless you want to CAMP there to search for the best machines . For the record , I did 3 tour of duty to China to search for the best machineries .

Pre-requisite of establishing a Wood / EFB Pellet Manufacturing Business :
1 ) Stable source of sawdust or EFB
2 ) Total Investment - RM1 Million including machineries , electricity supply , local steel fabrication , forklifts & etc for a 2 TPH Whole Line Plant
3 ) Some technical knowledge on machineries
4 ) For now , market should not be a problem , it is a matter of pricing

Lately ( the last 3 months ) , my blog have generated tremendous search for wood pellet maybe due to the current high price of fossil fuel which at the time of writing , Nymex Oil Futures is at over USD100 per barrel . Inflation in China is also causing a problem as Wood Pellet Plant pricing have also increase from initial RM750,000 earlier to over RM850,000 now , at last count . Sawdust price have also been increasing locally . If price continue to rise , it might not be viable anymore to invest in Wood Pellet Business unless Wood Pellet price play catch up in the near term .

WOOD PELLET BURNER VS GASIFIER

COMPARISON
I believe we have talk in length on Wood Pellet Burner and Gasifier , but question come to mind what is the difference between this 2 .

I list the comparison between the 2 below .
I will explain in details the pro & con for wood pellet burner and gasifier .

Pricing
After countless conversation with so many potential user who is looking for change , the big stumbling block is PRICING AND DISTRUST for new technology .

How cheap can biomass and application equipment goes , no body knows , for now this is the price and there is payback calculation for you to judge .

After considering the price , customer will ask can I see how it works , SEEING IS BELIEVING !!! AGREED .

This problem come about due to so many fly by night equipment provider who have give this industries a bad name . So once it is spoilt , it will be very difficult to make amend .

I append below according to categories , the differences :

Technicality

As mentioned above technical specification for Gasifier are much more higher than simple Wood Pellet Burner . Therefore so many of the gasifier that came up in the market in Malaysia are not successful as we Malaysian have not yet achieve the speciality in Gasification . Unfortunately some potential investor suffer due to lack of information and sweet talk by good marketers .

Wood Pellet Burner are very simple machine with some ingenious controls and design which need very simple maintenance , therefore it can be so successful in Europe due to it's simplicity .

WHO need a sophisticated machine to do the same job for 5 times the price ! ! !

Efficiency

90 % Vs 75% , why ?

a ) all biomass are turned to ash , only the ash weight and loss of heat during combustion , therefore loss is only 10% for Wood Pellet Burner . Whereas for Gasifier , big portion ( 20 % ) are turned to carbon and therefore efficiency is only 75 % with heat loss . Unless you want to sell the carbon !!!

b ) In Wood Pellet Burner all the biomass are combusted in optimum Air Fuel Ratio ( AFR , 1 kg wood pellet to 5 kg of air ) and immediately the heat are channel into boiler / furnace , loss will be low as this happen instantaneously . Whereas for Gasifier it goes through a few process , pyrolysis , gasfication , syngas cleaning then only the syngas are channel to burner for burning . Moreover you must have very good burner to control the AFR otherwise you will not get good optimum combustion , causing more loss in efficiency


Ash / Carbon Discharge , Operator Needed and Cleaning / Servicing

As Gasification produce carbon which is higher in weight ( 20 % ) compared to fully combusted biomass where it only produce ash ( below 1% for wood pellet ) , therefore Wood Pellet Burner are much more simpler compared to Gasifier .

Moreover more monitoring are needed for Gasifier to ensure Gasification are optimum which is difficult to achieve consistently especially so if the biomass feed are inconsistent .

Gasifier end product is Syngas which is high in Tar level , to ensure burner are not clog , the syngas need to be clean , with scrubber and filtering , which in the end ( once a week , depending on system ) , need to be clean and service otherwise the Gasifier will stop working .

Control of Burner

Wood Pellet Burner as mentioned above are very simple but with good design equipment . Control in the case of firing into Boiler would be very simple , just fire into the boiler , when pressure in the boiler are reach the burner will go into sleep mode and the burner will fire again when pressure drop to lower level set , simply similar to diesel burner , that is why it is so easy .

In Gasifier case , the fuel for firing into boiler is Syngas , sometimes you get good composition syngas , sometimes you do not , so control will be difficult or it would not be optimum or lower in efficiency .

Pros for Gasifier - Application , Flexibility of Burner Positioning , Usefulness of Carbon and Cleanliness of Combustion

Unless you find you need this Pros , these are small benefit you need to forego to attained the pros of wood pellet burner .

You cannot get perfection unless you are willing to pay very high price .

REMEMBER GASIFIER IS 5 TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE !!!

WOOD PELLET / EFB PELLET BOILER

BOILER

The boiler are design for winter heating in Europe and are suitable for industries which need hot water e.g hotel hot water supply and industrial cooking .

In Malaysia , currently all small and medium size boiler are fuel by either gas or diesel making it environmental unfriendly .

The high number of boiler using fossil fuel are due to the following reasons :

1 ) Previous low oil price at below USD40 / barrel ( around RM1.00 / liter )

2 ) Convenience in handling diesel boiler

3 ) No other alternative ( technology & supplier of biomass boiler )

4 ) No other suitable fuel for small boiler

5 ) Perception of Biomass Boiler are unclean

Most of the above reasons are currently being solved with new technological advancement and availability of new biomass boiler and suitable fuel ( Wood Pellet or EFB Pellet ) .



We plan to introduce this type of pellet boiler for industrial user in Malaysia with our wood pellet .

Pricing start from RM75,000 for 200,000 kCal / hour to RM200,000 for 1,000,000 kCal / hour Wood Pellet Boiler . The low cost are due to mass production for this type of boiler .

Payback are normally within 5 month to 1 year inclusive of the boiler , FOC after the payback period .

Characteristic of Wood Pellet / EFB Pellet Boiler are as follows :

1 ) Fully automatic with preset temperature needed for the hot water , burner will start and stop at preset level

2 ) 90% efficiency due to it's design and efficient air fuel ratio balance during combustion

3 ) high safety feature without chances of explosion as it uses wood pellet which is less flamable

4 ) very clean burning without smoke although ash need to be dispose off once every week

5 ) space saving as structure of the boiler is compact and sturdy

For the first unit we sell in the Malaysia market , we are giving great discount to promote this technology .

Write to us / Call us NOW ! ! !

Wood Pellet Burner

Wood Pellet Burner / EFB Pellet Burner
Availability of wood pellet in the Malaysia Market have enable the introduction of Wood Pellet Burner .
Wood Pellet Burner can be categorised into small home use type ( typically below 100kw ) or big unit for replacing diesel / gas burner for industrial use ( from 300kw to 2,500kw )



Small Wood Pellet Burner
With consumption of over 10 million ton wood pellet in 2010 , Europe is the biggest market of wood pellet . Usage of wood pellet burner to replace fuel oil / diesel / gas burner have been taking place for the last 10 years or more . Therefore wood pellet burner produced are very technologically advance .

The burner have characteristic as follows :

1 ) Fully automated - even with modulated firing

2 ) lambda sensor - oxygen sensor in the flue gas , to adjust air input for efficient combustion

3 ) > 90% efficiency - very close to diesel / gas burner fuel to heat conversion

4 ) Automatic Dust cleaning mechanism

5 ) automatic ignition , sleep mode , timer , remote control , mobile phone control , etc

6 ) easy conversion from oil burner to wood pellet burner without modification
Changeover from Diesel Burner to Wood Pellet Burner


Industrial Wood Pellet / EFB Pellet Burner

We will be launching this Burner in a month or two which have the following specification :
1 ) Replacement of diesel burner with capacity of 300kw ( 250,000 kCal/hr ) to 2,500kw ( 2 Million kCal / hr ) . This is similar to diesel burner firing into a 0.5 ton per hour to 4 ton per hour steam boiler .

2 ) Control is by pressure sensor similar to diesel burner automatic firing although modulation firing are not available currently .

3 ) Savings in fuel consumption are from RM37/hour for 300kw unit and RM298 / hour for 2,500kw unit .

Cost of the Burner from RM40,000 to RM120,000 . Payback in 6 months for the small unit and 4 months for the big unit . Gasifier of similar capacity cost 4 to 10 times more .

Wood Pellet Burner - 200MW / 180,000 Kcal / hour

THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASON WE HAVE BEEN HOLDING BACK ON OUR GASIFIER PROMOTION FOR THERMAL APPLICATION .

By far and large , wood pellet due to it's size consistency , high and consistent calorific value , availability , stable price & eco friendly fuel are very suitable for the replacement of diesel or gas .

START helping the environment to reduce emission of CO2 ,

DO YOUR PART .

Drum Dryer

Sawdust Drying

We are touching this topic specifically due to it's importance to make good wood pellet unless your sawdust is already dried to 15% Moisture Content ( MC ) .
If you have gone through our earlier writings , the cost of drum dryer are significant for a Whole Line Wood Pellet Plant . The High price are due to it's big structure and complication in maintaining stable MC sawdust output . Sawdust comes in various MC from 12% to 60% , therefore it is important to control the MC for optimum pelleting otherwise you would not get high standard wood pellet and high production efficiency .

We will now study a typical drying process base on the following conditions :
1 ) Input Sawdust MC 35%
2 ) Output Sawdust MC 12%
3 ) Drying Rate 2 Ton Per Hour Output
To reduce MC from 35% to 12% you would need to evaporate 20% of water , based on 2,000 kg per hour output , water that need to be removed is 600kg and the input sawdust is 2,600 kg/hr .
To remove 600kg of water you will need 640kw ( 550,000 kCal/hour ) of energy which is equivalent to burning 200kg/hour of wood offcut . In short 100kg/hour need to be combusted to dry 1 TPH ( output ) sawdust . Cost of drying would be about RM5 / ton sawdust if your offcut cost is RM50 / ton .
The Calculation Chart below is from ASPENTECH software and reconfirm by manual calculation which I did not show here due to it's tediousness of calculation , suffice to say the input data , output data and design of the dryer are correct .

Drum Dryer selection are important , many factor affect the cost of the dryer , in this case we believe Drum Dryer Size of Diameter 1.5 meter X Length 9 meter should be enough to dry 2 TPH of sawdust .
Cost of this dryer should be around RM200,000 landed in Malaysia c/w stove , electrical panel and cyclone .
We hope to use this Dryer and the Pellet Mill to make EFB Pellet once we have started Wood Pellet Production probably in August 2011 .

Wood Pellet Plant

Whole Line Wood Pellet Mill Plant

As promised , today I will be writing about Densification of Wood Biomass to make Wood Pellet .
Wood Pellet can be made of wood sawdust , wood shavings , timber offcut and woodchip .
The purpose of Densification are as follows :-
1 ) common size - enabling automation ( automatic feeding and burning just like diesel/gas burner with high efficiency )
2 ) high calorific value - optimum combustion efficiency ( 90% efficiency is possible )
3 ) high density - lower transportation and storage cost

To achieve the above purpose , Feed Mill Machines have been turn to make wood pellet with some modification as wood have higher density and more difficult to be pelletised compared to animal feed .

Unless you are setting up large size Pellet Mill Plant of 20 TPH , small machineries from China would be more suitable due to their much more lower cost .


From our studies of wood pellet processing , optimum size of operation should be of 2 TPH to 5 TPH due to the availability of raw material , operation cost , profit margin and marketing .
Let's take a closer look at a 2 TPH Whole Line Wood Pellet Plant .
It will include sectional processing as follows :
1 ) Material Processing - Hammermill , Screener - RM75,000
2 ) Drying - Drum Dryer - RM180,000
3 ) Pelleting & Conditioning - Pellet Mill , Conditioner / Cooler - RM160,000
4 ) Packing - Storage Bin , Packing Machine , Weighting Scale - RM30,000
All the Segment above can be connected with belt conveyors , screw conveyors or bucket elavator to make it fully automated with only 5 workers during operation . Additional cost for this could be around RM150,000 .
Electrical , Local Fabrication , Installation Cost , Training will cost another RM120,000 .
Provision for 6 months Spare Parts and Miscellanous will cost RM50,000 .
The above is indicative cost of setting up a Whole Line Wood Pellet Plant based on 2 TPH production .


You could refer to the side bar and the bottom for some pictures of the above machineries .
Call us if you need further consultation .

Pellet Mill

Pellet Mill are the " HEART " for Wood Pellet Production , Very Important . All other equipment are Ancillaries .
Pellet Mill Equipment from China are still at a very infant stage as compared to American or European Pellet Mill , but pricing wise , it is only 1 / 5 the price .
Unless you are going for very high output and have the investment capacity to invest for very long term , China Machines are of better choice .
And even so , you have so many Suppliers , Hundreds maybe , some are Merc , some Toyotas and some Protons , you could guess what I mean , pricing starts from USD20,000 to USD50,000 / unit for a Pellet Mill and Whole Line Plant can range from USD200,000 to USD650,000 for a 2 TPH Line . We have scour many part of China for the right machines .
The lower range will get you to do more maintenance and lower production and the higher range might not be feasible for Malaysia Environment . So , choose wisely .
Due to it's infancy , choosing the right Pellet Mill are important as it have the following problems that need to be address :


1 ) Die Chamber too Hot thus Die will break under stress ( Die cost RM6,000 / unit )

2 ) 24 hours operation not possible

3 ) Standard Die size of 420mm Diameter ( the normal Model SZLH420 MZLH420 ) definitely cannot produce more than 2 TPH per machine , if all conditions are right maybe you would get 1.5 TPH , this is where the learning curve start , how soon can you achieve optimum production , simple calculation , shortage of 0.5 TPH X 2 machine X 16 hour / day X 26 day / month X 3 months X RM100 / ton = RM124,800 in Sales Value , so imagine the savings if it is longer than 3 months . ( Some Manufacturer are claiming above 2 TPH , even 3 TPH )
The Pellet Mill we chose have somehow resolve partially some of the above problems with the right combination of ancillaries equipment . In our opinion it is of reasonable pricing and technically capable to handle over 2 TPH wood pellet production with minimum staffing .
You are invited to visit us once production starts .
The problem above may need another 5 years to solved as the supplier of this machines learn from mistakes and improved on it .
Our target is to invest in reasonably priced machine , high efficiency and low maintenance , so that we can recoup our investment in shortest time possible and have a decent profit to show .