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 .


This is a new industry in Malaysia with only a few small plant of 1 ton per hour ( TPH ) production .

We are putting up a 2 TPH Whole Line Wood Pellet Mill Plant operational in April 2011 .
Write us if you need Wood Pellet or want to set up a Wood Pellet Plant .

The chart shows normal Biomass Calorific Value with various Moisture Content .

These means the higher the Moisture Content ( water in the Biomass ) the lower the Calorific Value of the biomass because when you burn biomass you will need to heat the biomass to above 250 ºC . before you reach this temperature , during combustion water need to evaporate at 100 ºC , the more water you have in the biomass the more energy you need to spent to evaporate the water thus the lower Calorific Value if the MC of the biomass is high .
It means , you are buying WATER not ENERGY !!!
Many articles have put Wood Pellet Calorific Value at 4,200 kCal/kg with bulk density of 600 kg/m3 thus making it more viable to be transported over long distance as compared to woodchip at 300 kg/m3 and sawdust at 200kg/m3 .
Furthermore Wood Pellet are dry at below 10% MC thus giving it a high ratio of enegy / volume .

From the table , Wood Pellet are reasonably priced in relation to it's energy value . The high cost per ton are due to processing cost needed for densification and drying .

As Wood Pellet are of constant size it usage can be easily automated just like gas or diesel burner . And the beauty is you can achieve over 90% combustion efficiency just like gas / diesel burner as compared to normal burning in furnace which efficiency are low at below 80% combustion efficiency . It is very technical !
In fact , most European Countries and now Korea , combustion now have shift to Wood Pellet from gas or diesel due to it's availability , environmental concern and government tax on fossil fuel .
Lately there is this hot topic of turning EFB to EFB Pellet . It would be great if it is suitable and there is market for it .
We are working on launching Wood Pellet Burner in a few months time together with our Wood Pellet .