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 .
 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 



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 .

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 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 .


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 .


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

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 .