10 Oct 2017

Pellet production

I want to offer you a wonderful idea for opening a small or home business - a plant for the production of fuel pellets. Such a plant brings great profit and, at the same time, requires a little investment.

Every day the demand for pellets increases. The cost of 1 ton of pellet fuel from $ 110. For the production of pellets it is necessary to purchase raw materials for the plant. The raw material for pellets can be sawdust, small shavings, straw, sunflower husk, etc.
To produce 1 ton of fuel pellets, 7.4 cubic meters of sawdust is needed. Sawdust costs $ 5 per cube. Total gross profit:
110 $ - (5 $ * 7.4) = 73 $
And this is only with 1 ton of alternative fuel.
With the deduction of all costs (electricity, wages, packaging, transport), the profitability is still more than 100%. The profitability of the sawdust processing plant and other fuel pellets is one of the highest in the field of waste processing.
The market of pellets covers more and more consumer spheres. Solid-fuel pellets are actively used for heating premises, in power plants - for power generation. In addition, the active use of pellets, using gas generators, in trucks, as an alternative to liquid fuels begins. The production of pellets is an excellent business idea that can be realized with minimal investment.
The plant must produce high-quality pellets
To start the factory production of pellets, it is necessary to thoroughly study the technology of this production. Pellets are an invention of the middle of the last century. Rudolf Gunnerman, to reduce the cost of removing waste from his sawmill, decided before exporting, to press the sawdust straight at the factory. So he reduced the amount of waste. As it turned out, pressed sawdust and shavings burn much more efficiently for ordinary wood - heat transfer of fuel pellets is 2.5 times higher. The calorific value of wood fuel depends on the amount of carbon in it. The more it is, the greater the heat emission. And cellulose molecules of ordinary untreated wood besides well-burning carbon have a lot of hydrogen and oxygen. When pressed, the cellulose molecules are destroyed by releasing hydrogen and oxygen, in the form of gases.

Another significant advantage of pellets is their combustibility. Burned, the tree loses 85% of its mass, in the form of volatile gases, and the remaining 15% is ash. When the pellet is burned, the ash is 0.75-1.5% - this depends on the raw materials from which they are made. In addition, fuel pellets contain 2 times less moisture than wood. Since, passing through the matrix, under pressure and because of mechanical friction, raw materials (and hence pellets) are heated to 110 degrees Celsius, due to which the moisture content is reduced by half.
Technology of pellet production for a small plant
The business of pellet production is a waste recycling plant. To be engaged in waste processing is actual, humane and certainly beneficial. Especially if we take into account the fact that waste is processed into ecological fuel. At such a plant it is possible to produce fuel pellets from different types of raw materials. These include sawdust, chips, bark, straw, sunflower husk, dry corn stalks, etc. The characteristics of fuel pellets depend on the raw materials from which they are produced.
The price of fuel pellets depends on the percentage of ash content - the higher it is, the cheaper the wood pellets.

The technology of production is simple. First of all, it is necessary to crush the raw material to the size of small sawdust, moisten it to 15% - 20% (depending on the raw materials). Further, the raw material is placed in a roller flat-matrix multi-cone or other press granulator, where, as in a meat grinder, it is squeezed out through a special grating matrix. We get ready cylindrical pellets. The length of pellets can be varied using a cutter knife, which moves to a greater or lesser distance from the matrix.
Granules are pressed by a special substance in the wood "lignin", which is released during pressing and turns into a natural glue when heated. In addition, the wood tar burns long and smoothly.
It is necessary to install the pressing equipment at the plant
The cost of equipment for the fuel pellet plant is relatively small. Such press granulators are available for both small and home businesses. They can be roller or screw type. Consider presses of roller-type flat matrix type. The cost of such granulators depends on their productivity. For example, GKM-260 (pellet production 150 kg / h) can be bought at a price of 25,700 UAH, the electric motor of such granulator is 11 kW 380 V. There are variants with more interesting performance - more than 300 kg / hour, but the price is also a little Above - 78000 UAH (GRAND-300). The power of the GRAND-300 engine is 22 kW 380 V. In addition, on such granulators you can press not only fuel pellets, but also feed. The productivity of the pelletizer when granulating the feed increases at least twice as compared with pellets.

The plant needs a chopper for the production of fuel pellets. For chopping straw, hay, we can offer Chopper SNR-30.

It is also important to understand that when the press granulator is continuously operated after 3-5 months. It will be necessary to replace the high-pressure components. Therefore, you must remember to take into account the constant costs for the matrix and rollers - the main working parts of the granulators. At what, if pellet production occurs only from soft raw materials (straw, hay), then the service life of the matrix and rollers is more than doubled. In addition, the constant work with the same loads will help save energy, this will also contribute to increased productivity.


Any production always has the main question - the selling question. The most popular application for pellet production is the heating of premises with pellets using special boilers. But there are other markets - pellets are also used as a filling for pets' toilets.

We are becoming increasingly popular pellet boilers with a high efficiency of up to 85%. In Europe, they have long been widely used. This kind of solid fuel boilers can work without human intervention for up to 7 days. Such work is possible due to the flowability of the fuel pellets, which allows the fuel to be filled with solid fuel through a software controller that controls the feed screw. The refueling process is automatic. The level of automation is such that another batch of granulated wood is fed from the bunker independently. So the set temperature is maintained. Fuel pellets kindle a special electric fan and fan. Also, such boilers are equipped with a special pellet burner that allows the maximum use of pellet solid fuel.

Pellet boilers are easy to maintain. The ash must be cleaned once a month. Such boilers are household 15-500 kW, and for industrial purposes up to 2 mW. The service life of boilers is more than 20 years. The granule boiler of the Austrian company OkoFen is shown in the picture.
Pellet boilers are a serious alternative to gas boilers. Although granulated wood is an effective fuel for both conventional solid fuel boilers and for simple stoves as the best alternative to wood.

Further examples are given of other ways of using pellets.

Pellets can be filled with cars

Over time, the sale of pellets factory small production will be significantly expanded. In the middle of the twentieth century trucks operated on wood fuel. The internal combustion engine was actually the same as now. The cars worked on gas, which was received from the gas generator by pyrolysis of wood.

The gas generator is a device by which flammable gases are produced from solid fuel. This process is called pyrolysis - the decomposition of heavy molecules into the lungs under the influence of high temperature and lack of oxygen.

And now we are returning to this kind of fuel for cars. But, for example, the Gazel car, equipped with a gas generator, consumes 1 kg of wood per 1 km. Hence, 100 km of timber would have to be carried 100 km. So, a considerable space in the car was occupied by a gas generator and fuel for refueling. In addition, it is necessary to refuel every 50 km, accelerate the car gradually, allowing the gas generator to switch to an increased power mode. All the disadvantages are eliminated thanks to pellets. Flowability pellets allows you to fill the gas generator automatically. The dimensions and mass of the gas generator on the pellets are less. And the electronic microprocessor system monitors the acceleration of the car and automatically switches on the traditional fuel at the time of a sudden change in loads. In addition, pellets have a higher density and calorific value, more intensive release of gas, so the number of pauses for switching to another power of the gas generator is reduced. Dense and calorific fuel pellets require less useful space in the body. In addition, pellets reduce consumption of solid fuel to 0.3 kg per 1 km in 3 times. Even if gasoline is used for a short time with a sharp acceleration of the car, all the same the consumption is less than more than 2 times in relation to the traditional fuel. If you drive in an economy mode, then you can generally give up gasoline. Then the cost of 1 km is 0.04 $, 1 kg pellets = 0.11 $ / 3 (consumption per 1 km = 0.3 kg) = 0.04 $ / km.

And one more important advantage of fuel pellets - when creating gas from wood pellets, toxic substances are not released by pyrolysis. This is an ecological fuel.

Pellets are used as fuel for power plants

Consumption of pellets is growing every day, finding more and more applications. EuroSoyuz plans to reduce by 20% the amount of harmful emissions to the atmosphere by 2020. To this end, it is planned to increase the use of biofuels in power plants. After all, such "green power stations" are cheaper than even solar-powered or wind power plants.

Most of the major power plants in Europe are switching to granulated wood fuel. Mobile power plants start to appear on granulated wood fuels. More and more installed boilers on wood pellets. And if we take into account the fact that oil and gas are constantly becoming more expensive, gas generators for trucks and agricultural machinery will be increasingly used. Today, only the beginning of the development of the use of new fuel. The need for it will grow every day.

It should be noted that small and home business already now has to start production of new generation fuel and be ready for a constant growth in the market for fuel pellets consumption. This business is especially interesting in that it does not need big investments.