December 9, 2022

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How to produce low cost heating pellets


Farmland and garden cleaning and pruning cuts are green waste, but they are also a resource that can be recycled to save money by producing biofuels.

Using a device (shredder or shredder), in fact, waste can be recycled by turning branches and trunks, even of large dimensions, into wood chips, and compacting smaller materials to leave to decompose. Obtaining plant residues such as leaves, hay, straw and grass from wood chips to turn them into pellets to fuel the stove.

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The shredder, which comes in various forms, shreds twigs, grasses, leaves and organic waste, turning it into an easily compostable material. The chipper cuts wood and other components up to 10 mm thick, provided only fresh, never dry wood is used.

To make biofuels at home, you will also need to have a pellet machine (machine for making pellets). The particle size of the raw materials fed into this machine greatly affects the productivity of the machine and the quality of the final product.

The cost and initial equipment investment will be quickly amortized in the annual home economics, also thanks to savings on green disposal, including transportation.

Self-production of pellets from lawn biomass allows you to incur costs that are a fraction of what can be purchased on the market.
Wood by-products can be used as raw materials, but most of the pelleted raw materials are freely available biomass: sawdust, waste wood, waste paper (or waste paper), nut shells, grasses, hay, straw.

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After drying, for which it is sufficient to leave the wood chips obtained for a day in the sun, we proceed to the actual production, after calculating the final humidity (measured with a hygrometer) which must be a maximum of 15%.

The pelletizing device is a pressing device, which requires little energy, as heat and pressure are used to compress and bind the raw materials into final products in the form of pellets: the higher the efficiency in burning the material in the form of pellets, the more justify the absorption process required for its production. Pellet density is essential for combustion efficiency: for pellet stoves, the best are those with a higher density. But many pellet mills, especially small or low-cost ones, struggle to produce them at this density, which breaks easily clogging the burner or boiler and increasing the amount of ash from the fuel.

The pellets used have a ring-shaped head that uses less energy to produce pellets of better quality and higher density fuel. The rollers push the material through a die that gives it its distinctive tubular shape. In this machine, it is heated by steam and/or pressure so that the lignin in it colors it, making the granules coherent after cooling.

This self-consumption pellet mill produces up to 600 pieces per hour and costs start at €1,500. It is possible to produce between 20 and 60 kg per hour with a machine with a 3 HP single phase motor. Commercial production equipment produces thousands of tons of pellets every hour.

The pellets obtained from virgin wood chips have a better caloric yield and are more resistant. Woods such as beech, birch, poplar, and oak have a low resin content and can be combined in proportions of up to 40% with spruce or pine. Corn can be used as a natural binder.

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