How to start a pellet production
Saving natural resources is not just a fashion trend or a popular slogan today. Not only ecologists and everyone who is not indifferent to the environment say that it would not hurt everyone to think about how much we irrevocably take from nature.
The constant increase in tariffs for electricity, water and gas makes people think about saving natural resources and the common man in the street. So solar panels appear on the roofs of houses, windmills rise nearby, and, thanks to the production of pellets, they started talking about alternative fuels.
Pellets: simple origins, universal use
Pellets came to us from Western Europe. There they have long become a common type of fuel and not only fuel. In our country, consumers are generally very wary of alternative fuels, but pellets are used very actively as fillers for cat litter.
So what are pellets?
In short, it is shredded, compressed and released in the form of small granules or bars wastes from the forestry and food industries of agriculture, as well as peat.
Anything can be produced in the form of pellets, provided it is pre-processed and shredded. The raw material of the woodworking industry can be chips, bark, cuttings in one word, everything that became waste after the skillful hand of a forester has walked through the forest or a plane has worked in the carpentry shop. Agricultural waste that can be used in the pellet business is the husk of buckwheat, sunflower, wheat, and chicken manure.
Peat, as one of the cheapest types of natural fuel, the reserves of which are unlimited, can also be produced in the form of pellets in the form of bars.
Where are they used?
The use of pellets, as practice shows, is limited only by the imagination of the consumer. And if we take into account that our compatriot has always been distinguished by his imagination as to how you can use a variety of things not for their intended purpose, then the production of pellets really awaits a brilliant future. So, today pellets are used:
- as fuel;
- for insulating houses;
- as filler for pet toilets;
- as optimal absorbent;
- as a fertilizer.
Pellets: Undeniable Business Advantages
In this article we will tell you how to organize a business in the production of fuel pellets. Let's touch on the topic of its relevance in the CIS, collection of documents, registration, selection of equipment, premises and personnel. We will carry out financial calculations and describe the possible risks.
Relevance of business in the CIS
The production of fuel pellets is a current business line in Russia and the CIS. Because the demand for products is from commercial organizations, enterprises and the population.
The relevance is explained by the peculiarity of pellets - they are made from waste woodworking enterprises and are an environmentally friendly product with good heat transfer during combustion.
This type of fuel is actively used by citizens living in remote settlements, where for some reason there is no central gas supply.
Fuel pellets are used in various fields.
- Industry. They are used for combustion in industrial boilers at industrial enterprises. Due to the structural features of pellets and modern equipment, their feeding into the boilers can be carried out automatically without constant human control.
- At home. Pellets are used to kindle stoves and fireplaces in country houses. They help to quickly and efficiently heat living quarters.
- Construction. The material is suitable for wall insulation: it is poured into the voids between the ceilings as an additional insulation.
- Tourism. Pellets have become reliable helpers for tourists: they help to quickly kindle fires in hiking conditions. Due to the compactness of the granules of the material, it is convenient to transport it in a car, on a bicycle or in a backpack.
- Agriculture. Fuel pellets are used for mulching and fertilization. Gardeners use them to protect the plants from cooling and the soil from drying out. Wood pellets are added as a substrate for growing mushrooms, and peat pellets are added as fertilizers.
Fuel pellets are also added to pet toilets - the pellets absorb moisture well, prevent the spread of unpleasant odors and serve as filler for cat litter boxes, etc.
Also, this material is used for the adsorption of liquids at service stations and gas stations, where you have to deal with fuels and lubricants every day.
Raw materials for fuel pellets
The following are used as raw materials for the production of fuel pellets:
- Sawdust and wood shavings. It is these pellets that can be used in any area: from industrial to household.
- Chips - wood waste and substandard sawmills, sawmills or other woodworking enterprises.
- Straw. Pellets from this material are characterized by high thermal conductivity. Because of this, they are used as the main fuel in large thermal power plants.
- Peat. Pellets are made from the same peat as traditional peat briquettes.
- Agricultural waste - flax, wheat, sunflower, buckwheat, etc. Such pellets are suitable only for combustion in boilers with auto-cleaning.
Saving natural resources is an urgent problem. Who is not indifferent to the world around them think about the scale of how much we take from nature for free. Intensive growth of tariffs for gas and electricity has led to the fact that ordinary citizens began to think about saving, too: solar batteries and windmills are being installed. Today, humanity is looking for an alternative fuel, so making pellets is a great idea for your business.
What are pellets
This is biofuel in granules, it is obtained from wood waste, peat, agricultural residues - husks, straw, corn and others. It is presented in a cylindrical form in standard sizes - up to about 30 mm in length, up to 10 mm in diameter.
When burning an ecological product - pellets - a minimum of carbon dioxide gets into the atmosphere, as in the usual process of wood decomposition.
For the first time, the production of fuel pellets began in Western Europe. Here, ecological fuel is actively used for various institutions, as insulation, fertilizer, filler for animal toilets.
This is a great alternative to coal, firewood. Many believe that the future belongs to alternative biofuels, irreplaceable for continuous use. In Europe, it is massively used to heat private houses, as well as schools, kindergartens, hospitals, administrative institutions and others. So far, everything is somewhat simpler with us: it is purchased for fireplaces, kindling stoves, solid fuel boilers.
Types and characteristics of granules
The following types are distinguished by grade:
Biofuels can have different compositions. Suitable source material:
- wood - pure wood without impurities or with bark;
- straw, sunflower husks;
- solid household waste.
The more impurities in the product (husk, straw), the higher its ash content and lower grade. Pellets with an ash content of no more than 1.5% are considered the highest quality. In any case, this figure should not exceed 5%.
In Russia, there is a gradual transition of the economy to waste-free production. This allows you to take care of the environment and save materials. Most of the timber industry leaves behind sawdust. This applies to sawmills, furniture factories and other businesses that process wood material. You can make fiberboard or MDF from sawdust if you use a press. But this technology requires large financial costs, so this direction is hardly suitable for novice businessmen. But there is another way to get material from sawdust that can be sold. This is the production of small granules called pellets. They are used as cat litter or fuel. In terms of investments and subsequent manufacturing costs, this business is quite profitable for an entrepreneur. Our step-by-step instructions will help to answer the question of how to start pellet production from scratch and what is needed to implement this idea.
In European countries, pellets have long been considered the best biofuel and are actively used. And in the future, the demand for this material will only increase. But in Russia this niche is not yet fully occupied, so this direction can be considered promising.
Pellets are made not only from wood waste, their composition can be varied. So, it is possible to add straw, husks from seeds and various grain waste to them. All this is a by-product and is called ash content. It is believed that the fewer by-products there are in pellets, the more high-quality and, accordingly, expensive they are. But it is more profitable for the manufacturer to include additives in the material, because this reduces the cost of pellets. If the ash content is less than 2%, the product is considered to be of high quality.
To open a workshop that produces pellets, you first need to study the technology. And to the question of where to start this business, you need to answer this way: with an acquaintance with the production technology.
The process of making pellets includes several stages:
- Crushing materials. Crushers crush wood waste and prepare it for drying. The materials are weighed before crushing.
- Drying the material obtained after crushing. This procedure lasts until the moisture level in the workpieces reaches 8%. You can use two types of dryers: belt or drum dryers, but we will talk about this later.
- The fine crushing process is carried out on hammer mills. The result is particles ranging in size from 1.5 to 4 mm.
- The resulting semi-finished product is water-cooled. This is necessary in order for the product to stick together more easily during pressing. The fact is that at 8% moisture, gluing is poor. This means that overdried material is not suitable for the next stage.
- Pressing. The most important stage. Various types of pressing machines are used. Their matrix can be of flat or cylindrical type. When the material is pressed, it is sent for cooling, because at the moment of pressing, the granules are heated to 90 degrees.
- Sifting the finished granules and packing them.
Another advantage: there can be no waste or waste. The material that remains after production can be used again.
As in any other production, the production of pellets takes place on special equipment, which is the main item of the initial expenses of an entrepreneur who decides to take on this business. The equipment can be divided into two types: industrial lines and granulators. The first type includes granulators with electric, gasoline engines or shaft-driven.
It is necessary to choose such a device wisely. Electric motors need electrical power, and they are stationary, this must be taken into account when choosing a room for a workshop. But installations with gas engines are easier to transport, and they can be used in any conditions, for example, right at a sawmill. Shaft-powered pelletizers are available to those with a tractor and are very expensive. An electric mini-granulator will cost an entrepreneur about 500 thousand rubles, a diesel one - 350 thousand, and a tractor-driven one - 400 thousand.
The selection of granulators on the market is wide enough, the assortment lines are large. You just need to choose the type of apparatus that suits best and its performance.
One of the lucrative types of business is the processing of forestry waste, and in demand is the production of pellets, an energy efficient alternative fuel. Pellets are made from second-rate waste - sawdust, therefore their production is costly. From the article you will learn what pellets are and how to make money on their production.
Biofuels are constantly in the spotlight, and Wageningen University has conducted research in this area. As a result of the work, grandiose figures were revealed - in the next decades, Europe will begin to consume wood pellets more and more, and the demand for this product will amount to 200 million tons annually. The Port of Rotterdam will become the main route for the delivery of about 20 million tons of pellets each year. The Rotterdam administration, together with the APX-ENDEX energy exchange, announced the creation of a biofuel exchange.
The UK and China are also making plans for this business. Why do such large countries pay attention to second-rate raw materials, what is the peculiarity of pellets and what kind of profit they get - all this in the article.
Where are pellets used
Wood pellets are used as:
- fuels for bioenergy plants and power plants;
- insulation for panels;
- fertilizers for capital agriculture;
- absorbent for certain types of filtration plants in the chemical industry;
- filler for pet toilets.
Based on the main purposes of using pellets, their production is formed. Standard plants produce quality pellets for any of these purposes, but the raw materials and certain finishing steps differ slightly. Separately, we note peat pellets - complex and demanding for raw materials, but having outstanding characteristics when used as fuel, fertilizer or filter.
Wood pellets Features, characteristics
The composition of wood pellets depends on what kind of wood was processed, whether straw or sunflower husks are selected as raw materials. Each type of pellet is distinguished by its energy efficiency properties. Pellets are divided into "pure" and with impurities. Wood pellets are made from:
- pure wood without admixtures;
- made of wood with bark with the addition of husks, straw and sunflower and other cereals.
Pellets that contain a large amount of impurities are a low-grade product, therefore wood pellets, where the ash content is 1.5%, are considered the best for all purposes. This variety is used as fuel and litter for cat litters. Pellets are also sold for heating purposes, but the installation of industrial equipment will be required. And the businessman will produce pellets for solid fuel boilers.
Different types of pellets are also used as fertilizer for different situations. Low-grade pellets with the addition of cake, husks and straw provide for such purposes an effective distribution of trace elements for their subsequent processing by soil microorganisms and worms, therefore, concentrating on the agricultural market, the low quality of pellets for heating will be a plus. The production of pellets from such materials is cheaper than from pure sawdust. But for agricultural purposes, a complete absence of chemical impurities in products is necessary, which will negate all the potential benefits of cheap fertilizers. For insulation, ash content, like the material of the pellets, practically does not matter.