Sustainability drives bioenergy boom
As the world shifts to a more sustainable future, bioenergy and biofuels will take center stage. Bruks Siwertell is geared for this change, and already has a long history of handling and processing the wide variety of bioenergy materials needed for this global transformation.
Bioenergy is fuel derived from organic matter, and this includes the huge collection of dry bulk materials, termed ‘biomass’. A significant proportion of global bioenergy comes from wood and wood-based products including logs, wood chips, waste wood residues, bark and hogged fuel, and sawdust. Other sources include animal, agricultural and food industry byproducts and waste; any organic material can produce bioenergy.
Biomass boosts industrial efficiencies
Some industries have benefited from the use of bioenergy for decades, while others are new to the table. Industries such as sawmills, the pulp and paper sector, and particle board and panelboard manufacturers often turn to their own industry wood by-products to fuel their production processes, or buy-in similar when demand outstrips this supply. This has a huge positive impact on the efficiency and operational profitability of a facility.
Other manufacturers and power-generation facilities are also looking to biomass as a renewable source of bioenergy. Biomass, however, needs an expert eye as it comes with a number of challenges and critical characteristics that need to be considered during production and handling.
For example, it is subject to microbial action when stored for any length of time. Also, compressed biomass pellets are delicate and need to be protected from moisture; they generate dust emissions when handled, and have a tendency to self-ignite; all factors that need to be mitigated.
Bioenergy expertise at every stage
Bruks Siwertell has the knowledge, equipment and expertise to help industries and operators throughout bioenergy processing. Siwertell unloaders have long-served the biomass industry, with high-capacity unloading installations securing pellet fuel supplies to power-generation facilities globally, including biomass for Ørsted’s Avedøre power station in Denmark and the Drax power station in the UK.
Bruks equipment has also been closely connected with the growing North American timber trade for decades. Today, there are Bruks installations all over the continent dedicated to loading, unloading, storing and reclaiming, processing and transporting wood products like bark, wood chips, biomass pellets and sawdust.
Bruks disc and drum wood chippers, milling and grinding machines and waste woodprocessing hammer hogs are well-established in the global timber market. The size and the volume of the required wood particles dictates which machines are suitable; Bruks Siwertell’s range can chip wood from the forest through to complex high-capacity wood-processing arrangements using multiple machine types.
Fast, efficient truck unloading
A flexible and efficient way to transport the huge volumes of processed wood chips or other free-flowing materials such as bark, sawdust, shavings, and peanut hulls is via bulk trucks.
Bruks Siwertell has a unique truck unloading portfolio that focuses on the fastest, most efficient methods for discharging both end-dumping and self-unloading bulk trucks, so that onward processing is as effective as possible. Our Bruks truck dumper systems consist of a tipping platform, outfitted for different bulk truck trailer types, as well as a variety of receiving hoppers.
Most producers opt for an end pivot system to provide a gentle feed truck-tipping platform, reducing dust emissions. The trucks are unloaded as the tipping platform pivots up to tip the contents of the truck into a receiving hopper.
Hoppers are typically designed to store at least two truckloads of material and can have articulating or static covers, specially designed to prevent any dust escaping into the surrounding environment. They can also have dust collectors, which reclaim and collect material to form more biomass pellets. Key to the dust collection process is keeping the environment dry, as introduction of moisture at this stage could compromise pellet production later.
The challenge of huge volumes
Biomass demand is growing, particularly in the industrial pellet sector. The vastness of some wood and fuel yards indicate the huge volumes of biomass needed to keep industries in business. Factor in the many challenges of storing, handling and reclaiming organic material, and you can begin to see why woodyard design, state-of-the-art technology and effective maintenance regimes are so important.
Varying moisture contents and differences in densities, fiber properties and calorific values are just some of the considerations. Also, most forms of biomass are very dusty, prone to catch fire or in fact self-ignite, and will freeze as well.
Bruks Siwertell’s capabilities are well-recognized in this market and the use of its storage and stacker reclaimer systems is widespread.
The circular giants
Stacker reclaimers are a combination of technologies that pile and then retrieve dry bulk materials for onward conveying in a very efficient, controlled way. They also blend material, which is particularly important for organic commodities such as wood chips, bark or sawdust, to reduce fiber losses from microbial action and heat build-up in the pile. Automated pile stacking and reclaiming produces layers of materials on the pile, then effectively blends them as they are reclaimed. Spikes of variability are smoothed as the materials are homogenized.
For the biomass market, huge wood chip piles can be built continuously in a 360-degree rotational pattern, using Bruks equipment such as a large circular blending bed stacker reclaimer (CBBSR). Successive layers of material are laid down using a stacking conveyor that pivots through a complete circle as the pile grows.
The automated technology offered by the CBBSR enables the oldest materials to be reclaimed first, ensuring consistent quality throughout, and excellent performance at the plant.