By: Rubina Obaid
Renewable energy in the form of biomass is being used in different countries across the world as it has been realized that bioenergy extends a solution for increased carbon and greenhouse gas emission. Forests and woody crops are used for converting into solid, liquid and gaseous biofuel to provide energy to different industrial, commercial, and domestic sectors
With ever-increasing climate chaos and unprecedented calamities faced by the world lately, has posed serious concerns regarding environmental policies. This fostered active research and exploration of green renewable energy sources to meet climate neutrality targets and considerable diversion from fossil-based fuels for energy generation. Therefore, woody biomass is also known as one of the most sought candidates for renewable power generation. Wood has been used for burning and conventional purposes by the household for ages. However, according to numerous studies, it has been proved as one of the safest and environmentally friendly modes of energy generation in biomass powestations. As it contains minimum ash content, due to which it becomes a promising candidate and also known as of a green source of energy.
Renewable energy in the form of biomass is being used in different countries across the world as it has been realized that bioenergy extends a solution for increased carbon and greenhouse gas emission. Forests and woody crops are used for converting into solid, liquid and gaseous biofuel to provide energy to different industrial, commercial, and domestic sectors. Currently, around 55% of the 4 billion m3 of wood is being used by the world population for meeting daily energy needs, directly for heating, cooking, or various combustion purposes. The bioenergy system is mainly dependent upon biomass and is becoming the most important subject for the public, policymakers, and environmental activists for seeking and evaluating different consequences.
However, every year a huge number of biomass goes into waste, left discarded or unattended. Mostly it happens in case of simple logistics that is while transporting to different locations. This also involves an additional cost of gaining land, building, and permits to create large processing units. Whereas, processing biomass is an expensive alternative and most producers may see it as a commercially nonviable option.
According to the CEO and Vice Chairman at Proxipel “People don’t care about this biomass or think it could have value. Also, the added value of woody biomass is not high. For example, branches are much less valuable than trunks.”
The innovative project has sprung recently in Europe and UK that has brought a great sensation in the sector of biomass for bringing innovative and speedy solution for the unwanted residue of biomass. The project is funded by Proxipel that was responsible for turning these superfluous biomass residues into a more useful and valuable source of energy. They initiated the project by designing a mobile pelletizing unit that will be able to convert a huge variety of biomass of different types such as wet or dry into easily transportable pellets in the most efficient manner.
The mobile unit will be able to pelletize at a rate of 1 tonne per hour. The process includes crushing, milling, drying, and pressing a wide variety of raw materials even the wet wood. Different types of biowaste are used in the process such as hardwood, wood from recycling centres, vine branches, forest residues, leaves, hay, mill dust, straw, manure, and also coffee ground. Mobile pelletizing units can easily be transported via trailer while generators are used for obtaining energy in the processing. It also contains a dryer that is used for removing the moisture content from the woody mass.
Proxipel considerably mitigates humidity that is 60% to 13% approximately. A heat exchanger is also used in the process that contributes to capturing and recycling the escaped heat and brings it back into the system. This is an essential step that greatly helps in saving energy and the overall cost of the process. The unit is easy to operate and requires only one person to run the system. As the whole system is mainly automatic and can easily be set on the autopilot setting. A series of 45 engines and 30 on-board sensors let the unit adjust automatically for a different type of biomass being introduced with its specific capacity.