What Is Biomass Steam Boiler?

When you are building a project that requires a steam boiler to conduct heat, you are faced with many choices in boiler selection for steam boilers, such as fuel gas steam boilers, electric steam boilers, and biomass steam boilers. In this article, let us delve into the definition, benefit and how to choose right biomass steam boiler.

1. What Is Biomass Steam Boiler?

A biomass steam boiler is a specialized type of boiler that utilizes biomass materials as fuel to generate steam. Biomass refers to organic materials derived from living or recently living organisms, including wood pellets, wood chips, agricultural waste, or dedicated energy crops.

The combustion of biomass fuel in a biomass steam boiler takes place in a dedicated chamber, producing high-temperature gases. These gases transfer their heat to water, which circulates through pipes or tubes to generate steam. This steam can be used for a wide range of industrial applications, such as power generation, heating, and process heating in various industries like agriculture, pulp and paper, food processing, and manufacturing.

Biomass steam boilers offer numerous advantages over traditional fossil fuel boilers. By utilizing renewable and sustainable biomass resources, they reduce dependence on finite fossil fuels and contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Biomass is considered carbon-neutral since the carbon dioxide released during combustion is roughly equivalent to the amount absorbed by the biomass during its growth. Additionally, biomass steam boilers can help with waste management by utilizing agricultural residues, wood waste, and other biomass materials that would otherwise be discarded.

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2. What is Biomass?

Biomass fuel is the name given to renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals which can then be used as energy. Biomass is converted into energy using any of the following methods:

  • Direct combustion (burning) to produce heat;
  • Thermochemical conversion to produce solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels;
  • Chemical conversion to produce liquid fuels;
  • Biological conversion to produce liquid and gaseous fuels;

3. What Are Types of Biomass Fuels?

Some of the most commonly used biomass fuels are as follows

3.1 Wood Chips

Wood chips are the most economical type of biomass fuel that produces around 2.5p per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. It consists of a 30% moisture content that should not be stored for longer periods to avoid degradation. The drawback of using wood chips is the germination of spores that can cause incurable respiratory disease. Therefore, it is essential to keep the airflow and encourage the drying process.

3.2 Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are relatively expensive, as compared to wood chips. It is the densest form of biomass, as well as efficient and compact. Wood pellets release a high amount of dust that requires effective hoppers and dust collector systems.

3.3 Wood Logs

Wood logs are ideal for those having access to wood sources and large storage spaces. Due to its high moisture content, it requires to be stored in a dry place for a year to reduce its moisture content and allow its maximum efficiency. It can also be used as wood bark and sawdust.

3.4 Agricultural Wastes

Agricultural wastes such as briquettes, bailed bagasse, rice husk, coffee husk, palm shell, groundnut shell, coconut shell, cotton waste, etc. It is best-suited to agricultural industries and industries that can transport the fuels conveniently and store them easily.

3.5 Industrial Wastes

Industrial wastes like paper pulp, wood waste, textile waste, etc. can be used as fuels depending on the requirement and capacity of the steam boiler system.

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4. Classification of Biomass Steam Boiler

According to Mr Frank`s introduction, EPCB boiler mainly produce the following kinds of biomass steam boiler:

4.1 Fixed grate biomass steam boiler

This is a traditional biomass steam boiler, This type of boiler is suitable for users who need a small amount of steam, steam production is generally 1-6 T / H.

The biggest advantage of this biomass steam boiler is that it can use waste wood and wood production trimmings, branches, etc. directly as fuel to fill into the boiler for steam production. For customers, the elimination of fuel pre-processing procedures, easy access to materials, fuel is easy to get, and can reduce the cost of the user.

4.2 Chain grate biomass steam boiler

This biomass steam boiler typically produces 2-35T of steam per hour.

This is a kind of biomass steam boiler that adopts chain grate as the fuel transfer device, which can realise the automatic feeding of fuel, greatly saving the manpower cost of boiler use and further reducing the comprehensive operation cost of enterprises.

4.3 Reciprocating grate biomass steam boiler

This biomass steam boiler typically produces 6-35T of steam per hour.

This is a type of biomass steam boiler that uses a reciprocating grate for fuel transfer. The basic principle is the same as that of a chain grate biomass boiler, but the construction of the grate is different. The biggest feature of the reciprocating grate steam boiler is the strong adaptability of the fuel range, which can meet the combustion of different biomass or biomass and industrial waste such as plastic rags and other mixed fuels.

4.4 Circulating fluidised bed type biomass steam boiler

This biomass steam boiler typically produces 15-150T of steam per hour.

This is a large biomass steam boiler, mainly used in large industrial factories and power stations for power generation.

Biomass steam boiler customer site

5. What Are Benefits of Biomass Steam Boiler?

In recent years, among the many steam boilers, biomass steam boilers are becoming more and more popular among heat-using companies. On this issue, we interviewed Mr. Frank, a biomass steam boiler expert of EPCB Boiler.Through the interview with Mr FRANK, he concluded the following reasons based on the case experience of EPCB biomass steam boiler in recent years.

5.1 Biomass steam boiler fuel is biomass, derived from nature’s plants and plant waste, biomass as a boiler fuel, relative to traditional fossil fuels, biomass belongs to the renewable resources, as long as the environment to maintain the number of biomass resources inexhaustible, so that belongs to the environmental protection of the circular economy, in line with the world’s resources, security and environmental protection policies, is the general trend.

5.2 Biomass as a fuel for steam boilers has another great advantage over traditional mineral energy sources: it is economical. Biomass resources originate from plants and the waste after plant production, such as wood chips, rice husks, coconut shells, processing trimmings, etc., and are very low cost compared to mineral raw materials. For producers in most parts of the world, the use of biomass steam boilers will require much lower fuel costs than steam boilers using other fuels, so they can reduce the operating costs of their business and improve the competitiveness of their products.

5.3 With the gradual strengthening of technological research and development, the use of biomass steam boiler emissions have also been resolved, through a variety of dust removal and environmental protection equipment, the comprehensive application of the EPCB biomass steam boiler exhaust environmental indicators are fully comparable to the natural gas-fired boiler. In the environmental aspects of energy saving and emission reduction is also in line with policy requirements.

Types of Biomass Steam Boiler

6. Ultimate guide To Choosing Biomass Steam Boiler

According to EPCB Frank`s idea, there is no a best biomass steam boiler for your enterprise, there is only a most suitable biomass steam boiler for your enterprise.
This customer is a wood plywood factory their existing boiler is a coal-fired 10 tonnes old boiler, because the boiler equipment is old, the customer needs to replace the boiler, so Frank took the sales staff to the customer’s factory to view the customer’s actual production scene and the actual steam consumption and other related data to do the measurement.

After a site visit and communication, EPCB’s sales staff quickly identified the following issues

  • The customer’s actual steam demand is unstable, with an average steam consumption of approximately 5 T/hour and a peak consumption of 7 T/hour.
  • The customer uses the boiler to produce steam for the sizing process after plywood processing. 
  • The temperature of steam is 150℃;
  • The customer’s factory has a large amount of waste and trimmings from the production of plywood, and the customer needs to spend a lot of money every month to dispose of this waste.

Taking into account the above customer’s actual production scenarios and resources, EPCB’s sales staff designed a special type of biomass steam boiler for the customer, which is more convenient for solid waste combustion.The use of special biomass combustion chamber with the traditional fuel gas boiler furnace body as the main configuration of the boiler, while the use of customer production process waste and trimmings do not have to do any processing directly into the boiler for combustion.

By this way, EPCB’s salespeople give their customers the following benefits:

  • There is no need to spend on fuel costs, and at the same time, the customer’s production process corners are also effectively treated, saving double the cost for the customer.
  • In order to meet the customer’s production needs at the same time also for the customer to maximise the savings of boiler product input costs.
  • Through the use of environmental protection equipment behind the boiler also makes the customer waste combustion process of harmful gases are fully processed, to meet the needs of environmental protection.

Now the equipment in this case has been running for more than a year, the equipment is running very stably, and the customer has saved a lot of cost through both fuel and waste treatment, which improves the market competitiveness of the product.

Through this case, Frank further explains that what is the ultimate guidance for customers to choose biomass steam boiler, that is, in-depth understanding of the customer’s use of the scene, combined with the customer’s use of the scene, environmental protection needs and resource advantages for the design of the boiler system solution that best suits the customer’s production and use of the needs of the boiler system and to implement.

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7. Conclusion

There is no a best biomass steam boiler for your enterprise in the world, there is only a most suitable biomass steam boiler for your enterprise according to your production scenarios.

So, if you face same condition of demand on a biomass steam boiler, you can invite EPCB Boiler staff to you factory and discuss on the site, they will design a more suitable whole boiler products solution for you, and provide a best biomass steam boiler to you.

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