Technical Note SB37: Biomass fuelled combustion technology

Identify the fuel over the expected life of the facility and then consider technology that suits that fuel [not the reverse]

The size and model of equipment for commercial scale applications should be carefully scoped prior to purchase. This scale of heat plant also generally needs bulk delivery of fuel. The fuel could be wood chips, hogged fuel or wood pellets. Each fuel type has different transport, storage and combustion characteristics. These issues and securing a fuel supply are important aspects of the process of using wood fuel on a commercial scale. They should be assessed as part of assessing equipment selection.

Heat plant is always designed for specific grades and characteristic of fuel. For example, if using wet fuel then a fluid bed type combustor, however if the fuel is drier, then conventional combustor technology may suit. For conventional combustors there are however a range of types of fire grate.  It’s essential to take the type of grate into account according to the fuel available e.g., an open weave reciprocating grate would be of little use for sawdust when a pin hole grate is likely to be more appropriate.

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