Biomass can be used in a variety of forms to recover energy.
From time immemorial we have been using biomass in the form of wood and twigs for heating purposes. In many domestic and industrial sectors worldwide, biomass is still used in its raw form – just cut the tree branches or collect the twigs and use them for heating. At the same time, many industrial sectors especially require biomass in a denser and compact form.
Why do we make biomass into solid fuels?
- Biomass in a more compact form is easy to transport, and at less cost than biomass in raw form – just visualize a truck carrying twigs and tree branches against a truck carrying biomass that has been cut into neat chips
- For some applications, it is required that biomass is available in a more dense form rather than as loose biomass.
- Storing compact biomass is much easier and less space consuming than storing loose biomass
- Besides, the direct use of wood chips sometimes cannot combust fully.
In consequence, Biomass Pellet Mill and Biomass Briquette Machine are invented to make the biomass into regular shape solid fuels which are easy to use, convenient to transport and store, and have higher calorific value (heat value).
There are two main types of compacted biomass – pellets and briquettes.
- Biomass Briquettes
Think of bricks when thinking about biomass briquettes. These are compacted biomass that is of the size of a brick – typically with diameters of about 60-100 mm, and varying lengths. The shapes of biomass briquettes could vary – they could be cylindrical or like a regular solid brick.
- Biomass Pellets
Biomass pellets are cylinder sticks made from biomass. For making both pellet and briquette, biomass raw materials should be pulverized first. The high pressure of Pellet Mill Machine can press the powdery biomass tightly and make them not easy to break.
While biomass pellets and briquettes could be used interchangeably for some heating or power generation applications, it is usually seen that pellets are preferred for the household heating sector and also by some biomass power plants. Biomass briquettes are primarily for industrial use for heating. For many applications involving furnaces or hot air generators, either pellets or briquettes could be used.