Over the last decade, increased interest in the use of alternative fuels, including biomass and solar energy, has translated into increased boiler research and development in these categories. Recent advances include deployment of new or updated utility-scale designs for concentrating solar arrays that feed boilers, as well as advances in coal/biomass co-firing and biomass-only firing for both utility-scale and industrial-scale processes.
The solid biomass fuel produced in Valmet’s black pellet plant is steam exploded, which allows it be ground into a reactive powder suitable for burning in large-scale power boilers or in specialized pellet-burning systems.
“Black pellets contain and retain more energy than white pellets,” says Mattias Erixon, Valmet’s senior sales manager. “There is no self-heating or off-gassing and the low amount of dust minimizes the risk of fire hazards. They grind and burn more like coal than white pellets, which saves customers both capital and operational expenses”
Because of their higher wet and dry durability, black pellets are cheaper to ship than white pellets. According to Valmet, black pellets also hold about 15% more energy per ton and have 15% higher bulk density than white pellets.
“Valmet offers both complete production lines for steam exploded black pellets and revamps of existing white pellet plants. These high-energy-density, water-resistant pellets are suitable for transportation and opens up opportunities for new income streams for our customers”, says Erixon.