Wasted effort: avoiding pellet degradation in production

A look at how to reduce fines — the broken pieces of wood pellets — and improve pellet quality, with Biomass Engineering & Equipment.

It’s no secret: fines lower pellets’ value. Too many fines can result in a customer or port authority rejecting a supply of pellets altogether. These concerns are why manufacturers do their best to screen their pellets. But, the necessity for screening bellies an underlying problem: that is, what creates the fines. By addressing what creates fines, pellet manufacturers can reduce waste and run their business more profitably.

The first step to reducing fines is to identify where pellets receive damage. The best way to determine where fines originate is to sample the pellets across the pellet handling system and compare the level of fines from place to place. Components within the pellet handling system include conveyors, elevators, silos, reclaim machinery, metering equipment, and load-out equipment.

After determining where the damage occurs, pellet manufacturers can begin analysing the cause of the damage. Shattering is a concern, because pellets are brittle — they...

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