Russians tried out new business – fuel pellets
More than 20 years ago, Bavarian Rudi Gunnerman, who lives in the United States, first produced wood pellets.
The pellet market is growing at a tremendous pace today. Prices are rising constantly. The main consumers of fuel pellets are today European countries and Japan, which is successfully used by Russian businessmen who live in one of the most forest-rich countries.
Then in the USA they found use of pellets in heating. In Europe, Sweden is considered the pioneer of the process of pelleting wood waste and its use in heating.
Since the beginning of the 90s, a boom and industrial production of wood pellets began in Sweden. Then, the production of wood pellets in Canada, Denmark, Austria, Holland, Finland, Norway, France, Italy, and Germany is rapidly developing. From the beginning of the 21st century, production began in Russia. Today, the production of fuel pellets from wood waste is one of the most promising technologies.
Granules of completely different quality are in demand on the market: dark – with a high content of bark and light – the content of bark does not exceed 5%. In Denmark, a number of thermal power plants consume granules of pure bark. SomeRussians tried out new business – fuel pellets fuel pellets not at cost per ton, but at cost for the amount of thermal energy released.
When burning pellets do not have a negative impact on the environment,
granules do not contain hidden pores, prone to spontaneous combustion with increasing temperature.
Given these indicators, in European countries, pellets are most often used for heating houses and cottages. The popularity of granules as a “homemade” fuel is due to the fact that heat from wood is perceived as much more pleasant than the heat obtained from light fuel oil or natural gas. In addition, in Europe, both boiler houses at the communal level and enterprises and power plants of rather large capacity work on pellets.
The market is also being formed in Russia, since the pellets are used for heating cottages, while in Russia the middle class is starting to acquire suburban housing. Many already know that cottages can be heated by means of fireplaces, wood waste boilers, and are ready to buy this equipment.
If we start with a scientific definition, then fuel pellets are solid energy carrier, produced by mechanized changes in biomass.
In the manufacture of pellets, the feedstock is first crushed and then granulated. By the way, to get the raw materials is not difficult. It is usually referred to as waste from the manufacture of wood products. Waste at the stage of preparation of the forest can reach several tens of percent (stumps, branches, needles, etc.). A typical sawmill turns about 60% of wood into boards, with 12% going to sawdust, 6% to end cutting and 22% to slab and edge cutting. The volume of sawdust and chips at the woodworking stage reaches 12% of the feedstock.
Considering the fact that Russia is the country with the richest timber, among our compatriots a new business is becoming increasingly popular. At the same time, the Russians have a different approach to this type of activity. Some invest in a briquette factory and independently deliver briquettes to the customer. Production of fuel briquettes is achieved using presses of various designs. The average size of such investments is currently 5-6 million rubles. Others, purchasing raw materials, turn to the owners of the sawdust processing plant, and only then receive ready-made briquettes for shipment. Others supply sawdust to Europe directly.
Of course, this business causes difficulties, the main one being transportation. Usually Europe buys this product in large quantities – from 10-12 cars. Someone agrees on rail transportation, someone chooses the sea route, but, naturally, for this you need to have decent money (anything can happen at customs). Transportation by road is not profitable at all – by 1 km it increases the cost of 1 ton of briquettes by approximately 1 ruble.
It is also worth considering the seasonality of the business – in the summer the cost of fuel drops significantly. In addition, it is worth thinking about the volume of production. The production of one ton of briquettes takes about 8-10 cubic meters of wood waste. Therefore, if it comes to your mind to engage in this new business, first of all, think about where you will get such a volume of raw materials, i.e. you need at least 58 cubes of sawdust to produce 10 tons of briquettes per shift, preferably, not collected from the ground i.e. without impurities. Some experts argue that production is economically efficient with volumes of at least 600 tons per month.