Combined heat and power systems are an energy-efficient means of creating both electricity and heat in unison. By capturing and utilising the previously wasted heat created as a by-product, it has been shown to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 30% in comparison to traditional systems. Alongside CHP systems are becoming increasingly popular so is the need to find renewable fuel solutions that help support sustainable heating. And, this is where biomass CHP comes into play.

Biomass CHP Explained

The term ‘biomass’ refers to the renewable and organic material that is created from plants and animals. It is any manner of organic matter that can be used to generate additional energy. When it comes to combined heat and power systems, the biomass fuel most widely used is compressed wood pellets.

Smaller CHP boilers use pyrolysis, also known as devolatilization. The wood pellets (biomass material) are thermally broken down at very high temperatures and in an inert atmosphere. The process produces a syngas that moves through a spark-ignition engine and powers the unit.

For our CHiP50 units, the gasification process within this biomass unit follows these stages:

  • The biomass (wood chips) is dried by heat produced in the reactor
  • The biomass is pyrolyzed and produces syngas, TAR and char
  • Part of the pyrolysis products and biomass burn with the air to supply the required heat
  • The gases produced react with the residual char to produce additional CO2 and H2
  • The residual char and ashes fall through the lower grate

Biomass CHP Fuel Options

CHP systems that utilise these organic fuel sources, such as our CHiP50 unit manufactured by ESPE Group Italy need the right quality of fuel to produce ample power and heat. These units are known to generate a cleaner level of gas products in comparison with heavy hydrocarbons while offering heightened versatility. When it comes to fuels, the most commonly used are wood chips.

Our ESPE biomass CHP systems use virgin wood chippings that are obtained locally from the sawmill processing industry, forest timber production or reforestation. They have an optimal quality rating with less than 10% moisture content, 18 MJ/Kg LCV rating and are sourced from broadleaf or conifer trees.

Benefits of Biomass CHP

There are a host of reasons why a business may choose to utilise biomass CHP including:

  • Widely accessible fuel source
  • Suitable for off-mains gas
  • Produces a cleaner and higher-quality fuel/gas
  • More sustainable fuel source
  • Fuels sourced from byproduct waste of other businesses

At Energimizer, we specialise in bringing combined heat and power systems to homes and businesses of all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions or need to speak to a member of our specialist team, please do get in contact here today.