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Under new laws and regulations set by the government to help reduce our carbon emissions, our customer and supply base have been under a considerable amount of pressure to move away from the use of fossil fuels, such as washed coal and transition over into the uses of biofuels.

Whether we are burning fossil fuels, or biomass, both still release carbon dioxide (CO2) a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, causing air pollution. However, the difference being: plant and materials that are a source of biomass for energy, capture almost the same amount of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis while growing – in turn, making biomass a carbon-neutral energy source.

What are the different types of biomass?

 

Types of biomass

Diagram ref: http://www.biodiesel-machine.com/

 

How is wood turned into energy?

Biomass wood pellets are a by-product of wood processing, which are often found in forms of sawdust, shavings, and offcuts or from freshly cut timber that has specifically been felled to produce wood pellets. To ensure the wood chips are of a high quality, the wood chippings are processed and screened. They're then heated to reduce its moisture content to below 12%, and then converted into a fine powder. This is then pressed through a grate at high pressure, which will then form the solid, short, and dense biomass pellet.

 

Biomass wood chips in turn are sourced from similar processes; these include logging residues, stumps, roots, and other wood waste from tree cuttings. Once sourced, the chippings are then screened for quality control before they are then dried down, so that their moisture content is less than 30%.

Cycle of biomass energy

Diagram ref: https://sites.psu.edu/

 

Once screened and dried, the biofuel is then stored and fed automatically from the fuel store into the boiler. As the biofuel is burned and combined with a regulated flow of oxygen, it ensures a clean and efficient combustion process. The resulting hot gases then heat water in a heat exchanger which feeds the hot water storage tank, or for smaller stoves a back boiler, and ultimately the heating circuit – in most cases, this would be in the form of radiators.

Our Renewable Biomass and Related Services DPS provides a compliant route to market for renewable biomass fuels, which is split into two lots, to help organisations work towards becoming carbon neutral - Lot 1 – Wood Chips and Lot 2 – Wood Pellets. The DPS also includes other related services, such as boiler maintenance, hopper and storage vessel training, fuel level management, completion of renewable heat incentives, wood cracking and wood chipping and supply of heat (where suppliers/providers fund, own and operated the boiler and sell the heat to the client on per kWh basis).

 

 

We’re here to support you every step of the way in your transition to biofuels and to help you reach your net zero targets, so if you’d like any further guidance or advice please do not hesitate to contact the YPO energy procurement teamor view our Renewable Biomass and Related Services DPS

energy officer
Author

Sam Johnson

Energy Officer
YPO
As Energy Officer, Sam supports the progress and execution of YPO's electricity and gas buying strategies and risk management tools against multiple flexible purchasing baskets. Using a defined strategy, Sam aims to optimise prices and reduce exposure to significant risks within the wholesale market. He achieves this by monitoring daily market conditions against seasonal normal demand within YPO's customer portfolio(s) - scoping opportunities into current and forward contract periods.