10:00, 8th March 2017
New technology to boost decentralized energy
A new drying technique developed in Finland is likely to benefit combined heat and power and heat network technologies.
An artificial dryer deployed at the Natural Resources Institute Finland is being used to dry wood chips in a way that makes them more effective for bioenergy use.
The dryer, in the form of a shipping container, is developed by Finnish company SFTec and claims to have overcome some of the technical issues that have defied other dryers, when it comes to eliminating moisture in fuel chips, which affects heating value and the amount of energy obtained from the chips.
Damp forest chips burn imperfectly, which also means that emissions increase.
Bioenergy News reports that such chips are used in heating buildings, in small-scale district heating plants and in heating and power plants for towns and industry. They are collected from young forests, from logging residues in regeneration fellings and from stumps and rot damaged trunks.
“The higher the moisture content of fuel chips, the less energy they provide,” said Juha Laitila, principal research scientist at Luke.
“There are a wide range of artificial dryers on the market. The advantage of our dryer lies in that relative to its size the equipment is efficient, easily moveable and it is suitable for various materials, including wood chips,” said SFTec managing director Jani Isokääntä.