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Bamboo Pellets: Green Treasure Made by a Pellet Mill

By Jack Huang    Oct 14, 2014

Bamboo

Bamboo is a natural choice for biomass energy production. Bamboo is a member of grass family though they are woody in nature. There are here are about 1250 species of bamboo in the world with a height of 10-40 cm (Scurlock et al., 2000). Bamboo can be harvested 4 times in a year and with millions and millions hectares world widely, which means bamboo is potentially a kind of sustainable biomass fuel.

Green bamboo:  a renewable fuel made by  bamboo pellet mills
Green bamboo: a renewable fuel  resource

Bamboo has already been used widely in daily life. Bamboo has been used in general construction, paper and textile production, craft production, food production, furniture production and biomass energy production.

bamboo wastes and bamboo fuel
Bamboo wastes and bamboo pellets

What’s more, because of its high growth rate and easy process, good mechanical properties, such as, low costs, multitude applications, bamboo is a promising renewable resource.

Bamboo for bio-energy

Bamboo is considered as a new source of energy. The calorific value of bamboo is 18.3 -19.7 MJ/kg , which is just like or a little bit higher than beech, spruce, and eucalypt, etc. when bamboo are harvested, bamboo chips can be crushed into sawdust and then be molded into pellets and briquettes which can be used for fireplaces and stoves.

Composition of bamboo

The composition elements of bamboo is suitable for pressing bamboo pellets. Despite the species, bamboo has similarities on the chemical and physical-mechanical properties. Generally, bamboo is composted of hemicelluloses, cellulose and lignin, just like the composition of the wood , which means bamboo can be easily processed into pellets by bamboo pellet presses.

bamboo wastes and bamboo components diagram
Bamboo has a composition that is similar with wood

The calorific value of dry bamboo is about 16 MJ/kg and the moisture content is around 13 %. The fixed carbon content is around 15 % whereas the volatile matter contents is nearly high up to 80%. The sulphur content in bamboo is non traceable and thus poses no problem. The characteristics mentioned above makes bamboo comparable to woody materials, and better than agricultural residues, such as, grasses and straw, etc.

The inorganic ash content of biomass pellets are determined by the composition of mineral constituents in the source fuel and on the combustion process( Masahiro et al.2004). The ash forming elements are mainly Na, Mg, Si, Al, Fe, Ca, Na, K, Zn and Ti. And the inorganic ash content of bamboo is shown in the below form.

Ash analysis of bamboo:

Location in the culm Si(%) Fe(%) Mg(%) Na(%) Ca(%) K(%)
Top 1.05 0.05 0.15 0.003 0.12 0.11
Middle 0.86 0.04 0.13 0.01 0.07 0.15
Bottom 1.13 0.04 0.23 0.02 0.09 0.26
Characterization For Themochemical Coversion by Dr.Anuradha Ganesh

The ash content of the bamboo is relatively low ( comparing with that of the agricultural materials), which does not influence bamboo to be a green fuel source.

Bamboo pellet fuel production

Because of the bamboo has similar composition with wood. The production of bamboo pellets are just as easy as wood pellet production.

Video on how to make bamboo pellets

The bamboo residues transported into pellet plant will be reduced into proper size, and the processed bamboo dusts will be dried and fed into bamboo pellet mills and be compressed into pellets. The newly extruded bamboo pellets will be cooled down to become solid and gain strength and at same time will be screened to separate the bamboo pellets and bamboo dust, then packed for storage or transportation. The whole procedures are shown in the following diagram . Detail information about the pellet production procedures please see How to make quality wood pellets.

bamboo pelleting procedures
Bamboo pellet production procedure diagram

Equipment involved in bamboo pellet fuel production

Usually, in an entire bamboo pellet production line the following equipment are involved:

  • Electric cabinet( to control equipment in the whole bamboo production line)
  • Hammer mill ( to grind the proper sized and dried materials into power for pelletizing)
  • Dryer(to get the moisture content ready for pelletizing)
  • Bamboo pellet machine( to pelletize the prepared materials into pellets)
  • Cooler( to cooler down the newly extruded hot pellets and hard the pellets)
  • Packing machine( to bag bamboo pellets according to requirements).

Bamboo pellet mills as the core of bamboo pellet production decides bamboo quality of the whole production line. Gemco pellet mills, including ring die bamboo pellet mills and flat die bamboo pellet mills are highly recommended for theirs’ high adaptability, easy operation and easy maintenance.

For large scale bamboo pellet production, ring die bamboo pellet machines are suggested for its high production capacity. And while for small scale bamboo pellets production, people who want to make bamboo pellets at home or want to start up a small bamboo pellet business, the flat die bamboo pellet machines are the best choice.

Flat die bamboo pellet mill profile

flat die bamboo pellet mill
ZLSP300B Bamboo Pellet Mill
  • Power: 4KW
  • Capacity: 50-90kg/h, 110-200lbs/h
  • Weight: 210/250kg, 200/230lbs
  • Packing Size:  800*450*750mm

Highlights

  • Durable gearbox with a stiffener;
  • Easy operation;
  • Compacted structure reduces occupying space;
  • High security with current overload protector and emergency stop;
  • CE certificate, brand and quality spare parts are used.

Bamboo pellet study

bamboo wastes pellets
Bamboo waste pellets

  • Product Name: Bamboo pellets fuel
  • Product Size: diameters: 6-12mm;
  • moisture content: ≤9.0%;
  • Density: ≥1.1mt/m3;
  • ash: ≤1.5%
  • Product type: biomass pellets fuel
  • Calories: 4200-4800 (kcal)
  • Length: 10-30 mm bagging

Bamboo pellets received met all the requirements of Pellet Fuels Institute Standard Specification for Residential/Commercial Densified Fuel. The gross calorific value of bamboo pellets received also met the minimum requirement for making commercial pellets according to DIN 51731(> 17, 500 j/g). what’s more, bamboo pellets presented higher combustion rates and heat release rates.

If you have abundant bamboo source, it is a chance to make fuel pellets by a bamboo pellet press for household use or for profit. Well, it’s time to think of the possibility.