Case Stories on Pellet Technology
At this page you find short descriptions of collected case stories about succesful technologies for production, distribution and consumption of pellets in various European countries.
The case stories are divided into three main categories under which you can find the related case stories. The categories are wood pellet production, pellet combustion and logistics.
All of the below mentioned case stories are used to derive a best practice suggestion for the implementation of pellets. The result and report is published on this website under "Best Practice".
Wood pellet production
The general characteristics for these cases are:
- Pellets are mostly made from pure wood, but in some cases also from mixed agricultural and forestry residues (Germany). This latter trend is getting more attention as it enlarges the potential resources, solves a waste problem and decreases the cost of the input material for the pelletising.
- Production capacity is mostly within the range of 3-10 ton/hour, but there are also organisations that produce 1 ton/hour or as much as 30 ton/hour.
- Specific investment costs vary up to +/- 50%, but the average is approximately 100 Euro for each ton/year capacity. Only in Poland, which was the only CEEC producer of pellets in these case studies, the specific investment costs were only 23 Euro.
- The motivation for investing in the pellet technology ranged from a good market demand, usage of set aside land, usage of waste to creation of new jobs.
- Ulricehamn pellet mill, Sweden
- BIO-PELET pelleting plant, Poland
- Juupajoki pellet factory, Finland
- Oy Lardella Ab, Finland
- HPC BIOTEC Oberlausitz GmbH, Germany
- Westerwälder Holzpellets GmbH, Germany
- Skellefteå Kraft AB, Sweden
The majority of the case studies describe the application of pellets, mostly for only heating, but in a few cases (large plants) also for cogeneration.
150 kW biofuel plant
In this case, the principal motivations are an important characteristic for marketing activities toward this group:
- Reduction of operation costs was achieved in many of the cases
- Environmental awareness was important for both private users and companies. in some cases of (touristic) activity, the environemntal awareness of the client was an important mover towards application of pellet technology
- Comfort has been mentioned in a few cases. This may also mean, for small users, the visibility of the fireplace
- The high local availability (and visibility) of biomass creates an awareness of security of supply, stable prices and social local progress. These three features are seen as a reward of using pellets
- Demonstration was also a reason in some cases
Also the way how to reach the user is important. In the following case studies, we see several ways.
- Pellet fired boiler room in individual house, Poland
- Pellet boilers in school, Poland
- Kindergarten, Germany
- Small scale pellet combustion in a private single family house, Austria
- Small-scale central heating, Finland
- Himmerlands Course centre, Tranum Strand, Denmark
- Them Swim bath, Denmark
- The European Theatre Folk High School, Rødkilde, Denmark
- Old chip boiler reconstructed to pellets for Osara farming school, Finland
- Pellet heat centre for a local school of Malis-kylä, Finland
- Cofiring pellets and coal in 100 MW plant, Finland
- First pellet heated schoolhouse, Estonia
- Pellet used in converted oil boiler heating schoool and sport centre in Jönköping, Sweden
- Small-scale district heating in Lundsbruun Hotel and Spa, Sweden
- Pellet heating in a Residential college for adult education, Sweden
- Heat from pellets for chicken breeding, Sweden
- Use of biomass in Klokocov Municipality, Slovakia
- Pellets used for heating a hotel in Lana, Italy
In this sector, few case studies are available and only from Austria. The actors that present them are fuel trading centres with various fuels, including fossil fuels. In one case, it is a cooperative with farmers. Both are more or less forced to include biofuels, because of the decreasing market for fossil fuels. Besides, also the interesting prices and the environemntal awareness contribute to this trend.
Different examples of pellet deliveries
There are several aspects to note:
Adding pellets to the other fuels in a portfolio is an effective way to insert them into the market, especially if accompanied with special marketing actions.
On one side, the market for fossil fuels is decreasing, on the other side, environmental awareness contribute to an increasing market share of pellets.
The two examples represent nearly only the trade aspect, they do not present well what could be done for other aspects of logistics (collection of biomass from fields and forests etc.)
- GENOL - Energy in motion, Austria
- Karl Stadlober Brennstoffe