People at B&W Vølund

How a biomass-fired energy plant works

Biomass is a renewable fuel and is considered CO2-neutral. Our biomass technology solves serious problems by protecting the earth and atmosphere from greenhouse gas emissions.

Using materials from nature to heat, cook and produce energy is by no means a new concept. In fact, it is the oldest source of renewable energy, used since our ancestors first learned to use fire.

Today we can recover energy from biomass in highly efficient energy plants – generating heat, process steam, electricity, syngas, and/or bio-oil. Most of our biomass energy solutions are combined heat and power (CHP).

Here at B&W Vølund we offer 2 main biomass technologies: energy from combustion and energy from gasification of biomass.

How does a biomass combustion plant work?

Biomass is a complicated and difficult fuel because there are so many sources, and it’s essential to understand the properties and chemical composition of each one.

Some biomass needs pre-treatment before the fuel is fed onto a combustion grate where it is burned. The heat from the combustion is used to fire the boiler, which in turn generates hot water or steam. The steam turns a turbine that produces electricity. 

Burning biomass is CO2-neutral

What distinguishes biomass as a fuel type is that it was “recently alive.” Burning biomass is CO2-neutral in the sense that when it burns, it only releases the quantity of CO2 that the plant absorbed during growth.

Using biomass as a replacement for fossil fuels reduces emissions and recycles biological waste from many forms of industrial products. Thus, biomass technology like ours solves serious problems by protecting the earth and atmosphere from greenhouse gas emissions.

In Denmark, one of the EU’s pioneers in the field of sustainable energy, 15% of all electricity and district heating is produced through alternative energy.

In this respect, biomass accounts for as much as 70% of total renewable energy consumption – consumption that is expected to increase in Denmark, the EU, and the rest of the world.

More than 30 years of experience building biomass facilities

We supply energy production systems for many different types of biomass fuel regardless of which end product you may need: heat and steam, electricity, syngas, or bio-oil.

In addition to a high degree of adaptability, our systems and technologies are known and recognised by our clients as extremely robust and at the forefront of the industry.

Your biomass defines our technology

Through the years we have developed different feeding technologies suitable for the various available types of biomass available across the world.

For instance, different ways of handling foodstuffs during harvest have led to different feeding systems that ensure maximum efficiency and maximum value (electricity/heat/syngas/bio-oil) for the biomass used.

Which combustion technology is appropriate for you also depends on the type of biomass available in your area. Most frequently our clients have one main type of biomass, but would like the option of using other types if necessary or desirable. Our technology can be adjusted to fit your needs.

Read more about fuel characteristics and combustion here.

Water-cooled vibrating grate increases utility, lowers costs and wear

The water-cooled vibrating grate has proven to be robust and highly efficient since 1990.
The grate was specially developed for fuels with little or almost no ash content, but also works very well with fuels containing ash. It is distinguished by a very high degree of utility, low maintenance costs, and minimal wear on components.

Grate panels help optimise performance

As standard, the grate panels are supplied with water from the drum and act similar to other evaporating surfaces in the boiler pressure part. Other high- or low-pressure cooling cycles can be adopted in order to optimise your overall plant performance.