While some plants exclusively use straw or wood chips, others are preparing for a future of flexibility by firing with multi-fuel.
Today there are a large number of plants using different types of biomass to produce energy. While some exclusively use straw or wood chips, others are preparing for a future of flexibility by firing with multi-fuel – a mixture of various kinds of biomass, contaminated bio waste, and certain types of refuse-derived fuels (RDF).
A multi-fuel facility works in very much the same way as a traditional waste-to-energy plant. The “fuel” (municipal waste, industrial/agricultural by-products, bio waste, refuse-derived fuels, etc.), is fed to a grate where it is burned, thus creating heat that is used to fire boilers, which in turn generate hot water or steam to drive electricity producing turbines.
The challenge of firing with multi-fuel lies in the widely differing characteristics of biomass fuel. Multi-fuel technology must be able to handle several different methods of combustion and ensure an optimum, thoroughly reliable result for each type of fuel.
Three key technological considerations
Because of the differences outlined above, an effective multi-fuel facility will require:
- Appropriate feeder systems for different fuels (e.g. RDF, pellets, straw, chips, lumps)
- Appropriate grate technology (often a vibrating grate is the best choice)
- Optimal mixing of flue gasses
Our multi-fuel technology is the result of decades of experience with various fuels within biomass and waste-to-energy. This has given us a singular ability to combine know-how and our technology from both business sectors.
Read more about multi-fuels and the technology in our multi-fuel section.