Biomass developments at Lask Edge Farm

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now, it is about a mobile pellet making unit being developed by father and son team Robert & Christopher Scott, at Lask Edge Farm in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

The idea for a mobile pellet making unit arose when they were looking at alternative methods of heating Lask Edge Farm and an interest in biomass as fuel source, and that upgrading biomass into pellets being the most convenient solution. However the pellet market is dominated by large scale expensive (£50,000 upwards) production solutions, therefore Robert and Christopher decide to develop their ideas into small scale mobile and static pellet production units, which eventually became pelheat. While the unit is still a prototype the first production machines should be on sale by the end of the year with an approximate price of £20,000.

The process involved in the production of pellets is fairly simple with material being hand fed into a hammer mill and then into a hopper from where it is augered into a pellet mill that produces either 6mm or 8mm diameter pellets. Water or oil can be added at this stage to help bind the pellets. Almost anything with a moisture content of less than 15% can be pelletised, including wheat and barley straw, oilseed rape cake (what is left after the oil has been extracted), dry woodchips, sawdust, miscanthus, canary or switch grass and cardboard.

There are a number of boilers on the market that can burn the pellets and it would not take long to produce the 10t that would be typically need to heat a farmhouse for six hours a day for four months of the years using a 50Kw burner. The real benefit however would come from selling the pellets to other biomass boiler users.

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