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Ever wondered how biomass fuel is made?

21 May 2015

The waste wood that arrives at our Hazlehead site can and does vary in size. In order to turn it into a biomass fuel, it needs to be processed into small shreds 4mm to 120mm in size.

To enable us to do this, a bespoke plant has been designed and built with the capacity to process up to 80 tonnes of wood per hour. Currently, this is the only plant in the country that can quickly and efficiently process such large volumes of wood. 

So how does it work?

Below is a flow diagram showing the processes from waste wood to biomass fuel.


                                                                                         Process flow direction

For a larger diagram, click here

Step 1. Unprocessed wood is tipped into the feed bunker. The wood is then carried up a conveyer belt where it passes under a magnet which removes any ferrous metals. All metal recovered is sent to other reprocessers and recycled.  

Step 2. An airknife at the top of the conveyer belt cuts any contaminants such as paper and plastics from the wood so that it can be removed.

Step 3. The wood then passes through a screen which removes small particles under 120mm in size. These smaller particles are processed in step 4. Wood over 120mm in size moves along a conveyer belt and through a picking shed. Contamination such as plastic and rubble is removed by hand. The wood pieces are then re-shredded to a smaller size.

Step 4. The wood passes through eddy current separator and magnets to remove non-ferrous and ferrous metals. These metals are sent to other reprocesser and recycled. 

Step 5. The wood is then passed through screens. Wood smaller than 4mm, known as fines, are loaded onto lorries and sent to other reprocessers for recycling. Biomass fuel between 4mm – 120mm is loaded onto lorries for transporting direct to the renewable energy plant. Wood over 120mm passes back through the plant and is re-shredded to the correct size.