High Biomass Potential in Thailand
● Rice: rice straw, rice husk. Rice husk is a byproduct of the rice milling process. Rice husks are usually burned or dumped in landfills. However they can be used in power generation. One kilogram of rice husk can produce nearly a kilowatt hour of electricity.
● Sugarcane: sugarcane leaves and tops, bagasse. Sugarcane trash and bagasse are the byproduct of harvesting and sugarcane milling process. They can be converted into biomass pellets by biopellet making machine and pellets made from sugarcane bagasse can be used in dedicated biomass power stations or co-fired with coal in power plants and cement kilns.
● Corn: stems, leaves, corn cob.
● Cassava: cassava roots
● Oil palm tree: palm truck, palm tree leaves, palm kernel shell, empty fruit bunches.
● Rubber tree: roots and leaves of branches, small rubber wood, slab rubber wood, rubber wood chips and sawdust.
● Soybean: top, leave and stem.
● Mung bean: top, leave and stem.
● Peanut: top, leave, stem and peanut kernel shell.
Among these biomass resources, sugarcane, rice, oil palm and wood wastes are four major biomass sources. They are mainly generated and collected from rice mills, sugar mills, oil palm mill, and wood processing industry. Sugarcane and rice are mostly concentrated in the northern and northeastern regions of the country, while the oil palm is mainly in the southern region.
Good Opportunity for Thailand Rice Husk and Sugarcane Bagasse Fuel Pellet Production
Depending to the report, Thailand is the second-largest energy consumer in the region, ranked behind just Indonesia. They import a large amount of fossil fuel which was met the demand of them. Nowadays, different kinds of biomass pellets are popularity in commercial use and personal use which can replace the demand of traditional fuels. Rice husk pellets and bagasse pellets have always been an important energy source for human beings. And more and more people pay attention to the friendly environment, so the market of rice husk pellets and bagasse pellets have a greatly improved.
No matter in Thailand or EU, rice husk pellets and bagasse pellets were eagerly demanded. The EU’s 20-20-20 policy has created an international market for biomass pellets. It is pointed out that the European Commission expects biomass for heat and power generation will play an important role in meeting renewable energy targets. As biomass pellets, rice husk pellets and bagasse pellets become more and more popularity all over the word. Consumption is high in many EU countries and the US. Demand in 2011 is about 4Mtonnes and yearly growth is above 10%. And the U.K. is the largest consumer of pellets, with a large demand of this year. According to the Europeans biomass Association, it is expected that Europe will reach a consumption of 50 million tons per year by 2020 compared with 8 million tons per year in 2009. Rice husk pellets and bagasse pellets trade likely to grow strongly in the future to match supply & demand. In order to achieve the 2020 renewable energy targets, EU countries will most likely increase rice husk pellets and bagasse pellets consumption in residential and commercial sectors as well.
As a renewable energy, rice husk and bagasse are no only industry residuals. We can take full advantages of them to make fuel pellets. In the past year, Thailand has produced about 6,000,000 tons rice husk and 25,200,000 tons bagasse. If we can make full use of them into pellets, we will produced about 6,000,000 tons rice husk pellets and 25,200,000 tons bagasse pellets, it can cut down the imports fossil fuels and reduce the greenhouse effect effectively. However, the production of biomass pellets can’t match with the demand of pellets, there will be a large amount of importers. Biomass pellets is a sunrise industry. In the future, they will become more and more popular all over the word.
Biomass Pellet Production in Thailand
The growing global demand of wood pellets especially in Asia Market stimulates the wood pellet manufacturing industry in Thailand. There are many good quality wood pellet producers in Thailand and most of their wood pellets are exported to East Asia, such as South Korea, Japan. Thus Thailand has mastered the biomass pellet producing technology. Thailand imported wood pellet plant equipment is mainly from China pellet machinery factory.
The whole wood pellet plant processing procedure includes material grinding, material drying, pelletizing, pellets cooling and pellets packaging.
To make pellets, the biomass material is ground in the hammer mill to reduce the material size which is less than the thickness of the pellet to be produced. If the moisture content of the material is high, it is dried in the drying machine, the proper moisture content is about 8%-15%. Then the pre-processed material is fed in to the pellet making machine. Under the pressure between the pellet die and roller, material is pressed out to form the cylindrical solid fuel, that is biomass pellets. When the pellets comes out of the pellet mill, the temperature is high, so they are sent to the pellets cooling machine to be cooled to harden and they screened to separate residual fines. The quality pellets are packaged for sale or stored for personal use.
Thai Government Support of the Use of Wood Pellet
NATIONAL NEWS BUREAU OF THAILAND reported on February 1, 2015 that “ The Ministry of Energy is considering a plan to promote the use of wood pellets in the country’s industry to lessen the reliance on imported fuel.
The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency is in the process of studying an investment plan to replace existing factory furnaces with units using wooden pellets. According to the Energy Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary Twarath Sutabutr, the government may invest either 30 or 50 percent of the purchase of suitable furnaces while the remaining percentage would be the responsibility of the private sector.”.
This move will help to increase domestic consumption of wood pellets. Therefore, it is a good news for Thailand wood pellet manufactures especially ones who want to start biomass pellets business. Along with the large amount available biomass resources, mature biomass pellet production technology and affordable pellet making machines, it will promote the development of Thailand wood pellet market.