Summerhill Biomass Systems

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Milestone in Summerhill wood powder testing

Authored by Chen Wei (David) Zheng:

Summerhill Biomass Systems uses and consults on green and sustainable biofuel processing –  including wood powders. We  evaluate our clients’ materials for acceptability as a powder form of biofuel. In addition to planning and selecting the optimum “powdering” methods, we  look at sizing and combust-ability  of materials using a Summerhill burner.

Test Table

The above table(Click it to enlarge) shows the results of a test result on a sample set of powder variables recently used on a Summerhill Biomass System.  Two bags of wood powder were used from the same source. One bag has been opened for two years, while the other one is fresh (unopened). The green, red and black lines represent different variables tested with the first bag. Red was toasted for 2 hours. Black was toasted for 1 hour. Green was tested in an as-is state, after separating out the larger particles that had congealed over time. The grey line represents the fresh bag of wood powders, which was unopened, but had been stored in a barn for two years. The lines all demonstrates the distribution of particle size across each of the samples.

Combustible particles are larger than 100 micrometres. Hence, the yellow area on the table shows the burnable range. The first picture in the left hand side of the table strongly correlates to a powder particle sizes between 50 to 80 micrometres won’t burn even with a robust fire source such as a propane torch. Furthermore, compared to the open bag powders, flame of the fresh powder is less distorted, which manifests a far more thorough combustion.  Summerhill Biomass Systems Inc. has performed initial  emmision tests confirming no presence of volatile organic compounds(VOC).   These results demonstrated that the carbon monoxide levels were 1/5 those produced with a new pellet furnace.   Thus, a bright, clean and ordourless flame is a result of complete combustion.

According to the test results, biofuels in powder form are a perfect candidate for a sustainable energy resource, especially when sized larger than 100 micrometres.

Powders TestA quick and dirty test we perform in the workshop(please click the gif picture for the animation). Don’t try this at home please:

1.Tape the plastic tube(1/4 inch diameter) into the bottom of a cup tightly.
2.Powders are all put into the cup by a soft paintbrush, in order to make powders loose enough, while they could be compressed.
3.A propane hand torch is used to provide a stable ignition source.
4.Blow(around 100 mph) the tube so as to spread powders out and burn them thoroughly.
Burner 2014-07-23 13.41.29

Another remarkable thing is a burner invented and made by our Chief Engineer J. Kimball McKnight. Here are photos took in the 8th annual Biomass Energy Workshop held at the Big Flats Plant Materials Center in Big Flats, NY (07/23/2014). Kim was showing how the burner works for representatives. That was one small step for Summerhill Biomass System; one giant leap for biofuel.

Thu, July 24 2014 » Biomass Fuel

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