Summerhill engineers have been performing demos in the past few months and the common questions we have encountered include queries regarding feedstock. Our demonstrations used both soft and hardwood chips as a raw feedstock.
Other feedstock used includes tobacco leaf by-product, corn stalk, lignin, citrus peel, cotton by-product, wheat chaff , and confectioner sugar. Findings from ongoing tests consistently conclude that the importance is particle size – not material type. Efficiency in producing powder is dependent on moisture content and fiber characteristics.
Summerhill selects the proper fuel preparation method for partners as part of the fuel production design process.
When combined with air and exposed to an ignition source at the burner element, where the powder to air proportions are at the right ratio, the fuel will combust in a controlled fashion. When burned in a Summerhill burner, powder burns like a gas. In operation, the Summerhill burner looks like a large propane torch. It can be turned on and off at will (instant on/off ), and can be controlled with a thermostat. Summerhill powder burns as cleanly as natural gas. The powder is reduced to such a small size that the combustion is virtually complete.