The flax crop generates large amounts of flax straw and the disposal of this by-product is a major environmental issue in flax-growing regions. Flax straw is poorly degraded and difficult to plough under, since the fibres wrap themselves around and/or plug disks, wheels and shovels. For that reason, flax straw is often burnt on the ground, which causes air pollution and health concerns. If the flax straw is made into fuel pellets through a biomass pellet machine for power generation or heating,which may alleviate the environmental problems caused by this residue.
Biomass Pellet Machine-the Correct Utilization Method Of Flax Straw
In the past, finding a good alternative to wood has been hard, as with most straws, and hays, corns etc you get a lot of clinkers that jam up either your air flow or worse yet your auger system. After experimenting with flax straw, I am in complete awe, they burn as good as wood, and ash is that of any average ash producing wood. No clinkers, nothing, just powdery ash.
The fuel pellet is preferably manufactured by first processing the flax stem fiber material. In preferred embodiments, the bulk flax stem fiber is run through a hammermill, a grinder or the like, with a suitable amount of water, optionally in the form of steam used to add moisture to the flax stem fiber material, to process the flax stem fiber. In preferred embodiments, the flax stem fiber material is reduced in particle size by as much as possible by means of hammermill processing to allow for more efficient processing, greater pellet density and better finished product cohesion. The reduced flax straw material must then be assessed for moisture content, so as to determine the need to add or subtract moisture level for optimum extrusion results. The preferred moisture level for extrusion of the milled flax straw is preferably from about 5 to about 12%. The flax straw is fed into the intake chamber of an industrial pellet mill, in this case a Richi Straw Biomass Pellet Mill model MZLH, where the straw is drawn into the machine by means of a variable speed mechanical auger. If the addition of moisture is indicated, this increased moisture level is preferably achieved by the addition of steam. High temperature steam, preferably in excess of 500 degrees F., generally referred to as “dry steam”, is believed to be more effective for the successful addition of moisture to flax straw, resulting in moisture penetration into the straw core and thus raising moisture levels without excess water on the surface of the stems and straw material, and resulting in better extrusion of the base product. If the flax straw has too much moisture content, a number of strategies can be employed to reduce the moisture content of the base product, including air drying of the base product, the addition of dry flax straw or dry reduced flax straw, or the forced drying of the product by means of forcing heated air over the flax straw material.
A binder, preferably a lubricant is then added to the processed flax stem fiber as it is extruded through a commercial pelletizing machine (e.g. a Richi Straw Biomass Pellet Mill model MZLH) to produce cut pellets, preferably having a density of at least about 40 lbs/ft3.
The resulting fuel pellets may be used in residential heating appliances such as pellet stoves, pellet boilers, pellet furnaces, and the like. Commercial applications of the present invention include, but are not limited to, commercial stoker type boilers, furnaces and heating appliances. The present invention may also be utilized in grain dryer type applications as well.
Yes I process the flax straw myself. I have a system like this photo provided, this is the smallest system available. They can get much larger, up to 1/2 tonne to 1 tonne an hour output. It all depends what your needs are, if you want to go production scale, it is better to have a couple of processors, better two smaller units than 1 larger in case of maintenance or other shut downs.
After experimenting with flax straw, I am in complete awe, they burn as good as wood. No clinkers, nothing, just powdery ash. Now that this has been established I am proud to say that I have been working with Richi machinery-a good company for over 4 years from China, and I know what you say china crap, but you get what you pay for is the bottom line, with some hard work you find the right people, as I have.
They have supported me and (my learning curve) to the point where I have really become good at this, and can turn bales of anything in to pure energy as I convert the pellets to SYN GAS, then run a generator that charges the batteries when solar and wind are not enough.
Can run the generator for over 6 hours straight, smoother than running on gas, and a **** of lot cheaper. Does not have the caloric energy as gasoline, but about 65-70% of it, so I can get 2500 watts at 200 volts so that's 25 amps, any more draw than that you start to drop below 200 volts, but that's plenty amps to charge the batteries well.
Flax is a summer annual erect plant, 20 to 150 cm high, with a tap root. The height and the branching habit depend on the end-use of the plant. Large-seeded genotypes intended for oil production are many branched and shorter than typical fibre flax. Flax leaves are alternate, linear to linear-lanceolate, 15-55 mm long x 3-13 mm broad, and drop as the plant matures. The flowers are apically borne in panicle-like inflorescences. The fruits are round, dry capsules, of 5-9 mm in diameter, which contain 10 seeds in large-seeded oil varieties and less in fibre varieties. Linseeds are ovoid, 3.3-5 mm long. The weight of 1000 seeds ranges from 4 to 13 g. The seeds are yellow, dark brown or olive coloured.
Flax Straw Pellet
Flax production yields several by-products:
1.Flax straw (or linseed straw) is the vegetative part of the plant left in the field after harvesting of linseeds for oil production.
2.Flax chaff (or flax boll chaff) results from the winnowing of flax for linseed cleaning.
3.Flax shives are the non-fibrous part of the stems (not including the seeds) remaining after extraction of the bast fibre (the fibre surrounding the phloem in the stem) in flax fibre production.
4.Flax residues are a mixture of discarded plant parts including shives, leaves, corticles, bolls, immature seeds, etc.
5.Fresh flax forage: flax crops delayed by weather and damaged by frost can result in incomplete seed development, and in some cases, regrowth, including flowering, may have occurred on the green plant. However, while fresh flax forage is nutritious, it may contain toxic amounts of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and nitrates, and farmers should exercise caution before feeding it to livestock (see Potential constraints on the "Nutritional aspects" tab)
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