Small Scale Pellet Plants

Here at PelHeat we focus on small scale pellet equipment from our Mini Pellet Mill to our pellet plants. The equipment we offer is designed and manufactured here in the UK. If the pellet plants below are not suitable for your project for any reason we also now offer an affordable consultation service.

Small Pellet Plant
Small Pellet Plant

The productivity per hour of these pellet plants ranges from 250 Kg/h of wood/biomass pellets (single pellet press) up to 2,000 kg/h of wood/biomass pellets (multiple press plant). For lower density materials such as feed pellets the productivity per hour of the plants is much higher, for instance a single press pellet plant can produce up to 1,000 kg/h of feed pellets.

The Pellet Plant Process

The video above gives an introduction to the features and components of a typical wood pellet plant. The process starts with a raw material bin feeding a gravity hammer mill. If the raw material is above 15% moisture a dryer would be installed before the hammer mill.

After the hammer mill a small amount of binder (modified corn starch) can be added to the raw material to aid the process. The material is then carried to the top of the pellet mill to the conditioner chamber, here small amounts of water/vegetable oil can be added to aid the process within the pellet press. After the pellets are formed a knife cuts the pellets to the desired length.

The pellets now pass over a screen known as a fines sieve to remove dust from the pellets before they are cooled and carried to a storage vessel. From here the pellets can be then packaged into small bags or large dumpy bags.

Automation and Labour Costs

Automation is very important when it comes to operating a pellet mill and pellet plant. One of the highest costs in all forms of manufacturer is labour. Therefore keeping labour costs under control and to a minimum is very important in keeping production costs down and profits up.

Many other small pellet production lines on the market today offer either no automation or very limited automation. For a pellet plant to be truly automated each process needs to be aware of the other. As you can see from the video below all of the components on this small pellet plant are linked together through one central control panel. This means that you have precise control over the process and if there is an issue at any stage of the process the control panel will alert you to the issue. No other small scale pellet plant offers you such a sophisticated pellet plant control system, replicating the process of professional plants.

Typical Small Pellet Plant Customers

Today pellets are been used in many different industries and markets. Wood pellets are just one example of the type of pellets that can be produced. Before the fuel pellet market even existed the animal feed market fulfilled most of the demand for small pellet plants and mills.

However now due to the rise in the cost of fossil fuels and the demand for low carbon renewable energy, wood pellets and other biomass fuel pellets are the fastest growing market for pellets. These pellet plants have been purchased by saw mills and other wood waste processors to make wood pellets to meet the demands of the industrial and domestic markets. Farmers are also installing these small scale pellet plants to process biomass materials such as Miscanthus, Straw, Hemp and other grasses into fuel pellets. There are many possibilities to produce pellets for different uses efficiently on a highly automated small scale pellet plant.

Installation and Commissioning Of The Pellet Plant

We can provide a complete turn-key installation of the pellet plant at your location. Once an order has been made and the plant has been delivered to your location, engineers can be sent to completely construct and wire up the electrics on the small pellet plant ready for use.

We will also provide a full commissioning of the pellet plant to check the plant is in full working order. Our team will spend a few days with the intended operator to teach them the process of operating the pellet plant and the necessary maintenance that needs to be carried out. The operator will be educated in the process of making quality pellets, and how to adjust the process to maximise pellet quality, minimise energy consumption and wear of consumables such as the roller and die. This service is vital for you to be able to efficiently operate the pellet plant safely and keep the small pellet plant running for hours on end.

What Materials Can Be Used In The Pellet Mill?

Many different materials can be compressed into pellet form for many different uses. Wood pellets are very popular and the pellet mill can process both hard woods and soft woods into pellet form. Wood pellets are generally used for fuel in pellet stoves or boilers, alternatively they are also used for animal bedding and for BBQ/smoking pellets.

However wood is just one material which can be compressed into pellet form. Many other biomass materials can also be compressed into pellets such as Miscanthus, Reed, Hemp, Switchgrass and other straws and grasses. You may have a more unique material which you wish to compress into pellet form. Our small scale pellet plants are highly flexible and can be quickly modified to change the parameters to pellet different materials.

Customers Pellet Plants

Grass Pellet Plant (400 kg/h) – Ukraine

Wood Pellet Plant (250 kg/h) – England

Miscanthus Pellet Plant (250 kg/h) – England

Horse Feed Pellet Plant (1,000 kg/h) – England

[contact-form-7 id=”34″ title=”Contact Form 1″]

The Mini Pellet Mill For Wood, Biomass And Feed Pellets

The Mini Pellet Mill: For The Home, Lab or Small Workshop

Mini Pellet Mill Small
Mini Pellet Mill

If you are interested in producing pellets on a small scale, the Mini Pellet Mill is the most advanced small pellet mill on the market. Though small in size the Mini Pellet Mill has features seen only previously on professional large scale professional pellet mills.

Testing, Training and Research

Through replicating the compression process of commercial machines the Mini Pellet Mill can be used to conduct material tests and training before investment in a pellet plant. Many of our Mini Pellet Mill customers originally started discussing their need for a small scale pellet plant and decided to start their project with the Mini Pellet Mill.

Single Phase or Three Phase Supply

Mini Pellet Mill Controls
Mini Pellet Mill Controls

The pellet maker uses a 3kW electric motor which operates at full capacity on a three phase electrical supply. We can setup the machine to operate from a single phase supply where the motor runs at 2.2kW through a standard electrical socket. The press can be setup to operate from most international voltages and Hz, including US domestic 110V supplies.

Raw Material Hopper

Mini Pellet Mill Hopper
Mini Pellet Mill Hopper

Material is fed into the top of the machine, at the base of the hopper is a variable speed feed auger which moves the material into the conditioner below. Before the raw material is placed into the hopper it must be reduced to a suitable particle size. We now also offer a Mini Hammer Mill for final size reduction.

Raw Material Conditioner

Once the raw material drops in the conditioner there are two drip tanks which can hold water and vegetable oil as well as other liquids. Small amounts of these liquids can be added to the raw material to either increase or reduce compression within the pellet mill die. The conditioner then mixes the raw materials and liquids consistently while metering the material into the die chamber.

Raw Materials and Productivity

Wood Pellets Made By The Mini Pellet Mill
Wood Pellets Made By The Mini Pellet Mill

The Mini Pellet Mill can process many different raw materials from wood, straws, grasses, energy crops and feed materials. We also have clients processing other unique and niche materials.

For wood pellets and other biomass pellets to be used as a fuel between 20-30 kg/h can be produced. For feed pellets up to 100 kg/h is possible depending on the diameter of the pellets.

Ring Die Design With Twin Rollers

Mini Pellet Mill Ring Die
Mini Pellet Mill Ring Die

The Mini Pellet Mill features a ring die design which is used by most commercial pellet plants, the majority of small pellet presses use the inferior flat die design.

The design of the Mini Pellet Mill also enables good access to the pellet die compression chamber for cleaning and maintenance. Four bolts secure the door which can quickly be removed as seen in the video above.

Mini Pellet Mill Rollers
Mini Pellet Mill Rollers

The ring die design produces pellets of a higher quality more consistently. It features reduced roller and die wear compared to flat die pellet mills and its is also more energy efficient. Material enters the center of the die from the conditioner above. The two rollers then compress the material through the die and they are cut to size with the adjustable knife.

Typical Mini Pellet Mill Customers

There are many multinational companies, national research centres and universities using this press for research and testing purposes in labs. We also have many clients using this press to produce pellets for market research before investment in a pellet plant and to help secure funding. There are a wide range of circumstances where the Mini Pellet Mill is good starting point for a pellet project.

The Mini Pellet Mill is manufactured here in the UK and we export around the world.

£4,995 + Delivery

If you would like a quotation on the Mini Pellet Mill for your project please complete the form below.

Q&A

What is the price of the Mini Hammer Mill?

Mini_Hammer_Mill
Mini Hammer Mill for particle size reduction below 5mm

If you raw material requires size reduction before it can be used in the Mini Pellet Mill we also offer the Mini Hammer Mill as an additional tool. The hammer mill works on gravity and material flows from top to bottom and it mounted to a worktop. It has a 0.75kW single phase  motor (240V/50Hz). The Mini Hammer Mill has a weight of 30kg and a productivity per hour of 10-100 kg/h depending on the raw material. We supply the Mini Hammer Mill with 3mm and 6mm screens. The price is £1,495 + Delivery.

Can you prepare a Mini Pellet Mill quote with delivery costs included?

Yes, as part of the quotation whether you are based in the UK or abroad we can prepare a Mini Pellet Mill quotation including delivery. We can quote door to door for either sea freight or air freight in most cases. If required we can also quote just to your closest sea/air port so you can arrange collection. If you have your own import agents that you would prefer to use we can also quote ex factory with just the packaging costs.

Is the Mini Pellet Mill suitable for making fuel pellets at home?

While the size and scale of the Mini Pellet Mill means it can be operated from home, its not a viable machine for the production of fuel pellets from home. The Mini Pellet Mill has a productivity per hour of 20-30kg/h for high density fuel pellets of either softwood, hardwood or other biomass materials such as straws and grasses. As the Mini Pellet Mill requires supervision of the process it means that producing 20-30 kg/h is not a viable use of the your time, as it also does not factor in the material preparation time and packaging of the pellets. There are many small pellet mills advertised on the internet as been suitable for producing pellets from home, however in reality in most cases its not a viable project.

Can the Mini Pellet Mill really make 100% hardwood fuel pellets?

Mini Pellet Mill Hardwood Pellets
Can the Mini Pellet Mill really produce 100% hardwood pellets?

Yes, the Mini Pellet Mill can take 100% hardwood sawdust which has been properly prepared and produce high density fuel pellets compatible to all of todays highest standards. To be properly prepared first the moisture content of the hardwood sawdust must be below 15%, generally 12% produces the best results. If the hardwood sawdust is too dry then the Mini Pellet Mill with its drip tank can add sufficient water into the process which is then mixed through the conditioner before it enters the compression chamber. The particle size of the hardwood sawdust must also have passed through a 5mm screen to be processed through a 6mm die. 6mm is the standard diameter for fuel pellets for the use in pellet stoves and boilers.

What about using pellet binders in the Mini Pellet Mill?

A powered binder such as modified corn starch at a 1-2% inclusion can make the process of making pellets a lot easier. For instance it can reduce the chance of die blockages and slightly increase the productivity per hour. It can also widen the moisture tolerance, so good pellets can be produced slightly outside of the ideal moisture zone. A pellet binder such a modified corn starch is commonly used in the pellet industry as processing aid.

Can the Mini Pellet Mill make pellets from paper and cardboard?

Cardboard Pellets
Can the Mini Pellet Mill produce cardboard or paper pellets?

The answer to this question is technically yes, however its more difficult than processing other biomass materials and requires additional equipment. Where with biomass/wood a hammer mill is suitable for size reduction below 5mm, a hammer mill is not suitable for paper/cardboard. Once paper or cardboard is processed through a hammer mill the result is a very light fluffy material. The issue is that this material will not flow through the hopper on the Mini Pellet Mill or will get caught up in the feed auger/conditioner. Also once in the compression chamber this light fluffy material does not fall in the compression gap between the rollers and die consistently. The only way to process paper and cardboard with the Mini Pellet Mill is to use a cross cutting shredder which will produce small 5mm x 5mm squares which will then flow through the Mini Pellet Mill hopper and feed augers.

I have a range of biomass materials I need to trial, is the Mini Pellet Mill able to make pellets from a wide range of biomass?

Mini Pellet Mill dies at different compression ratios
Mini Pellet Mill dies at different compression ratios

If as part of your project you need to produce pellets from a wide range of biomass materials of different densities we can provide the Mini Pellet Mill with a low, medium and high compression 6mm die set. Along with the water and oil drip tanks fitted to the Mini Pellet Mill this will give you the flexibility to test a wide range of biomass materials and mixtures. A different compression ratio is achieved by manufacturing the die with a different inlet taper on the entry of the hole. The objective is to achieve a pellet of sufficient density without creating too much compression that the rollers cannot force the material through the die, which would lead to a blockage.

Can the Mini Pellet Mill be used to produce feed pellets?

Mini Pellet Mill Feed Pellets
Can the Mini Pellet Mill produce feed pellets?

Yes, in fact we can offer a wider range of pellet mill dies for the Mini Pellet Mill for feed pellet production compared to processing wood pellets in which we only offer the 6mm dies. For feed pellets we can offer the Mini Pellet Mill with dies as small as 2.8mm a scale up in various mm increments up to 8mm. Please note the Mini Pellet Mill can produce feed pellets for fish but they are only suitable for bottom feeding fish, as the pellets will sink.

Can grass and straw pellets be produced with the Mini Pellet Mill?

Mini Pellet Mill Straw Pellets
Straw pellets made with the Mini Pellet Mill

Yes, many different grass and straws can be made with the Mini Pellet Mill. Straws generally have a moisture content below 15% when properly stored, however with grasses the moisture content made need attention and drying. Examples of grasses include switchgrass, reed canary grass and miscanthus. Straws such as wheat and barley straw can also be processed however first the material must be processed through a hammer mill such as the Mini Hammer Mill to produce particles below 5mm.

Do any clients use the Mini Pellet Mill for production purposes?

Yes, while the low productivity per hour is not viable for producing standard grade wood pellets for fuel, there are other niche businesses that can still be profitable. For instance the Mini Pellet Mill could be used for the production of small volumes of custom feed/animal pellets that contain certain vitamins or supplements. It could also be the production of niche flavours and varieties of BBQ smoking pellets. In these examples the high value per kg of the pellets means the low productivity per hour of the Mini Pellet Mill is still viable.

Is the Mini Pellet Mill suitable for processing chicken manure waste/used horse bedding?

We get asked this question quite a lot and for good reason. Once processed into pellets chicken manure/horse manure can have a high value when properly packaged and sold to garden centres for instance as a soil conditioner. The Mini Pellet Mill can process chicken manure and horse manure as long as the moisture content is below 15% and the material has been reduced in size, for instance with the Mini Hammer Mill. This small press can be a good starting point to produce small volume of pellets in properly packaged branding to try and secure suitable distributors. With distributors on board this would make it a lot easier to secure the required finance for a pellet plant.