Sunflower husks are produced after the seeds are de-shelled, which usually produces about 100 kilograms of seeds, with a quarter of them yielding around 16.5 kilograms of shells.
Sunflower shells are sometimes used to burn for fuel for powering oil mills, yet only a mere 50 percent of the shells are able to be fuel to make energy onsite. The other 50 percent are taken elsewhere to use for energy, composting, material for bedding, and a form of livestock roughage.
The husks are lightweight and bulky due to the fact they are low in density, so they are expensive and not practical for transport. So that makes it an irritating issue for the manufacturers of sunflower seed oil since they don’t know how to get rid of the leftover shells.
But if you have a new kind of sunflower husking pellet machine, this great product turns those formerly worthless shells into biofuel pellets which are profitable. These sunflower husking mills squeeze the shells into the pellets, so they are denser and produce 250 kilograms/m3 verses less than 100 kilograms/m3.
Sunflower shell pellets
Sunflower shells are the leftover during the process of extracting sunflower seeds for oil, so the factories end up with tons of them after finishing making the oil. Much of these shells are a product of Russia and Ukraine, but also Bulgaria is quite important game player.
Sunflower seed shells can now be used to make biofuel mass pellets. These pellets have been used for fuel in power plants in the UK and Poland. They are made by compressing the shells into cylindrical shaped pellets. They range from ten to 30 millimeters long and from six to ten millimeters wide and have a density level of 1.2 kilograms for each 1,000 cubic meters and have eight percent moisture.
Advantages of biofuel pellets
These sunflower seed shell biofuel pellets have the following advantages:
● High calorific value of 4.3-4.5 kW/kg, which is similar to coal, and is 1.6 times more than wood. When 1,000 kilograms of them are produced, they release the same heat energy as the burning of 685 liters of fuel oil, or five hundred liters of diesel oil or 479 m3 of natural gas, or 1,600 kilograms of wood.
● Extremely tough, their durability index is 18, and that makes them even harder than an olive cake. Plus, they transport easier and are very uniform in shape and weight.
● Inexpensive: If compared to other fuels, they are cheaper than gas, coal or fuel oil, therefore they are very efficient if you want a solid fuel.
● Ecofriendly: they are ecofriendly and only release the same CO2 levels as is done when biomass decomposes naturally. That means zero emission of CO2 gas. Plus, no dangerous or cancer-causing material is put out while burning them or storing them.
With these features, sunflower shell pellets are proving to be good for heating in industrial furnace usage. These benefits show these pellets are a superb choice as a biofuel.
Possible market to sell sunflower shell pellets.
The demand for alternative fuels has made it so that there is a great value in the marketing of sunflower shell pellets as biofuel, and it has caused positive dynamics to happen in the Ukraine, which grows sunflowers.
In fact, in both 2011 and 2012, 24 brand new sunflower producers, as well as 54 brand-new sunflower seed shell suppliers in the Ukrainian market due to marketing department specialists from in developing biofuel in the Ukraine. That’s why its logical these alternative fuel pellets are now so popular worldwide. The pellets are less expensive than using wood pellets, as well as being more effective than coal or gas, and they don’t pollute the air like those other fuels do.
The sunflower husk pellets are eco-friendly, and don’t have impurities like sand or dirt that can clog up fuel gear. They are sustainable since sunflower seeds are a crop and are hypoallergenic since they don’t produce spores or dust and have low ash content. Plus, they are compact and easy to store or transport.
Sunflower husks are also somewhat rare in Europe as raw material, so there is a heavy demand for them that often is more than the available supply. The fuel made from them is mostly consumed by overseas industrial businesses as an alternative to other fuel types.
Much of the available husks are sent to Poland, and other countries also have seen market shares grow, such as Moldova wanting more husks from the Ukraine, as well as heavier demand for Russian sunflower husks. Shipments are transported via road transport and ports in the Baltic and the Black Sea.
So, with all of this the relations between those who produce the sunflower husk biofuel, those who supply it and the consumers, are growing daily. All of the above work together to make more contacts and finding the best deal for everyone.
Pellets are fashioned by the compression of woody material run through a hammer mill to deliver an even doughy mass. Then it gets put through a press, squeezed through a die with precise sized holes, usually six millimeters in diameter, but it can be larger. While going through the press it heats up, and the lignin gets plasticized, which produces glue, and that keeps the pellets from falling apart until cooled.
You can also make pellets out of grassy materials, but it doesn’t have lignin. Therefore, a byproduct from the brewery industry is used, dried grains, to make it durable. A study posted by Cornell University News in 2005 reported grass pellet making in Europe was more advanced than in North America. It suggested the benefits of grass pellets to feed animals due to the ease of cultivating and processing grass and noted the short time for growing in as being a 70-day timeframe.
Agricultural professor at Cornell, Jerry Cherney, stated that grass produces 96 percent of wood heat and that you could mix any types of grasses together and cut them for processing in middle to late summer. They would then be left lying in their fields to filter out the minerals, but you don’t have to dry them, just bale and make into pellets. So, it’s cheaper to process them instead of those made of wood. The Department of Agriculture in Nova Scotia publicized project conversion of grass pellets using an oil-fired boiler at their study facility.
There are also rice husk pellets used for fuel. You make them by compression of rice husks, which are byproducts produced after harvesting rice. They are more environmentally friendly than wood, but still work similar to the wood pellets. Their energy contents are nearly 4-4.2 kcal/kg and their moisture contents are normally lower than 10 percent. Pellet size is usally no bigger than six millimeters in diameter and 25 millimeters length, but you can get them bigger as briquettes.
Rice pellets are less costly than similar ones made of other materials. Farmers can make them using low-cost machinery too. It is much cheaper than similar energy-pellets and can be compacted/manufactured from the husk at the farm itself, using cheap machinery. Where wheat is more common, wheat husks can be used instead of rice husks with similar characteristics.
Energy production and efficient usage
Recent years have produced high-efficiency wood pellet stoves and boilers with efficiencies of more than 85 percent. Plus, the newer ones have the ability to run in a condensing mode, so can get 12 percent more efficiency.
Wood pellet boilers are limited in how they control their combustion rate and presence as compared to systems using liquid or gas-fired systems; but, they work better for the hydronic heating systems because those types of systems are better able to store heat. However, you can retrofit a pellet burner and turn it into a system that uses oil if desired.
Standards for pellets
Most pellets found in Europe are less than 10 percent water, their density is uniform (more than one ton per cubic meter which is good for making it sink in water), their structural strength is good, and they don’t have a high ash or dust makeup. Since the wood fibers get broken down in the hammer mill, almost no difference can be seen in the resulting pellets between the different kinds of wood used (they can be made from most kinds of wood). All that is needed is a pellet press properly equipped and having proper instrumentation, and by compensating for press regulation as needed.
Pellets are made in Europe, in areas including Finland, Scandinavia, Austria, Baltic area, and in Central Europe. Those made to proper European standards could possibly be made from recycled wood or have some contaminants are considered Class B, and the recycled material like particle board, panels coated with melamine resin, treated or painted wood are not good to make them with. This is due to the fact burning them makes noxious emissions as well as them being uncontrollable when it comes to the characteristics produced when burned.
In our offer we have sunflower husk pellets with specification as follow:
|Typical for sunflower kernel
|from 9.0 to 11.0
|4. Oil in %
|up to 5%
|min 4120 kcal
– foreign parts
|7. Sizes of granules, pellet
|d = 6 to 10mm