There are quite a few videos on YouTube showing DIY homemade pellet mill projects. Some of these DIY pellet mills are a lot more successful than others. The video below is quite a popular example and not a bad attempt at a wood pellet mill. While I respect those that put the time and effort into a DIY project to make a pellet mill the limitations of these machines is not clear to many people. The reason being, most people dont have the experience of how to make wood pellets. With this post, Im not attempting to discourage anyone from attempting a homemade pellet mill if you are willing. I just want you to approach a DIY pellet mill project with realistic expectations. You need to be realistic on what a DIY pellet machine can achieve and the grade of wood pellets you will produce.
The first thing to note from this video is the basic vertical flow flat die pellet mill design. Material is fed through the hopper on top and the wood pellets come out from under the die. Not the most efficient pellet mill design. However, its very popular in China due to its simplicity. In fact, many homemade pellet mills actually use dies and rollers made in China. What is actually homemade is the chassis of the pellet mill, potentially the drive system etc. The most efficient pellet press design is a ring die pellet mill. However, that would be much more technically demanding DIY project.
The video states that an 80HP (60kw) motor is used. As you can see in the video to the right there is a PTO shaft, so that pellet mill is running from a tractor. A lot of people are interested in PTO pellet mills, however, its not something I personally encourage. For one, its dangerous, many people die every year from getting caught up in PTO shafts. With a pellet mill, you are standing very close to that PTO shaft.
Even with a cover on the PTO shaft, its still not very safe being stood next to it. Secondly, an 80HP diesel engine is being used to power a very small pellet mill. Its stated in the video description that this DIY pellet mill is producing 130 kg/h. I dont believe thats realistic, its probably around 40-50kg/h. Therefore, those wood pellets will have a very high cost per tonne.
With regards to the productivity per hour of this DIY pellet mill, lets be generous and presume it can produce 130 kg/h of wood pellets. You are having to load the material in above the pellet mill via a bucket, metering it in bit by bit. Thats a lot of hard work. Also, you cannot really be doing anything else such as bagging up the wood pellets.
With this particular DIY pellet mill, the operator also seems to be experiencing a bridging issue where the pellets are coming out of the machine. This is likely due to the high percentage of fines (dust). Fines are particles of material that were not compressed into wood pellets, they are then separated from the finished pellets and returned into the process.
This particular DIY pellet mill is producing quite a lot of fines. This is either down to one or two issues. The material could be too dry. If this is the case with a DIY pellet mill such as this you have no means to precisely control moisture content to address the issue. Secondly, it could be an issue with the compression ratio on the die holes, or the die is worn and needs replacement.
When we get to see the finished wood pellets at the end of the video you can see that there are very few good quality wood pellets. There is a poor consistency with some very short pellets that look to have a poor density. With a small pellet mill such as this, it would probably benefit from the use of a suitable pellet binder.
While this DIY homemade pellet mill is a respectable attempt you should not look at a machine such as this and think that producing wood pellets at home is a viable option. When you work out the cost per tonne of wood pellets covering your time and equipment costs it just doesnt add up. There is however one exception to this rule. BBQ wood pellets can be very profitable, even on a small scale. Supplying a product to pellet grill owners or to use in pellet smoker box on gas/propane BBQs is one of the few cases when producing wood pellets on such a small scale can be viable.
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Adopting the latest technology and most advanced methods, the homemade wood pellet machine can help you make your own pellets in a more energy-saving and economic way. This flat die wood pellet mill can be used to make all kinds of raw materials into condensed cylindrical pellets, such as the gum wood, birch wood, poplar wood as well as other crop straws. The final pellets are highly qualified with suitable moisture content and hardness, which can better meet the demands of the current fuel consumption. Featured with its small area coverage and flexible operation, this small wood pellet mill can make your pelleting process more economic and efficient.
The Global Popularity of the Homemade Wood Pellet Machine Since the homemade wood pellet mill emerged, it has been enjoying great popularity among customers all over the world. In Europe, the main biomass pellet maker, wood pellet mill is widely used. Due to the constant increase of the fuel price as well as the government regulations, people tend to choose the new type biomass pellet mill for large-scale power plants, medium-scale district heating system, and small-scale residential heat. In Germany, Austria, Italy and France, pellets are mostly used for small-scale residential or industrial heating purpose. In UK, there are a serious of schemes that are aimed to promote the usage of the biomass fuels and increase the amount of the renewable energy generated in UK. While, in the US, importers mainly imported the biomass pellets from the European countries, whose final pellets are well-known for their reliable quality. Considering the urgent global needs of the sustainable energy, the wood pellet mill will enjoy more and more popularity all over the world.
Competitive Advantages of the Homemade Wood Pellet Machine We cant help asking the reasons why this small machine is so globally popular. Because this newly wood pellet mill has its competitive advantages over other machines of the same kind. Firstly, this machine is run by the reduction gear, thus, a lot of energy can be saved. Compared with the traditional wood pellet making machine, this machine has adopted with the hi-tech silencer equipment and damping devices. And the machine is made of the wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials, which can prolong a steady performance and a longer service life.
Secondly, this machine has a reliable quality, which has passed the CE certification. Thirdly, the structure of the mold is more suitable for making wood pellets in a more scientific and efficient way. It needs a lot of pressures to make the sawdust and straw into condensed and uniformly shaped particles. So the die and the roller of the wood pellet mill act as an central role in the whole equipment. The structure of the flat die has its unique advantages of randomly increase the size of the die, which can help to increase the operating room relatively. Compared with the ring die pellet mill, this flat die wood pellet mill can be used more flexibly. Restricted by the diameter of the mold,the die of the ring die pellet mill is not changeable. But the die of the this homemade wood pellet machine can be changeable according to the size of the raw materials. After replacing the die with a larger one, the anti-pressure capacity of the mold will be effectively promoted.
Fourthly, the homemade wood pellet mill can be used in a more flexible way, because it can be handled in both movable and combined style, which is more suitable for small-scale production. Last but not the least, the final products are highly qualified with high density, low moisture content, high combustion value and low ash content. Therefore, the wood pellets can better meet the demands of the sustainable energy and solve the existing problems of the biomass fuel shortage.
The Significant Role of the Homemade Wood Pellet Mill in Biomass Fuel Production As shown above, the homemade wood pellet mill has its obvious advantages over other machines in the same style. So the important role that this machine has played in todays biomass fuel can not be neglected at the same time. With low ash content, the wood pellets can be burned more completely. And less harmful gases will be generated while using the biomass fuels. As the pellets have a low moisture content, they are more easy to be burned and stored, which has solved the intractable problems that exist in the process of the final products storage and transportation. With high density and high combustion value, wood pellets has its own advantages over traditional fuels in different aspects. For example, the materials for making wood pellets are easy to be found, and their prices are extremely low. Wood pellets also have higher burning efficiency than the traditional fuels, which can effectively reduce the pressures of global resources shortage. So wood pellet mill plays an indispensable role in todays biomass fuel market. Homemade wood pellet mill has its complete advantages over other kinds of wood pellet mills. It is dedicated for small-scale wood pellet production, which can be manufactured at home or other small industries. With high capacity and low energy consumption, homemade wood pellet machine is a renewable product which is regarded as a milestone in the history of the biomass energy development. It has completely change the current situations of the global resources and convert peoples lifestyle to a more scientific and comfortable one.
Applications of the Homemade Wood Pellet Mill The easy and flexible operation of the homemade wood pellet machine can partly account for its wide applications. This machine can be applied to process all kinds of biomass materials, such as the wood, straw, rice husk, bamboo, empty fruit bunch, cotton stalk, peanut shell, waste paper, pulverized coal and so on. The homemade wood pellet mill is dedicated for small-scale production. And the final wood pellets that are produced by the homemade wood pellet mill also have wide applications. It helps recycle the wasted resources and make them to the fullest. The pellets can also be used to feed animals, which can be more easily absorbed by the animals. For home use, you can easily handle the wood pallet machine as long as you bear these following steps in mind.
1. Adjusting the raw materials: The length or the the moisture content of the raw materials may not suitable for the pelleting process. Generally, the suitable length is no more than 6mm. If the length of the materials is over 8 mm, you should make them crushed first. If the moisture content of the materials is relative higher, you should make it controlled under 12%. 2. Mixing the raw materials: Before the pelleting process, you should make the raw materials uniformly and completely mixed. By doing this, the pelleting efficiency of the homemade wood pellet mill will be greatly promoted. And the quality of the final pellets can be ensured at the same time. 3. Pelleting the Raw Materials: Pelleting is the core part of the whole wood pellet making process, which directly affect the quality of the final products. The homemade wood pellet mill can make condensed particles due to its reasonable and compact structure. It needs a lot of pressures to make the sawdust and straw into particles with high density and uniform shapes. Attentions should be paid to the die and the roller of the wood pellet mill, because they act as an central role in the whole equipment. This homemade wood pellet mill has adopted the flat die, of which the size can be randomly increased. By increasing the size of the flat die, the operating room of the wood pellet machine can be increased relatively. Unlike the ring die pellet mill, whose structure of the mold cant be adjusted. Restricted by the diameter of the mold, the die of the ring die pellet mill is not changeable. Once the raw materials are in relative larger size, the operating room will become relative smaller. After replace the die with a larger one, the anti-pressure capacity of the mold will be effectively promoted. Meanwhile, the heat which are generated by the friction are less available to be conducted to the bearing housing. Thus, it can effectively prevent the oil leaking from the bearing housing at a low temperature. In a word, the scientific and reasonable structure of the homemade wood pellet machine can prolong a longer service life and better performance. 4. Sieving the Wood Pellets: You should screen the particles after the pelleting process. In this process, fines and other unqualified products will be removed. Only in this way, can the quality and purity of the final products will be ensured. 5. Cooling the Wood Pellets: The temperature of the pellets is relative high after the pelleting process. So they need to be cooled before the storage process. By cooling the pellets, steams that remain in the particles will be dried. The dried wood pellets will be more beneficial to be stored and transported for a long time. Whats more, the dried pellets have a high quality with reasonable moisture content and hardness as well as low ash content, which can make the biomass fuel pallets fully used. 6. Packaging the Final Wood Pellets: The final products need to be packaged to ensure its high quality. Characterized by its easy maintenance and low consumption, the homemade wood pellet mill is considered as the the best choice for you to make your own pellets.By using this convenient and advanced machine, we can live a healthy and green life.