New regulations are placing more and more restrictions on emissions allowed at industrial plants. Identified by their huge towers, they are specifically designed to improve air quality. Unfortunately, when it comes to Biomass Burners, many are still undecided where they stand since, although emissions are lower, they do spew smoke when first lit.
Plants utilizing this technology are said to be promoting sustainable energy since it burns wood, scraps, and garbage, but many are concerned as they see plumes of smoke being emitted from cylindrical towers that can be seen for miles. These plants, however, are serving an important function by utilizing this technology since it requires extensive drying of fuel products.
Manufacturing burners in sizes up to 60 million BTUs per hour, they are the answer for many industrial processes which require intense amounts of heat, yet they are low in cost to operate. Their suspended design also allows multiple forms of organic matter to be used for this purpose. Items such as corn cobs, sawdust, sunflower hulls, wood pellets, peat, charcoal, coal dust, flax stalks, and much more can all be used for this purpose.
It's important to remember that traditional methods of heat (mostly gas and oil) not only emit large amounts of toxic fumes, but also failed to utilize the tons of trash which go into landfills each year. Biomass found a way to achieve many goals while lowering overall costs.
The process is fairly simple: fuel that has been pulled from a hopper is blown into the burner that is suspended in the tower where combustion occurs within a matter of a few seconds; the resulting hot gas is then diverted into transfer ducts where draft fans move the gas into pipes, much like the process found with natural gas; finally, automatic modulation control panels adjust the firing rate based on input as well as output temperatures to ensure safety and efficiency. That's basically all there is to it.
The burner itself is lined with lightweight, high-temperature insulation that ensures extended life and the retention of heat. Additionally, steel surfaces are all painted with anti-oxidant paint which is also heat resistant. These refractory precautions are highly regulated by air quality control measures designed to ensure low emissions and maximum protection.
One of the newer purposes for this type of burner is for waste disposal. The Green Institute viewed it as a "clean and potentially valuable source of electric power and heat for buildings located nearby, such as hospitals." For towers that are monitored, experts in the field have found that emissions are actually over 98 percent cleaner than wood burning fireplaces which are used by many who fail to even consider the toxic output when warming up on a cold night.
Putting it in a simplistic way, Biomass Burners burn organic materials because it is carbon neutral. The cyclonic suspension towers are able to generate an incredible amount of heat for industrial use at significantly lower costs. Although there remain concerns regarding the emission of toxins, monitoring systems supported by governmental regulations fail to find they are not working as expected. Additionally, their ability to utilize waste by-products are serving to help keep the planet healthy.