Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2018Peer reviewed

A systematic study of ring-die pellet production from forest and agricultural biomass

Agar, David A.; Rudolfsson, Magnus; Kalen, Gunnar; Campargue, Mattieu; Perez, Denilson Da Silva; Larsson, Sylvia H.


Continuous global growth in the pellet production industry and renewable energy policy targets have driven interest in under-utilised lignocellulosic biomass. In this comprehensive study, pelleting trials were systematically carried out using a pilot-scale ring-die pellet press with eight different biomass feedstock; logging residues, pine bark, wheat straw, reed canary grass, coppiced willow, poplar and beech. A standard spruce/pine sawdust blend was pelleted as a reference material.Pellets were produced from feedstock at four different moisture content levels, through two press channel lengths and three replicate steady-state sampling periods. A total of 192 batches of 8 mm diameter pellets were produced within a press channel length and moisture content range of 30-60 mm and 9-17% respectively. Pellet production had a range of 141-206 kg h(-1) and relatively good pellet quality was achieved for a majority of the studied feedstock. The best pellet batches had a mechanical durability and bulk density range of 91-99% and 532-714 kg m(-3) respectively, corresponding to an energy density range of 8.3-12.5 GJ m(-3) (as received). The extruded pellet temperature ranged between 99 and 131 degrees C and was correlated to pellet bulk density for hardwoods, pine bark and forest residues. The normalised energy (reference value of 1) used in pelleting all materials varied between 0.76 and 1.3 being highest for the hardwoods and lowest for straw and forest residues.


Wood pellets; Pelleting; Quality; Straw; Bark; Forest residues; Lignocellulosic biomass

Published in

Fuel Processing Technology
2018, Volume: 180, pages: 47-55