What Constitutes an Effective Solid Fuel Feed System for Your Pulp & Paper Mills?

In this post, Ashley Doyal, VP of Sales  – South Region for ProcessBarron, shares his expertise on how to develop an effective solid fuel feed system for your pulp and paper mill. 

We would all love to burn the finest fuel money can buy all the time. Unfortunately, that just isn’t reality. Whether you process fuel on-site or not, we have to burn what we have available. So, your metering bin better be ready for anything.

Coverage on Boiler Grates 

Getting coverage on your boiler grates is a top priority for an effective solid fuel feed system at your pulp and paper mill. This, along with consistent feed to the boiler, are essential to optimizing the boiler’s efficiency and utilizing the steaming rate.

Your metering bin is essential to control fuel feed and retain this fuel for an uninterrupted flow to the boiler. Live bottom metering bins and screw bins are the most effective way to meter into the boiler and ensure when the ash carries over, there’s no carbon left in it. Our live bottom metering bins can hold anywhere from 4 to 21 screws. 

Want to know more about our metering bins? Reach out to us here! 

Preventing Material from Bridging 

There are cheaper ways to allow fuel to pass through, but these methods cause long-term problems. Some methods are referred to as a “moving hole” and use a bin with an opening at the bottom. When the bin moves around, fuel can drop through. But since there’s no way to meter it, they’ll start tunneling out.  

Most will try to compensate for this with a sledgehammer or air cannon. It’s ultimately inefficient because this method can damage the equipment as the hot carryover of sand can cause a lot of erosion over time.  

Our metering bins are designed to minimize bridging and tunneling. When bridging or tunneling occurs, this will hinder the flow of fuel to the boiler, causing inconsistent feed rates. We use larger screws that have more space and clearances for material to flow between the screw and subsequent displacement of the material out of the screw and metering bin. The larger screws have a larger surface area on the flights that aid in the flow of material in a uniform manner.  More surface area on the flights helps to deliver fuel to the boiler in a uniform and predictable manner.

Investing in Durability and Reliability 

We find many plants choose cheaper options for their fuel feed system. It may seem best for the budget up front, but the tradeoff is great. When you invest a little more upfront to get higher-quality technology, you receive increased and far less risk that your system will create issues in which other pieces of equipment are going offline.

You don’t get a lot of control over the bulk materials brought in to burn. That’s why the things you do have control over — the type of equipment to invest in — matter so much. Consider how well your solid fuel feed system handles all of these steps:

  • Receiving materials
  • Sizing, classifying, and screening accurately
  • Reclaiming fuels from storage
  • Reliably transporting fuel to the boiler
  • Controlling fuel feed into the process

If you’re not confident your fuel feed system is performing to expectations in any of these areas, there’s an opportunity to increase the effectiveness of your system. 

Finding the right and best equipment is essential for an efficient pulp and paper mill. Our live bottom metering bins have been successful, and we have a list of references we are happy to share with customers so that they can hear a firsthand review of our equipment. 

Check out this article about 5 things that will affect your pulp and paper mill’s bottom line! 
If you have questions about our bulk materials handling equipment,  parts, and field maintenance services, contact us here! We’d love to help you find the best solution for production and your plant.