Continuous Feed Pyrolysis Machine

The core of the machine is made of high temperature resistant stainless steel.
High quality heat insulated material lines the inside of the machine.
Water-cooled auger moves the biomass through the system.

Introducing a continuous-feed biochar retort from China. One unit produces 300 to 600 kg of biochar per hour. This system was funded by the United Nations. The machine is controlled by a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) which can be adjusted to control temperature and retention time. The operating temperature is between 500 and 650°C.

The system is designed to process the following waste sources in to char and specifically Biochar:

-Agricultural and forestry waste
-Charcoal making from wood chips, sawdust, sawmill off-cuts, palm kernel shells, coconut shells etc.
-Carbonization of sludge from industrial and municipal facilities, manure, etc.

The continuous carbonization kiln is a propriety device that employs the principle of dry distillation. It consists of two cylindrical chambers with the center cylinder as the carbonizing chamber and the outer cylinder as the heating chamber. Unlike other types of rotating drum carbonization kilns that burn part of the feedstock to generate heat, this kiln burns only the synthetic gas generated by the feedstock which is isolated from contacting with oxygen during the carbonization process. This unique feature reduces the consumption of carbon in the feedstock, thus resulting in a higher yield of charcoal and less ash content. The machine has a conversion rate of 25% to 30% varies depending on nature of biomass. It can accept all kinds of biomass, from agricultural residues to wood chips, maximum moisture <30%. If your biomass is too humid, the tail gas of the machine can be used to drive a rotating drum dryer. The temperature of the furnace is precisely controlled so that the tar will be burnt completely before it cools down to liquid. There is no tar contamination at all.

Video of process of earlier machine.

‘Offgas’ also known as ‘syngas’ or ‘producer gas’ can be used to generate approximately 200 kW energy.

A biogas tank as shown above following gas cleaning can be supplied

The carbonization furnace consumes 60 kW with 140 kW capacity remaining. This remaining capacity is used to power other machinery, such as a chipper, dryer (to dry chips or pre-heat feedstock), charcoal grinding machine, mixer, briquette machine, conveyors and other equipment. If the client has other machines, we need to know in advance to not having a shortage- or waste of energy. The capacity of the generator will be determined by the nature of the biomass, such as wood chips and other agricultural waste. As different biomass has different heating values, we will give an estimation of the capacity and cost of the generator when we know the nature of biomass. A shredder breaks up the biomass in order to get it into 50mm thick chips which is then pyrolysed.

Flow chart of biochar power co-generation

An additional 100 kW standby diesel generator is required for starting the carbonizer for a fully off-grid installation.

Char fines can be briquetted for sale in the restaurant grade charcoal pillow or slab form

There is also an option to sell electricity back to the grid. In this case a standby diesel generator is only required when 3-phase power is not available due to an electricity blackout. An additional carbonizer is required to ensure excess power can be fed back into the grid and during the installation of the first carbonizer the site preparation will include measures to allow for an additional unit to be added later.

At the end of the video, you see a flame. This is the extra syngas that can be used to generate electricity. The system is clean, which means it does not export any liquids such as tar or vinegar.

The purchase cost is $550,000 USD, including the self-power generating system, but excludes any periphery equipment such as shredders, dryers and briquetting equipment and delivery cost of 3 x 40 ft. containers. The machine can be delivered in 90 working days after sales contract.

Herewith example of costing model:

CAPEX
Biomass consumption MT/YEAR 12,000
Biochar production MT/YEAR 3,600
Equipment Investment sub total $550,000
Infrastructure Cost $200,000
Internal Freight and Duty, Tax $67,500
Installation $22,500
TOTAL INVESTMENT $840,000
OPERATING COST
Biomass Cost ($30 PER MT) $360,000
Manpower $43,200
Maintenance $20,000
Amortization $55,000
TOTAL ANNUAL OPERATING COSTS $478,200
SALES
REVENUE ($250/MT) $900,000
GROSS PROFIT $421,800
INTERNAL RATE OF RETURN ON INVESTMENT (IRR) 50%
INVESTMENT PAYBACK PERIOD 2 yrs

The company that manufactures this equipment is in constant contact with VUTHISA through a representative, a Chinese-Canadian consultant, appointed to communicate with potential clients (in perfect English!). The company whom I can only reveal once a MOU is signed has been in existence for more than 10 years. In correspondence the representative states:

“We intentionally estimate a shorter lifespan to allow quicker amortization. This is beneficial to the user. This reduces the financial risk of the investors. If the machine is well maintained, it could be used for a much longer time than 10 years, and the $20,000 annual maintenance cost will not happen so frequently. In case the machine breaks down, the repairing cost is already budgeted. The annual maintenance cost of $20,000 is like the insurance premium. It may or may not happen. It is only a factor for the investor to make a good business decision. We provide after sales service to the end users. In case a part of the machine breaks, we can send them replacement immediately. No industrial equipment can last indefinitely. In case the maintenance and repairing cost goes higher and the efficiency goes down, it is time to obsolete it.”

The above certificate was issued by officers from the United Nations for the biochar system developed. Translated as follows: “Global Environment Foundation of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)” “Global Biochar Demonstration Project (GEF)” “Carbonization Machine Demonstration Base” “Agricultural Resource and Ecologies Institute of Nanjing Agricultural University”.

Currently there are multiple machines running in China and five are under construction (Dec 2019). All components are fully tested operationally and there’s no technical risk whatsoever. The system is marketed under BIOCHAR KILNS INTERNATIONAL (PTY) LTD, SOUTH AFRICA for AFRICA.

Contact us below to correspond directly.

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