Timber fuel-feeder vital to Britain’s biggest biomass energy plant

Inside the silo basement at Markinch showing the underside of the biomass tube feeder
Inside the silo basement at Markinch showing the underside of the biomass tube feeder

To generate enough power for 56,000 homes, Britain’s biggest biomass CHP plant will burn  400,000 tonnes of virgin timber and sustainable waste every year in Fife.

Inaugurated in March this year, RWE’s 65MW plant at Markinch incorporates a critical fuel reception and handling solution developed by Saxlund International, the Swedish environmental technology group.

Key components include four fuel container lorry reception units, chain conveyors, screening to remove out-of-spec or over-size material, and three concrete storage silos. Measuring 26m high by 20m wide, each is equipped with a rotary tube feeder to provide continuous, high-volume discharge of fuel to the combustion process.

Each tube feeder consumes just 60kW of power in use, 25% of the power of competing technologies, and ideal for renewable power generation.

Matt Drew, Managing Director, Saxlund International explained: “Wood chip biomass is non-free flowing and difficult to handle. The design concept required sufficient on-site storage to ensure uninterrupted power generation, flexibility to deal with changing fuels specifications, and an optimal mass flow of material into the combustion process, with minimal dust generation.”

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