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Rentech selects CBI for pellet facility expansion

Equipment & Products

Continental Biomass Industries is designing a custom flailing/microchipping system for new Canada facility.

CDR Staff January 9, 2014

Newton, N.H.-based Continental Biomass Industries (CBI) has begun a project to design and build three flail debarking and chipping systems for Rentech’s Canadian wood pellet facilities that are scheduled for installation in the spring of 2014.

Rentech, which is seeking to become the largest pellet manufacturer in eastern Canada, is converting two decommissioned wood fiber board mills in Ontario for pellet production. As part of the conversion, the CBI systems will deliver uniform 6 millimeter by 8 millimeter (mm) microchips in a single pass that can immediately be dried and milled into feedstock for pellet manufacturing.

CBI designed a custom flailing and chipping system specifically for Rentech.

“Traditionally, debarking and chipping in front of a pellet operation has been done with drum debarkers and disc chippers,” Anders Ragnarsson, founder and president of CBI, explains. “These systems are overall more expensive and have a tougher time debarking frozen wood. It has been proven beyond any doubt over the last several years that making microchips is a more cost effective way to produce raw material for a pellet production line.”  

Ragnarsson adds, “CBI has obtained orders for debarking and chipping systems for two new Rentech pellet mills in Canada. We went back and forth with numerous iterations and came up with a debarking line consisting of a feed conveyer, 2-roll flail debarker and a 1,200 horsepower CBI Magnum Force 8400 stationary chipper with 5-pocket microchip rotor. Each system will have production capabilities of up to 120 tons per hour.”

Ragnarsson says CBI worked closely with engineers and operating personnel at AgriRecycle and Rentech to design the best solution for producing feedstock from hardwood species for Rentech’s pellet production needs.

AgriRecycle was contracted by Rentech to assist in the design, construction and operation of both pelleting plants, as well as evaluate options for new chipping lines. Mike Ferguson of AgriRecycle knew first-hand the benefits of CBI from having one of CBI’s 6400 machines with a microchip rotor that fed his pellet plant, Ozark Hardwood, for years.

The final result will be two CBI flail/microchipping systems installed at Rentech’s Wawa, Ontario, facility, and a singular CBI flail/microchipping line to be installed in Rentech’s Atikokan, Ontario facility. At the Atikokan facility, CBI also will deliver a Grizzly Mill to grind the bark into the proper size for boiler fuel. The CBI systems will eliminate hammer milling of wet product prior to the dryer. The CBI systems produce a chip that can be fed directly into the dryer. The resulting product is hammermilled immediately after drying.

According to Ragnarsson, CBI’s solution reduces Rentech’s capital and operating expenditures due to the elimination of the hammermill prior to the dryer. “There’s a great deal of excitement here about what these systems can and will deliver, and the new standard they will set in producing raw material for a pellet mill,” he says.

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