Biomass briquette is one of the most important and most diverse renewable energy sources in Germany. Through the biomass briquetting machine, it can be easily produced without any binding agent or chemical adhesives. It is used to produce electricity and heat and to manufacture biofuels. In Germany, biomass (based on final energy consumption) accounted for 5.5 percent of total electricity consumption, 8.73 percent of total heat demand and 5.8 percent of total fuel consumption.
Abundant resources for German briquettes production
By far the most important source of biomass briquettes in Germany is wood. Wood resources include raw wood, waste wood (recovered wood), and material from landscape management and industrial wood residues. A total of 53 million cubic meters are used for energy generation. In addition to forestry, agriculture also plays an important role in producing biomass briquettes for energy generation. In 2011 the acreage used to grow energy crops already amounted to 2 million ha which is almost 17 per cent of its arable land. There is also a certain potential for the expansion of agricultural biomass production. The results of various studies show that from 2020 onwards it will be possible to use 2.5 to 4 million hectares of agricultural land for the cultivation of energy crops.
Biomass briquettes technologies and applications in Germany
Highly efficient combined heat and power plants developed in Germany that run on biomass are world leaders in this technology. There are currently approximately 50 German developers and suppliers offering ultra-modern plants in the 10 kW to 10 MW range.
The energy released when burning biomass briquettes in modern heating systems is also utilized very efficiently. German industrial engineering for using biomass briquettes in energy generation has undergone continuous development, making it highly reliable and providing solutions tailored to meet customer requirements in the best way possible. Manually operated, partly automated and fully automated furnaces and boilers with electronically regulated firing systems have been developed to burn this briquette, resulting in a low-emission combustion process with a particularly high efficiency factor of up to 90 per cent.
Promising biomass briquettes market in Germany
In Germany wood chips and wood briquettes have a certain market importance, and especially the latter was characterized by a considerable market growth during recent years. In 2010 roughly 63 briquettes factories produced approx. 1.75 Mio. t of briquettes. The installed production capacity has shown a significant growth throughout recent years. Overall, the installed capacity accounts for roughly 3.25 Mio. t. Compared with the approx. 1.75 Mio. t. of briquettes produced, the domestic consumption added up roughly to 1.2 Mio. t. The surplus of ca. 0.55 Mio. t. exceeding the domestic market has been exported to other European countries. Thus, Germany is still a net briquette exporting country. The briquettes applied as an energy carrier in Germany have been used for heat provision in ca. 140,000 briquette boiler mostly with an installed thermal capacity below 20 kW. However, with an increasing tendency also combustion units with a higher installed thermal capacity (up to 5 MW) have been implemented in recent years.