Termosun has supplied a 4MW Austrian Binder boiler that will allow it to gain energy efficiency and expand the supply network by 20% in the urban center of Sant Pere de Torelló in the province of Barcelona.

Thermosun has supplied an Austrian boiler Binder 4MW that will allow to gain energy efficiency and expand the supply network by 20% in the urban center of Sant Pere de Torelló in the province of Barcelona. The commissioning has been carried out by the Suris company.

This municipality was one of the first points in Spain where an installation of district heating more than 30 years ago. As a pioneering bioenergetic town, it has already renovated its energy supply facilities with the Binder RRK4000 biomass boiler.

In Sant Pere de Torelló and its surroundings there is an important industry dedicated to wood, an industry that generates abundant waste. With the new boiler forest biomass that comes from a maximum of 50 km from the municipality will be used to seek maximum efficiency.


Most biomass boiler manufacturers in Europe have worked well in advance to put on the market a catalog of high-quality equipment that meets ecodesign requirements.

Most biomass boiler manufacturers in Europe have worked well in advance to put on the market a catalog of high-quality equipment that meets the eco-design requirements.

Koldo Uría, manufacturer's aftermarket and marketing director Domusa Teknik, points out that "The pellet boilers have not had to make major technological changes to meet the new emission and performance limits."

The main novelty introduced by the ecodesign regulation has been the limitation of nitrogen oxide emissions and the calculation of seasonal performance considering, among others, the electrical consumption of the boilers.


Ángel Martínezcommercial Hargassner Iberica, ensures that the Austrian manufacturer "He already had his entire catalog adapted to these requirements".

Just as BioCurve, the Basque-Aragonese manufacturer of biomass condensing boilers; It has also come with homework done and on note. Thanks to the fact that its equipment is marketed in several countries of the European Union with strict legislation, "It has not been necessary to make an additional effort to reach the limits of ecological design", Explain Ignacio Quílez, commercial of the company.

Still, due to the peculiarities of biomass combustion, some demands have involved an extra effort in research and engineering.

The requirements that have been easier to meet have been those related to CO emissions and volatile organic compounds and performance, closely related to each other and an issue in which manufacturers have been making significant progress for some time.

Control of NOx and microparticle emissions, rather, it has required more effort. Eladio Pérez, manager Ecoforest, believes that the standard is demanding the possible technological limits for these emissions. And he points out that they are particularly complex to control the emissions of particles in reduced power and those of NOx, since they are highly dependent on the fuel used.

In effect, the limitation of NOx emissions has meant a significant change with respect to the previous reference standard, UNE-EN-303: 5, which did not contemplate them. Along with microparticle emissions, it is a subject that raises controversy, being the focus of attacks from some sectors.

Francisco Muñoz, commercial director of the granadian manufacturer ITB-Intecbio, issues a complaint: the regulation is more permissive with fossil fuels than with biomass in relation to NOx emissions (the limit for biomass is ≤ 200 mg / m3, while for fossil fuels it is set at ≤ 350 mg / m3). "Does this mean that the nitrogen dioxides emitted by fossil fuels are less harmful to our health than those emitted by biomass?", he asks.


Although some are already difficult to ensure, it is clear to all that social and political concern about climate change may tighten the requirements for biomass combustion equipment.

According to Ignacio Quílez, stricter limits may be required, but in a gradual way. The standard has focused on the behavior of the boiler at minimum power, establishing achievable starting criteria that have encouraged manufacturers to improve the product. "If they had been stricter, they probably would have had the opposite effect", reflects.

Xosé-Luis Pérez, general director of Belenus-Natur and representative in Spain of the Strebel boilers, believes that it would be possible to withstand stricter limits, especially in terms of equipment efficiency. Ángel Martínez agrees on this, for whom the performance requirement required by the standard is not very high and believes that it should be improved.

Koldo Uria adds that, although “current requirements ensure that a new biomass boiler is environmentally friendly, some limitations could be more stringent " and sets the example of Italy, where the values ​​for emissions and performance are more demanding than those established in the Ecodesign directive.

Francisco Muñoz agrees and defends the need for greater control of the equipment's energy efficiency. In addition, he adds, he believes that it is a priority "Reduce energy demand and then provide a quality and efficient service with machines."


The regulation tries to guarantee that all biomass boilers on the market are of good or high quality, demanding high performance and low emissions, which is positive.

This can also contribute to silence lobbies interested in discrediting the image of biomass, adds Ignacio Quílez. A little less optimistic is Eladio Pérez, who believes that the restrictions imply higher equipment costs, which represents a disadvantage compared to fossil technology.

Francisco Muñoz abounds in this, pointing out that sometimes the cost of the means, devices and auxiliary elements that must be installed in the machines to comply with current regulations can make their marketing unfeasible.

"The calculation of seasonal yields and emissions is based on the assumption that the boiler operates 15% of the time at maximum power and 85% at low powers; therefore, yields and emissions at partial load are essential for seasonal calculation and a critical aspect when designing new models ”Koldo Uria points out.


It is relevant to adequately communicate to users the advantages and values ​​of using biomass as a heating system to compensate for the pitfall of its higher initial cost compared to diesel or natural gas. Koldo Uria believes that now the user receives clearer information, which may tip their purchasing decision towards biomass.

To a greater or lesser extent, manufacturers and distributors inform and train their customers directly on how to choose the right biofuel or on the correct handling of the equipment. Or they participate in workshops and events aimed at the general public, although usually with limited impact due to the number of people who attend.

For Francisco Muñoz, manufacturers should not carry out social pedagogical work, but must be the responsibility of public institutions. "In this way, citizens will perceive the information in an objective and neutral way", Explica.


Ignacio Quílez highlights the importance of biomass quality. Using the wrong biofuel puts you at risk of meeting the team's ecodesign requirements, he explains. "You have to understand that the ecological design does not refer to the boiler, but to the set of boiler and fuel."

In his opinion, the concept of “poly-fuel” equipment that burns any waste has no place in the path outlined by the new directive. Pellet producers have made a great effort to guarantee the quality of the product and other biomass, such as olive stones and chips, are beginning to follow the same path with success.

Another factor that affects the effective fulfillment of the ecodesign conditions is the user and his interaction with the boiler. Francisco Muñoz recalls that to ensure that the team works at all times fulfilling the requirements, its regulation must be fully automatic and autonomous.


Ángel Martínez, commercial director of Hargassner Ibérica.

His company markets, distributes and is in charge of the technical service of equipment of the Austrian manufacturer Hargassner throughout the peninsular territory.

In 2020 they plan to sell between 100 and 500 biomass boilers in Spain. His big bet for this season is the new SMART range, for pellets or firewood, that the company presented at the Genera fair. Designed with the same combustion benefits as the most sophisticated boilers of the firm, such as the hearth in refractory material or the lambda probe, they enjoy a more reasonable price by dispensing with some configuration options, such as pellet loading and cleaning the exchanger, which are manual.

They are available in powers of 17-20-25-32 kW (pellet) and 17-20-23 kW (wood) and prices start at € 5.900 plus VAT.

Ignacio Quílez, commercial director of BioCurve.

BioCurve has specialized in the development of biomass condensing boilers. Its work headquarters are located in Zaragoza and Vizcaya, where the production plant is located. In 2020 they hope to sell between 500 and 2.000 teams.

This year they will launch the BCH100 condensing boiler, with 100 kW of power and with very small dimensions: the boiler body occupies less than 1 m2 in plant. Its nominal performance is 105,7% based on the PCI, which is equivalent to a seasonal efficiency, according to ecological design, of 94%.

Eladio Pérez, manager of Ecoforest.

Ecoforest is the pioneer biomass equipment manufacturer in Spain; Located in Pontevedra, it was the first European manufacturer of equipment for pellets; It also manufactures geothermal heat pumps and is currently located in more than 30 countries. Expect to put 500-2000 units on the market during the campaign.

The "Vap 24" pellet boiler has a power of 24 kW and a 93% efficiency. It has exclusive electronics from the company. Among its main features is the automatic regulation of the combustion air, the supply of pellets and the flow of the recirculating pump. The management of the equipment can be done via WiFi and Internet. Its starting price is € 4.650.

Koldo Uria, director of post-sales and marketing at Domusa Teknik.

Domusa Teknik, part of the Mondragon Corporation, is one of the largest national manufacturers of biomass equipment. Based in Guipuzcoa, it specializes in air conditioning equipment with different technologies, traditional and renewable, including biomass boilers.

In 2020 they hope to sell between 500 and 2.000 biomass boilers. The BioClass HM 16 boiler is one of the most outstanding models, thanks to its electronic modulation capacity and automatic cleaning system. Its price is 3.965 euros.

Francisco Muñoz, commercial director of ITB-Intecbio.

Intecbio has its manufacturing center and offices in the Granada town of Huétor Tájar. In its catalog it offers a domestic and industrial range, with power equipment between 100 and 225 kW. His expectations for this season put sales in the fork between 100 and 500 units.

The domestic HV range (with powers of 15 and 22 kW) with a compact design incorporates, among others, automatic cleaning of exchanger and burner and configurable smoke outlet. They also have the industrial INV range, with powers from 150 to 500 kW.

Xosé-Luis Pérez, CEO of Belenus-Natur.

Belenus-Natur is a consulting company dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy based in A Coruña. It is the official importer and distributor of the Automated manufacturer of biomass boilers STREBEL for Spain and Portugal.

They hope to sell between 100 and 500 units this season. Featured equipment includes the fully automatic 29 kW Strebel Thermotec Nova pellet boiler. With an efficiency of 96,4%, it guarantees very low emissions. It is quiet and very compact. Its retail price is € 9.200.

Wood pellet production in Spain has increased by 20% in the last year, reaching a record volume of 714.000 tons in 2019.

Wood pellet production in Spain has increased by 20% in the last year, reaching a record volume of 714.000 tons in 2019.

The Spanish production, ten years ago, in 2010, had 29 pellet factories that produced 150.000 tons mainly destined for the foreign market. Currently, in 2019, 714.000 tons have been produced in Spain in 82 factories that are mainly destined for the internal market. It is 20% more than the previous year's production.

Of Spanish production, 77% is for domestic use, with 15-kilogram bags being the most common form of consumption in the domestic market. These are data from the Annual Statistical Report on the Pellet Market in Spain that has recently been prepared by AVEBIOM, the Spanish Association of Biomass Energy Valorization.

Another characteristic of the Spanish market is that the EN sealplus, the most recognized international quality certificate, is the most demanded by Spanish customers, with 82% of the pellets manufactured in 2019 being certified under this seal.

By Autonomous Communities, the production of Castilla y León stands out with more than 223.000 tons, Catalonia with 97.000 tons and thirdly Galicia with a production of 86.000 tons in 2019. There are factories in 16 of the 17 Communities that have generated thousands of new stable jobs in rural areas.

Manufacturing adjustment expected in 2020

In addition to being a record year in terms of production, 2019 has also been a record volume imported from Portugal. An excess of production in Portugal, caused by lower demand from the British market, has facilitated the entry into Spain of 160.000 tons of pellets. This increase in imports together with the mild autumn in Spain have filled the warehouses of Spanish manufacturers and distributors, who have not hesitated to adjust the manufacturing pace to adapt to current demand.

On the other hand, because of the COVID-19 the work of the companies installing new boilers and pellet stoves has slowed down too much, so it is expected that the increase in consumption in Spain during 2020 will be only 2%, while the Average growth in pellet consumption in Spain in the last three years has been 12%.

The expectations for the production of wood pellets in Spain in the year 2022 are much more positive than for this year, this figure will approach 900.000 tons. Despite the abnormal collapse in oil prices, a series of legislative measures are expected from the Government of Spain that will promote the use of Renewable Energies in the coming years. Like other EU countries, Spain has expressed its desire to the European Commission to support a “green” way out for the Post Covid economyThis is in conjunction with the EU's intention to reach an agreement to achieve more ambitious decarbonisation targets by 2030.

From the Spanish Biomass Association (AVEBIOM) and the Spanish Association of Wood Pellet Production Companies (APROPELLETS) we report that bioenergy professionals continue to work to guarantee the supply of clean energy

Yesterday, March 29 at 11:30 pm, I published the RD Law 10 / 2020 which came into force today, March 30, by which the government intensifies the confinement measures linked to the COVID-19 crisis, limiting work activities to the essentials.

We are aware that the list has been discussed for a long time and changed format throughout the weekend until its final version, in which, finally, there is no CNAE list of the activities considered essential.

Bioenergy: a basic service

Although the new norm does not expressly mention biofuels or the thermal energy that is generated with them, it is obvious that they constitute a basic necessity service as indicated in point 2 of the Annex of RD Law 10/2020 and as can be seen from the wording incomplete of article 17 of RD 463/2020.

Therefore, As representatives of companies and professionals in charge of supplying energy from biomass, we guarantee that they will continue working to provide heating, domestic hot water and process heat. to the confined population and to public services (hospitals, nursing homes, ...) and essential industries (agri-food, electricity, pharmaceuticals, ...) that use biofuels.

APROPELLETS and AVEBIOM, the main associations in the biomass sector, We reiterate our commitment and that of the associated companies to continue with the manufacture and supply of biofuels and with the complementary tasks (transport, boiler repairs, etc.) so that the supply of heat or electrical energy to all users is maintained. We ask the government to expressly include biofuels in the royal decrees to avoid confusion and problems for end users.

Royal Decree 463 / 2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.

Article 17. Guarantee of supply of electrical energy, products derived from petroleum and natural gas.

The delegated competent authorities may adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the supply of electricity, petroleum products, and natural gas, in accordance with the provisions of article 7 of Law 24/2013, of December 26, of the Electricity Sector, and in articles 49 and 101 of Law 34/1998, of October 7, on the hydrocarbon sector.

Real Decreto-ley 10/2020, of March 29, which regulates a recoverable paid leave for employed persons who do not provide essential services, in order to reduce the mobility of the population in the context of the fight against COVID-19

ANNEXED. The paid remuneration regulated in this royal decree-law will not be the object of application to the following employed persons:

2 point. Those that work in the activities that participate in the market supply chain and in the operation of the services of the production centers of basic goods and services, including food, beverages, animal feed, hygienic products, medicines, sanitary products or any necessary product for the protection of health, allowing the distribution of the same from the origin to the final destination.

Press release: APROPELLETS y AVEBIOM from March 16, 2020

Located in the Polígono El Bayo de Cubillos del Sil, the technical process has been completed and it will be able to start producing in the coming weeks. The power plant will produce 290 megawatts of renewable and clean electricity enough to supply 83.000 homes.
The kW could cost 80% less, the agricultural machinery could reduce its emissions by 90% and the vineyard branches provide heating and hot water in a sustainable, more economical and renewable way to 60.000 homes throughout Castilla y León. These are some data that COAG manages in its sessions that promote Against Climate Change.
KRONOSPAN is a company founded in 1897 in Lungötz (Austria). Currently, it occupies a privileged position in the board and its derivatives market. In 2002, it created its subsidiary in Spain, KRONOSPAN SPAIN, with the aim of marketing its products in our country. At the end of 2012, it acquired the assets of the INTERBON GROUP and generated the subsidiaries: KRONOSPAN, SL, KRONOSPAN MDF, SL and KRONOSPAN CHEMICALS, SL

KRONOSPAN is a company founded in 1897 in Lungötz (Austria). Currently, it occupies a privileged position in the board and its derivatives market. In 2002, it created its subsidiary in Spain, KRONOSPAN SPAIN, with the aim of marketing its products in our country. At the end of 2012, it acquired the assets of the INTERBON GROUP and generated the subsidiaries: KRONOSPAN, SL, KRONOSPAN MDF, SL and KRONOSPAN CHEMICALS, SL

Its business strategy has turned the province of Burgos (Castilla y León) into one of the epicenters of board production in Southern Europe, with two production centers: one located in the municipality of Burgos, specifically in the Castañares neighborhood where manufactures particle board and plywood and another in the Burgos municipality of Salas de los Infantes where it produces MDF fiber chipboard.

The Castañares factory underwent a thorough renovation in 2015, the result of which we can say has become the circular economy paradigmBecause the plant currently produces around 1.700 m3 / day of chipboard, from recycled wood, in a percentage that has been increasing to reach 80% today, with a forecast of reaching 100% in the coming years.

This change towards the use of materials from the recycling of pallets, doors, furniture, carpentry remains, etc., maintaining the quality and finish of the board, has meant providing in a special way the infrastructures of the reception area, classification, rejects and conditioning of the crushed raw material that comes mainly from large population centers such as Madrid and Barcelona.

The pre-classified material is deposited in huge storage warehouses over 20 meters high, indoors, which means minimizing the inconvenience caused by the generation of dust particles due to the handling of this type of material.

Currently, new investments continue to be made in the field of reception of recycled material, with the construction of new warehouses and the expansion of the fields.

Process of obtaining the particles to make board


From the storage sheds the material is transferred to one of the two chippers in the plant. One with a 600 kW motor that drives a rotor equipped with three blades that grinds the wood that comes from a vibrating feeding table and the other with a 400 kW motor that drives a rotor equipped with 28 hammers. The two unload the chipped material, via a traveling conveyor belt, onto covered moving bottoms. These are divided by concrete walls in several sections to be able to separate the storage of the different types of materials: recycled wood chips, clean wood chips and sawdust. The discharge conveyor belt moves along the different sections, positioning itself in the place corresponding to the material produced. One of the sides of the mobile funds is left uncovered to allow the loading of materials, which do not need to go through the chippers and which are directly unloaded from the transport trucks. The storage capacities, in the mobile bottoms, for the different types of materials are: 3.000 m3 recycled chip, 3.000 m3 clean chip and 1.000 m3 sawdust.


Chips and sawdust are transported through conveyor belts to the cleaning towers. The quantity of each material that you want to introduce in the process is set from the control post. In the towers the material is conditioned by removing everything that is not wood: ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, plastics, cardboard, silica ...; A classification by size is made sending the large chips to be reprocessed, the good chip to the feed silo of the chippers, the good fines to the storage silo before the dryer and the superfine ones to the storage silo to use them as an energy source in the dryer burner.

Chip formation

After going through the cleaning process, the chip is transformed into shaving. The clean chip arrives at the mills through a redler, where the shaving process is carried out. Most of the mills are of blades and basically consist of a rotor provided with slats, whose purpose is to push the chips against the blades fixed to a basket that rotates in the opposite direction to that of the rotor. There is also a hammer mill that breaks the splinter by hitting.

To achieve high board quality, the chips must have high uniformity in thickness, length, width and fine content. Thus, these mills grind the wood until obtaining particles with a slenderness [length / thickness] close to 100 and dimensions between 0,1 to 0,8 mm thick, 2 to 8 mm wide and 15 to 30 mm long. .


The already conditioned material would go to the dryer, which is a huge tromel (rotary dryer) with a diameter of 8 m and a length of 30 m, capable of processing 45 tons / hour until leaving the wood with a humidity between 3-4%. Inside the drum, conditions vary, from the first sector with higher relative humidity and ambient temperature to the final sector with low relative humidity and high temperatures. Throughout the drying process, which lasts about 20 minutes, the wood loses its humidity due to the effect of circulating hot air.

This is another very important process to obtain high board qualities. Although the final moisture content of the board is around 10%, the particles must be dried at humidity levels of around 3-4% previously mentioned, since the wood absorbs the water coming from the adhesive. If the humidity in the particles is excessive, "blisters" can be generated on the board and if it is insufficient, premature setting of the adhesive can occur, which would lead to poor bonding and therefore, a board with low mechanical resistance and poor quality surfaces .

Particle screening and classification

Once dried, the particles are sieved using suitable size screens, as a result of applying alternate movements or by ventilation, and are classified into four types of chip: very thick chips, good chips, fine fine and superfine chips. The very thick shavings are forwarded to the refining mill for resizing, the superfines and dust are removed for energy use and the good shavings and fines are cleaned of silica particles before proceeding to the next gluing and pressing process. The destination of the smallest particles will be the face and back of the board and that of the largest for the soul or center of the board. This is to minimize the consumption of adhesives, maintain good mechanical resistance and improve the finish of the board.

The boiler

The heat needed both for this process and to heat the thermal oil used in the presses comes from a 50 MW KABLITZ boiler, fed with biomass from the chipping of the remains of cuttings from the poplar mills of Castilla y León and silvicultural actions of nearby mountains and pine forests. Average daily consumption would be around 75 mt, making this KRONOSPAN plant one of the main industrial consumers of residual biomass for energy use. In addition, there is an extra contribution of heat due to the recovery of superfine particles and wood dust that is generated in the cutting and sanding of the boards and which is combusted in a burner.

The boiler, installed in a structure of 500 tons of iron and which is covered with another 250 tons of refractory material, has a continuous feeding system and is equipped with a system of mobile grills, cooled by water and allows the obtaining of Combustion gases at 700ºC that will heat the 100.000 liters of thermal oil to (300ºC), which promote, among others, the pressing process and will provide heat to the dryer. The thermal energy consumption per unit of product is 175 kWh / m3.

Particle filtering system

Before leaving the chimney, the gases pass through a wet electrostatic filter (WESP). It is double, with alternative operation, while one filters the other maintenance work. This equipment is fed by the gases from the dryer and the press to reduce its concentration of particles and volatile organic compounds before its emission into the atmosphere.

Its basic principle of separation consists in passing these gases through a chamber where an established electrostatic field is created between electrodes of different charges: negative emitting or discharge electrodes and the collector or positive plate electrodes connected to ground. These gases are injected with water in order to drag part of the particles and absorb part of the polluting gases as the first separation stage and finally, they are negatively charged when passing through the emitting electrodes and are attracted by the collecting electrodes.

By spraying water, the particles adhering to the collecting plates are dragged into the collection tanks (absorbent tanks). From these tanks the contaminated water is filtered through sieves. The retained solid part is taken to a centrifuge in order to remove as much moisture as possible. The obtained sludge is treated by an authorized manager.


The water used to clean / wash the electro-filters as it contains high amounts of sediments and leachates is treated in a small pond. The larger particles are removed by decantation and the smaller particles are separated using rotary machines (centrifuges) that separate the water from the solids. Part of the water is reused and another part is removed by an environmental manager.


The ashes from the boiler are the only waste that is generated, which has been reused as fertilizer on some occasions, as inert in sealing landfills on others, or which is sent to the cement industry for its use.

Socio-economic benefits: employment

The KRONOSPAN-Castañares plant employs 180 workers and generates indirect employment for approximately 1.400 workers, mainly transporters, external maintenance and repair personnel, biomass supply companies and service companies.

Renewable electricity is produced from forest biomass and wood in one of the largest cogeneration plants in Switzerland, in Sisseln. Since the end of 2018, it supplies electricity to 17.500 homes and heating to many more customers thanks to District Heating.

Renewable electricity is produced from forest biomass and wood in one of the largest cogeneration plants in Switzerland, in Sisseln. Since the end of 2018, it supplies electricity to 17.500 homes and heating to many more customers thanks to District Heating. To receive, process, store and feed the wood chips, the company participating in Expobiomasa, Vecoplan, supplied all the machinery and carried out the installation and commissioning, in an extremely tight time frame.

An extremely climate-friendly option

The production of energy with wood and biomass is neutral in terms of CO2 in the long term, because unlike oil, gas and coal, the carbon dioxide released by burning wood, pellets or wood chips is reabsorbed by the forest in a renewable and sustainable way. This is one of the reasons why the project was developed by DSM, Caliqua and EWZ, replacing a cogeneration plant that operated with natural gas and diesel and achieving a massive reduction in CO emissions.2.

The new plant produces 48GWh of electricity per year and 221 GWh of steam for the District Heating that provides industrial heat to the companies in the industrial area where it is located. The fuel are wood chips sustainably harvested from forests and supplied by suppliers within a maximum radius of 100 kilometers.

Reception, storage and dosing: a safe and reliable process carried out by Vecoplan

The trucks deliver the biomass to the reception area of ​​the plant. The unloading process lasts 15 minutes, during which the bulk material is deposited in two drag chain unloaders. These devices move it, dose it and transfer it to the next stage.

The biomass is stored in four box-type storage silos. The supply tapes have a magnet that removes metal objects such as screws and nails, among other selection and control systems. It also has two stations where samples of the processed material are taken.

Metering screws gradually feed the fuel to the conveyor belts, which in turn transport it to the furnace feed hopper. From there, the boiler is continuously fed with fuel by discharge screws. Vecoplan All components dimensioned to meet acceptance cycles and fuel requirements, ensuring efficient and safe operation at the plant.

Convincing results

With an overall efficiency of 86%, the Sisseln biomass cogeneration plant far exceeds the requirements of the Naturemade-Star Certification. This Swiss seal of approval is used to certify installations that generate energy in an environmentally friendly way.

The promoters have committed themselves against Climate Change, because each cubic meter of biomass that replaces fossil fuels prevents the release of 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the environment. This is equivalent to about 35.000 tons of CO2 per year.


Since 2013, the Castilla y León Regional Government has been carrying out an important program of energy saving and efficiency actions promoted through the Castilla y León Public Society for Infrastructure and Environment (SOMACYL).

Since 2013, the Castilla y León Regional Government has been carrying out an important program of energy saving and efficiency actions promoted through the Castilla y León Public Society for Infrastructure and Environment (SOMACYL).

Within the scope of this program, SOMACYL has carried out 30 actions for the replacing fossil fuels with biomass, through the installation of individual boilers and centralized heating networks that use wood pellets and wood chips as fuel.

One of the actions carried out is the recently completed biomass heat network of the “Fuentes Blancas” complex, which has been designed to supply heating and sanitary hot water to three buildings owned by the Burgos Provincial Council: the Assisted Residence, the College and the Nursing Home. The existence of welfare buildings obliges to assure with total certainty the energy supply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The three buildings had boiler rooms that they used as fuel natural gas and to be replaced by biomass fuel, specifically by wood chips, from the mountains of Castilla y León. The complex also has a small existing solar thermal installation, which continues to support the supply of ACS.

The heat production plant has a installed thermal power of 1.500 useful kW, by means of a single biomass boiler from the manufacturer COMPTE-R with mobile grill technology.

Feeding system using toploader and redler

The silo where the chip is stored is a silo with a surface of 150 m2, equipped with a toploader system and a redler-type conveyor. The toploader is in charge of automatically feeding the splinter to the redler thanks to a mobile upper hinge. With this novel system, the chip is always kept piled up, making better use of the available space and also allowing the possibility of a quick unloading of 2 mobile floor trucks at the same time.

The annual production of useful energy is estimated at 3.150.000 KWh / year, which will mean an annual consumption of forest chips of 1.100 tons / year.

The facility has a buffer tank with a total capacity of 30.000 liters. The pipe network starts from the buffer tank, connecting the new biomass boiler room with the boiler rooms of the 3 buildings. Said pipe has been made of pre-insulated steel and runs underground, with a total length of 1.950 meters.

In Catalonia, the use of pellets and other biofuels has increased significantly. This has made it possible to valorise products extracted from forest cleaning.

There is an increasing demand for biomass in Catalonia, a type of renewable energy that produces hot water and heating without having to use fuels that affect Climate Change, such as diesel or natural gas. It is also, and above all, a good way to regenerate and manage wood from forests.

In the last seven years, production in Catalonia has grown more than 800%, according to data from the Catalan Forest Observatory, and has exceeded 80.000 tons per year.

A very practical and economical way to use biomass is pellets

In Catalonia there are six production plants that manufacture pellets with the highest European quality certification. To produce them, they take advantage, for example, of the sawdust that is generated with the construction of wooden pallets to make pellets, a fuel that does not stop growing.

Alfonso Porro, manufacturer of ENplus pellets and administrator of J. Martorell Pallets, ensures that the quality with which they work makes us foresee a promising future. "Each time the product is getting better. The regulations and certifications make this product more recognizable and, therefore, we believe that the growth, both in facilities and awareness, will make this market continue to progress."

Biomass boilers from medium-sized equipment such as schools, hotels or swimming pools are the main customers of producers, who still see very room for growth.

Wood without other use is the other great biomass resource in Catalonia

It is obtained from trees that are discarded for other utilities. In the last ten years this natural resource has registered a spectacular increase of 628%, and it is expected that in 2019 the 327 thousand tons of 2018 will have been exceeded long.

According to Pere Sala, manager of Sala Forestal: "Sustainable forest management is still in deficit. There are many facilities that use fossil fuels that can be clearly replaced very quickly and automatically."

Forest owners are noticing the increased demand for biomass, although selling it, they say, is no business. Yes, It allows to pay for the cleaning and farm management tasks.

Josep Maria Tusell is owner and forest engineer: "Currently, the value of biomass does not justify making a cut. But it has opened a market for us to place some products that otherwise would have no market. I am referring to low quality wood or small size wood. These are jobs that if not, should be done without being able to sell this product."

The consumption of biomass for heating has also skyrocketed

In fact, in recent years there has been a change in trend since, if before, most of the biomass produced in Catalonia was exported, now it is consumed locally. With this local biomass they already supply some entire towns, such as Vilaplana, in La Noguera. A central biomass boiler supplies hot water and heating to all the houses in the town. They no longer consume diesel.

The biomass comes from selective felling of trees to fluff up the forest, as Antonio Reig, mayor of Baronia de Rialb, explains. "It will be managed by the residents themselves, through a specialized company. Every year we will let it cut a few hectares of forest and the forest production that comes out of these hectares. He will return it to us in biomass, and we will have hot water and heating for free. "

The residents of Vilaplana, as Mercè Codina explains, are satisfied with the change. Stopping the use of your individual diesel or pellet boilers has given them comfort. "Now we don't feel noise or smoke smell. The water also goes well with a good temperature."

Teresa Cervera, from the Generalitat Forest Property Center, explains that cutting down trees is not only to operate the boiler, but also to prevent fires. " When cutting increases the carbon fixation rate of the remaining treesBecause they grow more, they have less competition and they grow more. And therefore, on the other hand, as we do fire prevention We stopped emitting carbon in the event of a fire. "