FAQ – Boilers

Does burning wood reduce my overall plant operating costs?

This will be determined by the difference between your current fuel cost and the cost of available wood. With the recent increases in fuel prices, the savings from burning wood has been huge! In general, if your annual fuel bill is over $250,000/year, you are a good candidate. If your annual fuel bill is over $600,000/year, you are an excellent candidate. If you are paying over $0.50 per therm for natural gas or over $1.00/gallon for fuel oil, and you have access to low value wood, you are also a good candidate. The short formula looks like this:

Fuel Cost (Natural Gas/Oil) - Wood Fuel Cost - 1/5 Wood Burning Equipment Cost = Approximate Savings per Year

Show less
What types of wood can be used as fuel?

Any type of wood or wood waste can be used as boiler fuel, but fuels over 55% moisture are more difficult to burn and can be problematic. The best fuels are the driest, as they burn well and typically produce the least air pollution, and usually require the least energy input to produce a given unit of heat or energy. Best fuel has 5-45% moisture content.

Show less
How much of my natural gas/oil bill can I expect to save?

Savings with capital equipment being expensed over five years can be 25% - 75% of your existing annual fuel bill.

Show less
How many operators are needed for a new wood boiler?

With fuel of 50% moisture and below, the new automated boilers run with minimum of attention. Local laws and licensing may require you to staff differently at various times. Boilers over 100 million BTU may require an operator be present or available at all times

Show less
Will the boiler meet local environmental requirements?

Yes, new BCS boilers burn with very low particulate and low CO emissions.

Show less
Can we burn both wet and dry fuel?

Yes! The big difference is that wet fuel may take 20% more air than dry fuel. Operationally, you may wish to meter the wet and dry fuel to create a consistent fuel blend or you may want to exhaust the least merchantable fuel before using a more valuable fuel. With the controls designed for this scenario, this can easily be accomplished. In general, any time there are continuous variations in fuel quality; it is desirable to have an operator near by the steam plant.

Show less
Can we generate our own electricity?

Yes! You can generate your own electricity. It strictly a question of economics. Your most profitable opportunity is to displace natural gas/fuel oil used to generate steam. If after meeting the plants thermal load, you still have a surplus of wood, you can generate additional steam and generate electricity for your plant use or to sell back to the utility or a broker. This involves more capital costs and this has a longer pay back than displacing natural gas or oil used for your plant’s thermal loads.

Show less
Can wood fired boilers be leased?

Yes! There are lease companies that will provide the capitol for this type of project. The financing is based on your company’s risk profile. The advantage is that all of your procurement cost can be expensed at the rate you pay the lease. With this option, you can increase your profits in the first year of burning wood.

Show less
How do I know if wood burning is economical for my plant?

The first step is to determine what wood waste streams you have available and how much net income per ton this represents. The second step is to take your natural gas bill or oil bills and determine what you are actually paying per therm or per gallon for fuel. Then give us a call and we can quickly give you an idea what savings you can expect.

Show less