The image on the right is of a Burns Energy Systems biomass heating system producing 14.6 MW (50 MMBtu/hr) of heat from waste wood fibre for an mdf flash drier. The flame in this image is produced by burning wood dust. Although this burner is firing on wood dust alone, the system is designed to handle any natural, synthetic, or waste stream fuel and even a combinations of up to 3 different fuels at the same time. Switching between fuels is automatic, without having to stop production. This type of setup gives operators tremendous flexibility and control over fuel budgets.
A dust combustion system in operation reacts almost exactly like a heavy fuel oil burner system, with the added benefit that the fuel is supplied from a sustainable source, usually a plant waste stream. This system may be modulated and can therefore be integrated with a wide variety of industrial processes. The most common application is for large rotary driers and belt dryers for wood chips. For the 14.6 MW system shown, the avoided CO2 emission is about 20,000 t/yr.