Combustion of wood chips and composting residues for process steam generation in a potato processing industry

Sep 2020

This publication is one of the five case studies for the inter-task project 2020 on Bioenergy for High Temperature Heat in Industry. Read more about the inter-task project and download the other case studies and our policy report on high temperature heat in industry on the project landing page.

Since 2015, the waste processing company Attero operates a biomass fired boiler that generates process steam for PEKA KROEF BV, a potato processing company near the village of Odiliapeel in the Southern part of the Netherlands.
The 10 MW biomass boiler uses very low-grade wood chips and composting residues to produce 10 tph of saturated process steam (18 Bar) for PEKA Kroef. The steam is used to convert fresh potatoes to various peeled, cut and precooked potato products, which are then delivered to various supermarkets around Europe. The biomass fuel displaces over 8 million m3 of natural gas annually.

The biomass boiler installation is highly efficient through the use of flue gas condensation, and avails of an advanced flue gas cleaning system, including SNCR, SCR, bicarbonate injection and a baghouse filter, leading to very low emissions.

The project demonstrates that the substantial investment can still be justified economically, since the plant is operating year-round to supply the baseload of the industrial heat demand, while using an inexpensive low-grade fuel that is locally available and has no competition from higher value applications. Since the size of the project and the steam demand is typical for many food processing industries worldwide and the project is based on locally available and underutilised, low grade biomass resources, it is expected that the concept can be replicable to many other locations.