1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Pellet mill.....anyone here have experience with them?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Spartan, Jan 3, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    I'm going to send them an e-mail for their ZLMP-300 without electrics. I have spare 11kw and 19 kw motors and I want to know how that will affect production. Plus without the electrics, it may bring the price closer to my budget.

    Did they tell you anything about hardwood production? From what I gathered from other sources, you need a deeper die to keep the pellets in there for longer in order to heat them up and release the lignens.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    not sure if you actually noticed but the ZLMP 200 produces between 100 - 120 KG per hour not pounds
  3. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    I'm eying all the sawdust my friends are paying to haul away and wonder if I could make a business out of it. Unfortunately this is the kind of business that needs huge volumes in order to make money. It's not a "small business" to retire with.
  4. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    no i never asked regarding hardwood as i really only require softwood pellets. Although i don't see it being a problem their machine looks very capable .
    did you check out the video on the model page ?
    those looked like hardwood pellets.
  5. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    I did and while a bit optimistic from the people I spoke too who are in the business, it's not as outrageous as some of the other claims from other companies. Which is a good indicator for the company.
  6. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    I did check the video but there is simply no way to know what that production rate was. If you are using softwoods, I'm going to guess that's it going to be substantially faster and maybe even faster then mdf production. The commercial guy I spoke with uses maple/oak scraps and both are on the "hard" end of the wood scale.

    If your wood has high resin content then it "should" lubricate and bind faster.
  7. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    That is true you never really know until you try which is also why i am only getting the small production model
    i want to know its going to work and produce a good pellet before going further into production.
    That said if my total comes to $2700 for machine, freight, customs it pays for itself in 3 years as there is only
    one pellet producer here in Sydney Australia and @ $650 per ton its worth checking out this self produced option.
  8. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    801
    Loc:
    Mighty vistas of the Wasatch Mountains Below the s
    Stopped following this thread some time ago, so if I am stepping on toes, I apologize up front. For the original poster, you might want to check out the following thread and some of the great ideas put forth there;

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/69036/

    Seems the discussion there is quite different than this thread and deals with a practical answer. Even the stoves that are from Europe would be certainly cheaper than the pellet mill process. One example is pretty detailed and I am going to have a fabricator friend build two small units in exchange for some of my sawdust to heat his shop.
  9. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    Just an update, I have purchased my "zlmp 200" and spare roller/die set at a total of $2175 USD. Customs broker calculates total for his services including all taxes, levy's $600 AUD
    Now just waiting on Shipment.
  10. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    How did you go? they get back to you with a reasonable price?
  11. 2400

    2400 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Iowa
    There is a BIO Burner that is supposed to be able to burn sawdust, woodchips, silage, etc. I can't rememebr the name but seems like a better alternative then trying to convert to pellets to burn.
  12. mascoma

    mascoma Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    326
    Loc:
    Upper Valley NH
    I'm late to the party but how are you going to dry pellets to burnable levels, even kiln dried lumber sawdust has way more moisture than the 4-8% needed.

    And did I read that right??? One of you is making pellets out of MDF sawdust??? do you know what is in that stuff? I would not burn those pellets near my home.
  13. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    That's me and yes, I am aware of what is in it. The "secret" is to have complete combustion so as to break own such things as ureas into it's molecular state (C.H.O.N.). I burned MDF boards in a downdraft boiler with secondary combustion and there was no telltale smoke or odor whatsoever. According to the manufacturer, the secondary combustion achieves 2000F. I also know of a company that burns tons of this stuff daily and the most toxic thing they produce is small traces of chlorine molecules. People who burn coal have FAR, FAR more toxins to worry about.

    The moisture level of of sawdust is in the 3-4% range because the machining process cause a lot of heat plus at the same time, there is a lot of air introduced by the dust collector. Normally, solid wood (oak, maple) would be in the 7-10% range.
  14. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    VERY interesting link. However, it's not practical. The biggest advantage of pellets is automation, high energy density for volume and relative safety.
  15. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    Throw a teak on the barbie and I'm coming over! LOL! When you get it, can you take a few minutes to make some videos? Lately, I'm buried in other things and haven't spent too much time on this project. I like to revive it fairly soon and be ready for next heating season.
  16. mascoma

    mascoma Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    326
    Loc:
    Upper Valley NH
    Pellet burning temps do not approach 2000F. Besides what comes out of the vent I would keep an eye on what is inside the vent pipe.
  17. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    Make a video ? For Sure. I picked up a new post hole digger on ebay for $103 and plan on using it to mix the sawdust with water in a 44 gallon drum then using a extractor to relocate the prepared sawdust into a silo. I made the silo from a 44 gallon drum and built an auger feed that attaches to the bottom to feed the prepared sawdust into the pellet mill. I used one of the spare augers from the post hole digger to make the feed unit and modified it to attach to a variable speed motor. That way i can adjust the feed rate and let it go till the silo is empty. I recieved the bill of lading for my machine yesterday so its on its way :D
  18. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    I'm looking forward to seeing it. Too bad you are so far away. I'm an engineer with a full machine shop and I would have been glad to help in exchange for gaining knowledge on your pellet mill.

    My wife still thinks I'm crazy with natural gas prices at far below market value. The minute the gas bill doubles, she will complain why I listened to her. Can't win.....

    Anywho.....I sent you a pm with my e-mail. Please let me know how it works out.

    BTW....here is s system that I want to duplicate....but not he price. Something like this can produce an awful lot of pellets and it should be more of a "community" ownership item were 3 or 4 like minded guys get together and produce their own pellets.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg7ZqwIJidY
  19. checkthisout

    checkthisout Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    335
    Loc:
    NW
    Dude, that has clear tubes for watching the sawdust, buttons and flashing lights and everything!
  20. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&hl=en&v=421fHJEBScQ this is the video i designed my set up from except my feeder tube is connecting to a silo which sits higher than the pellet press. my feeder tube is the same as in the video and this pellet press comes from the same company that i am getting mine from in china (not stak properties).
  21. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    I've seen/studied that video several times. That is much larger then what I was looking at doing. It's more along the lines of what I would have done if I kept my business and running a million btu boiler.

    I want to reduce the entire set-up into a small trailer. Take the trailer to the source of wood, pull out the pellet mill from the trailer, make pellets and dump them on the trailer, trailer the pellets to the house, repeat as required, then put the pellet mill back on the trailer and take it into storage.

    Gas/diesel pellet mill with an oversize plastic barrel beside it and a small screw feeder taking the wood dust up and into the top of the mill. Right now, I'm, debating if the way to do this is with a hydraulic system and bypass the very expensive and troublesome gear reduction.

    Mehh...baby steps. Let's see what you can do.
  22. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    They need flashing lights to convince you it's worth 20++ grand.
  23. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Sydney Australia
    What size unit were you planing on getting spartan? the small unit i am getting weighs 300kg i would never get that in and out of a trailer. i was also thinking of setting mine up in a trailer but figured its easier to load the sawdust into the trailer and bring it to the factory where the pellet press will be installed. its much easier to get 2 ton of sawdust into and out of a trailer than a 300kg machine. as for the sawdust feeder tube i am running it on a 240volt motor with a electrical modulator to vary its speed, my brother is making that for me (I ain't so good with electricity since i got a shock fixing a washing machine) I figured a variable speed auto feed was best as the machine can only produce pellets at a rate relative to feed input speed. I saw in many youtube videos people dumping bucket loads into them and you can hear the machine choaking through it and others who slowly feed handfuls but couldn't keep the rate constant, I wouldn't want to overload a machine as it would cause excessive wear and tear and could effect the quality of pellet produced. Once my machine arrives i will set it all up and run some tests and get my settings right then make a video showing how it all worked out. I will try and see if i can get some pic's of my feeder tube this week for ya.
  24. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,051
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    I don't know if your brother knows about AC TECH, but they make some very good, low cost variable speed drives that convert 220v single phase to 440 3 phase. I've been using one at home on a pottery wheel for 6 years. $125. And we used them extensively at work. Never had a problem.
  25. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    ontario
    About the same size as yours. As for the trailer, slide in, slide out with a tilting trailer and winch. I've done it a few times with a big table saw and a downdraft sanding table. Those were far less rugged then the mill and I'm absolutely sure it will work. Heck, that's how they got a 40,000 pound press out of a container and onto the ground. They slid it on a huge truck and then the truck tilted it's bed and they slid the press to the ground. It simply needs a strong tubular frame about a foot larger in every direction to make sure it wont tilt over AND take the sliding.

    Sawdust has a very low density and you will be moving far less then you think unless you have a huge trailer. Figure about 7-8 pounds per cubic foot versus 45-48 pounds a cubic foot for pellets. Plus it's messy. I rather go to the source, open the door bins and fill my barrel and let it chug away. Any given dust container can have up to 8500 pounds of dust and almost always, the area is already covered with dust (no cleanup).

    As for the variable speed auto feed, that's a great idea. Feeding one shovel at a time is for the Chinese. The only problem I have is that I need some kind of alternator on the motor to drive a small screw feed.

    Of course, this is all in my head....but thankfully, most of the time I'm right...or close.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page