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If you use biomass, why not use steam?

A UK manufacturer of steam management systems is urging companies that use biomass boilers not miss out on their potential to produce steam for generating power as well as heat.

Biomass-fired heating systems have become a popular investment thanks to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which offers a 20-year subsidy for generating green heat.

However, Spirax Sarco believes that biomass users can go one step further by producing steam instead of just hot water, and use it to generate electricity. This ‘co-generation’ makes the system eligible for more RHI income.

Double benefit

“Industries that implement biomass have a fantastic opportunity to increase the RHI that they receive, while generating a small amount of power for their plant”, said Angelo Giambrone, business development manager at the steam systems manufacturer.

“Generating steam instead of hot water in a biomass system allows the latest technology in electrical power generation to be used. This production of electricity from a renewable fuel then allows users to claim as much as double the RHI benefit.”

Once steam produced by the biomass system has been used to power an electricity turbine, it can then be recycled back into the hot water the site needs.

‘Any industry can benefit’

Steam already plays a vital role in a range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to clothing, food production and healthcare. 

“Combustion advances and government initiatives have now brought the hi-tech world of steam to a whole new group of users, who stand to benefit in a big way”, Angelo Giambrone added. 

“The beauty is that any industry can benefit. Opting for a steam biomass system is effectively a greener way of turning a good opportunity into an unmissable one.”

This article was originally published on Green Intelligence on 18 April 2018.

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