Sponsor Spotlight: Komptech Americas

In 1992, Komptech developed the TopTurn, one of the industry's original European windrow turners. Today, the company has more than 40 distributors worldwide selling the company’s trademark green waste and biomass processing equipment.
By Todd Dunderdale | April 13, 2017

In Europe, the biomass industry is further developed due to regulations supporting green energy.  As with many other recycling sectors, the U.S. market is playing catch up with the levels and technology of industries that had a 15- to 20-year head start.  But as with many young markets, the level for growth is exceptional.

According to the Biomass resource assessment of 2012:

• Biomass resources totaling just under 680 million dry tons could be made available, in a sustainable manner, each year within the U.S. by 2030.

• This is enough biomass to produce more than 54 billion gallons of ethanol (four times as much corn ethanol as the U.S. produced in 2010, or 732 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity (19 percent of total U.S. power consumption in 2010).

• Biomass resources are distributed widely across the U.S., ensuring that communities across America can benefit both financially and environmentally from increased biomass production.

Specifically for the biomass market, Komptech has developed several machines that address specific needs for the material supplier, as well as the energy producer.

Multistar Star Screens
The in-feed system of a biomass plant determines the size of feedstock that can be supplied. If the infeed system can only handle 3-inch-minus material, any pieces outside this spec can clog up the system and back up material resulting in a shutdown. For fuel suppliers or for the plant itself, this can be regulated by processing the material through a star screen first. This will ensure that the overage pieces get removed before being fed into the system preventing shutdowns.

Crambo Wood Shredder
Most U.S. customers who produce biomass use a high-speed grinder to make their product. The reason for this is that the grinder can make a small product with high throughput rates. This done at a high cost to the producer, however, with large fuel consumption and downtime. The biomass plants prefer a shredded product that has more surface area and burns hotter, creating more Btus. The Crambo also has the advantage of producing less fines, which the biomass plants prefer. As for the biomass fuel producer, the Crambo provides the benefit of low fuel consumption, as well as resistance to dirt and rock, which is found in most of their feedstock. This means biomass is supplied at a lower cost, making this type of green energy attractive.

Stonefex Stone Separator
Rocks have always been a big issue for biomass plants. Rocks do not provide any Btu value, and cause wear on the equipment. They also create a waste product that must be removed after the burn process. For years, the biomass industry tried water bath separators, and Komptech previously produced one.  However, this technology used a lot of water, which was hard on the equipment, and also created a disposal problem. The big issue was that all the wood waste that went through this type of treatment was now wet, and didn’t burn as well. Komptech engineers decided to solve this problem with the Stonefex. This machine was built to remove rocks out of biomass using air instead of water, eliminating the problems of the water baths. 

Komptech Americas has been providing biomass solutions in the U.S. for over 10 years.  With processes learned from a 20-year head start, Komptech can provide the mobile or stationary solution for the biomass industry.

Plexus Recycling Technologies
In 2016, the industry leaders at Komptech Americas formed the company Plexus Recycling Technologies. They had one massive goal—to bring advance recycling technologies from around the world together in systems that solve entrenched problems. In addition to Komptech Stationary equipment, Plexus Recycling Technologies is the distributor for other global recycling solutions, such as Andritz, Matthiessen, waste treatment technologies and ZenRobotics.  It’s a great fit, as these companies each offer unique technologies that can be combined to form custom solutions for the biomass industry. 

“We formed Plexus Recycling Technologies as a platform to create the finest systems with parts from world-class companies,” says CEO Marcel Vallen. “We are constantly searching for advanced technologies to bring to the North American market.”

Author: Todd Dunderdale
Vice President of Marketing, Komptech Americas