John Thompson’s biofuels test project yielded valuable data for future use

PortiaIndustry News

Personal care and food products supplier Unilever Ghana Ltd contracted boiler manufacturer John Thompson to design, install and commission a biomass boiler to produce steam for its factory in Tema, Ghana. The boiler was designed to burn various types of biomass fuels. The boiler plant consists of the following equipment:

  • Europac TU1050 packaged boiler
  • Triumph chain grate biomass stoker
  • H-fin economiser
  • High efficiency multicyclone grit collector
  • Bag filter

The boiler was fitted with various enhancements to aid biomass combustion and comply with the Air Emissions Act. These include a chain grate stoker with an extended ignition arch which optimises biomass combustion, a bottom primary air fan, a side secondary air fan and a combustion air heater. An economiser was fitted to increase the overall boiler efficiency.

Trials on Alternative Biomass Fuels

The primary fuel used since commissioning has been palm kernel shells. Following the optimum performance of the boiler plant, Unilever further requested John Thompson to conduct trials on alternative biomass fuels available in Ghana to diversify their fuel supply chain. The biomass market has been growing exponentially in the last two years.

These tests offered John Thompson the ideal opportunity to test its products and evaluate their performance in actual operating conditions. Test data from operational plants is critical to validate that the boilers and ancillary equipment offered to clients are the best engineered solutions.

Test Parameters

The testing involved operating the boiler on the most popular biomass fuels available in West Africa, optimising combustion settings and collecting combustion and emissions data. The fuel storage and feeding system was also monitored during the testing.

Test Project’s Benefits

Valuable data was collected, enabling John Thompson to better understand the performance of its equipment under normal operating conditions with different biomass fuels.

John Thompson is a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd which is the largest manufacturer, solutions provider, repairer and distributor of electromechanical equipment in Africa.

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