Technical Services

For information on invoicing methods for the technical services offered by CEDER, go to the CIEMAT "Technical Services" website and click on the section titled “Renewable energy and energy savings”, then select the “Bioenergy” option.

In general terms, and with the aim of extending the scope of the Centre’s activities to include industry and other public and private R&D centres, we provide a range of different technical services.

Any of the services specified in this section can be requested via the Technology Transfer Office by clicking on this link

  • Characterization of biomass and solid biofuels

Contact person: Miguel Fernández; e-mail: miguel.fernandez@ciemat.es.

The Biomass Characterization Laboratory (LCB) offers more than 20 types of test and/or analysis, as indicated on the page for chargeable services.

The LCB also carries out specific analyses that are not listed on the page of chargeable technical services, such as size and shape analysis (sphericity, circularity, etc.) of ash and biomass particles with a photo-optical analyser; studies of corrosion and sintering mechanisms using SEM-EDX; trace element analysis (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Ni, F, etc.) in effluent from thermochemical processes (ash, filters, liquids, etc.); and proprietary methods for predicting behaviour during fusion.  

photo of fusibility analysis for biomass ash

 

  • Evaluation of the resources and feasibility of biomass projects

Contact person: Paloma Pérez; e-mail: paloma.perez@ciemat.es.

Our years of experience have enabled us to develop tailor-made evaluations for major Spanish companies such as GESTAMP, ACCIONA and REPSOL, including analysis of technical and economic feasibility. Additionally, since 2009 we have been offering BIORAISE (http://bioraise.ciemat.es),, a free online SIG application, for the evaluation of forest, agricultural and industrial biomass in different EU countries within southern Europe. Moreover, we have complemented this application with the addition of Bioraise-CE (http://bioraise.ciemat.es/BioraiseCE), which enables users to evaluate the potential of different industrial crops in Spain. These applications allow us to develop specific solutions with levels of detail that are optimized to suit our clients.  

Link and photo of presentation of Bioraise applicationphoto of tailor-made evaluation of biomass resourcesLink and photo of presentation of Bioraise-CE application

 

  • Studies on the harvesting and logistics of forest and agricultural biomass

Contact person: Raquel Bados; e-mail: raquel.bados@ciemat.es.

We study the most important logistics processes that make up the value chain for solid biomass, from the field through to installation of the conversion systems. Since 2005 we have been developing biomass harvesting and logistics processes for energy crops; moreover, since 2014, following the acquisition of specific machinery and the development of the LIFE ENERBIOSCRUB project http://enerbioscrub.ciemat.es/, we have been building our capacity and acquiring relevant experience in this particular field. Using innovative commercial machinery, we conduct full-scale studies of short-rotation energy crops, the clearing of undergrowth and the harvesting of forest waste.

photo of study on the harvesting of Cistus ladanifer in Guadalajara - 1 photo of study on the harvesting of Cistus ladanifer in Guadalajara - 2

 

  • Biomass pretreatment

Contact person: Raquel Bados; e-mail: raquel.bados@ciemat.es.

Our facilities enable us to study the preparation and adaptation of biomass inside the plant, including drying, particle-size reduction and pelleting. Our plants are similar in size to those used by the industry, which allows us to gather reliable data that can be used for evaluating processes. We can take in biomass of any type, size and moisture content, and convert it to whichever size (including micrometric particles for powder furnaces) and moisture level is required, with optimum energy efficiency. Below are brief descriptions of our main facilities:

  • Crushing, milling and classification

We are able to study milling processes ranging from very large sizes (tree stumps and trunks, large bales, etc.) to fine particles (less than 4 mm), with capacities of between 1,000 and 2,000 kg/h. We have a 90 kW single-axle, slow-rotating crusher, a 75 kW mill with oscillating hammer, and a two-stage oscillating sieve. We are also able to study and optimize processes with the aim of reducing the amount of energy that is needed to reduce particle size and produce particles of different qualities.

photo 1 of ultra-fine particle-size reduction for biomassphoto 2 of ultra-fine particle-size reduction for biomass

  • Conventional drying in a rotary drum

We study the process of drying biomass in a horizontal rotary dryer with the following specification:

  • Type: open, direct, parallel flow.
  • Heat source: biomass furnace.
  • Nominal capacity: 0.5 t/h of wet biomass.

We measure and control the input and output temperature of gas, airflow, fuel, and the biomass to be dried. Material and energy balances and process modelling.

photo of drying in a rotary-drum dryer

  • Hybrid drying

This type of drying is specially designed for processing very wet waste, such as sludge from wastewater treatment plants. It is also suitable for crushed or milled lignocellulosic biomass at values of 10-15% (wet basis). The innovative aspect of this dryer is the integration of different heat-supply systems with a design that enables constant daily and seasonal performance that remains stable in terms of moisture while maximizing the use of solar energy compared to the consumption of fuel, thereby contributing to the saving of both money and energy. The size of the drying tunnel is 3,700 x 19,000 mm and there are different elements to move the biomass and transfer the solar heat from a biomass boiler. The capacity can reach 200 kg/h of dry biomass (12% final moisture content), with an initial moisture content of 45%. Automated operation and system for the acquisition of process variables that enable analysis and modelling.

photo of hybrid dryer

  • Biomass micronization

We study the performance and costs associated with the fine milling or micronization of biomass, for use in furnaces or for applications involving conversion through fractionization. The system has been used, for example, in studying the fine milling of waste materials such as olive pomace and different types of wood chips and bark. It is comprised of two hammer mills connected in series, an oscillating sieve and a dynamic classifier. The first hammer mill has a nominal power rating of 11 kW and is used for preliminary milling. The second mill has a nominal power rating of 15 kW and is used for refining the pre-milled biomass. Both mills operate at 3,000 rpm. Final particle size is selected by changing the sieves that are inserted into the mills. The dynamic air classifier makes it possible to separate the larger particles from those that have reached the desired level of fineness (when this is lower than 1 mm). The plant’s capacity can range from 200 to 700 kg of biomass, depending on the characteristics of the material to be processed (e.g. moisture content, initial distribution of particle size, and the required particle size for the end product).

 

photo of ultra-fine particle-size reduction for biomass

  • Pelleting biomass and waste

We have a complete pilot plant for studying the process of pelleting different biomass and waste materials and their mixtures. Since 2005, we have developed more than 100 services for different companies, and this particular facility has taken part in more than 20 Spanish and European projects, thereby contributing to the major advances currently being made in this sector.

photo of testing in the pilot pelleting plant

We have a mixing system that enables us to reliably mix different materials to create bespoke pellets. We can also incorporate additives to provide special properties. The performance indicators and main characteristics of the system are as follows:

Mixing

  • Three silos, each measuring four cubic metres.
  • Weighing system.
  • Rotary mixer.
  • Dosing-control system.
  • Capacity: 1,000-3,000 kg/h.

Pelleting

  • Flat die: 500 mm diameter.
  • Roller width: 75 mm.
  • Motor: 30 kW.
  • Capacity: 300-500 kg/h.