Project Sawdust 2000: Heating systems on sawdust in Tasca, Romania

ProjectsSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2005

Existing district heating system was rehabilitatеd for usage of sawdust fuel

By Monica Preda

А project addressing the Romanian district-heating sector aiming to substitute fossil fuels like oil and natural gas with local wood residues like sawdust, wood chips and bark originating from forestry and sawmill industry, has completed recently. The name of the project is Sawdust 2000. This project is based upon cooperation between Romanian Agency for Energy Conservation (ARCE) and Danish Environmental Projection Agency (DEPA) and also the Environmental Protection Inspectorates of the different countries involved.

Where the project was realized?

The village Tasca located near the cement factory Moldocim was selected as the site for implementation of the pilot project. The village Tasca is in Neamt County where sawdust, bark and wood waste are found stockpiled everywhere. This illegal depositing activity is causing a considerable environmental impact on the nature. In 1998 DEPA financed a project aiming to map the quantities of sawdust and other wood waste resources illegally dumped in Neamt County. The findings from this projects tells a story about an annual illegally dumping of 56 000 tons of sawdust residues in the nature (forest areas or dump at sites near sawmills). I.e. large quantities of valuable and easy accessible biomass resources used for nothing, and this even gas and especially oil prices are considered sky high compared to the local economical capabilities. In the same project a suitable location for a pilot project was also identified. The objective with the pilot project was to demonstrate that sawdust and wood waste easily could be transferred from being an environmental problem into a valuable energy resource. The arguments for choosing village Tasca for implementation of the pilot project was:

  • Existing district heating system was available.
  • Large quantities of sawdust- and wood waste resources were available close to Tasca.
  • Strong commitment at the local town hall level and at the County Council level was registered.
  • Privatization of Moldocim was ongoing and it was announced that the heat supply from the factory to the Tasca village would be stopped by the end of year 1999.

The technical span of the project

The technical rehabilitation concept includes the following key elements:

  • Implementation of new automatically controlled biomass boiler systems including, pushrod out-feeding system in the sawdust storage, biomass boiler with step grate, flue gas cleaning system (multi cyclone, bag filter unit), water treatment facilities, main supply pump units, fire protection system, expansion systems, steel chimney;
  • Implementation of a new two track pre-insulated district heating network pipe system connecting the boiler house with all consumers. This is substituting old worn-out four track pipe systems.
  • Implementation of consumer connection units in each building including mixing loops and plate heat exchangers for decentralised production of hot potable water.
  • Replacement of existing heating pipes under buildings with new heating pipes to avoid heat losses from leaking pipes.
  • Renovation of existing boiler plant buildings.
  • Construction of sawdust storage in connection with boiler plant buildings and new buffer storage buildings for storing of sawdust for the winter season.
  • Purchasing of logistic equipment like tractors, wagons and front end loaders for each town for collection and handling of sawdust and other wood waste resources.

Project boundaries are from a GHG emission reduction point of view achieved by:

1) Substituting natural gas and liquid oil by a renewable energy resource in form of wood waste more specific sawdust residues from local sawmills.

2) Reduction of the methane emission from anaerobic digestion of wood residues caused by illegal dumping of sawdust and other wood waste fraction from wood processing industry in the areas where the towns involved are located.