By carolemetcalfe

Tong on the boil with Biomass

NewQuip Biomass Star Screen Tong Biomass Separator

With a promising future for farm-based renewable energy and an increasing number of farmers taking advantage of on-farm Biomass-fed energy generating systems, Tong Engineering and Prostar Recycling Machinery have joined forces to offer a range of specialist equipment for efficiently processing wood and waste materials for use in Biomass boilers.

Latest DEFRA figures have demonstrated that more farmers than ever are looking towards the renewables sector to boost their income. Whilst solar and wind generation have proved the most popular routes of diversification into renewable energy, the installation of anaerobic digestion and biomass facilities for heating and electricity generation is considerably rising.

As the manufacturing partner of Prostar Recycling Machinery, Tong Engineering produces a number of star vegetable cleaner screening machines for the effective separation of fines from compost and recycling waste materials. The latest additions to the Prostar range include fixed and adjustable shaft star screens which have been specifically designed to separate out fine dust and/or oversize material from Biomass material.

“Biomass is created by shredding waste and forest wood, and the shredder will typically produce a lot of dust particles which may be outside of the specification required for the biomass burner” says Chris Pearson, Managing Director at Prostar Recycling Machinery. “Equally, a worn shredder will often eject long over-size pieces into the material which is likely to clog or to cause problems or blockages within the intake system for the burners.”

The new Biomass materials handling equipment is based upon a hybrid of Prostar’s proven Varistar and Galaxy star screening systems, offering farmers with a valuable three-way splitting process which most commonly results in effectively separated dust, G50 biomass and oversize materials. The Varistar is built with adjustable star shafts, giving a screening range of typically 10mm to 50mm, whilst the Galaxy machine is capable of screening 0-18mm.

The new star screening solution means that operators have biomass materials that are effectively separated and fit for immediate use.  Any dust removed is largely sold to a ready market, typically for animal bedding. The G50 biomass materials can be fed directly into the biomass plant, and the oversize can be recovered and fed back into the shredder.

“We have been working with Prostar Recycling Machinery for a number of years and the Varistar and Galaxy star screening machines have proved very effective in removing non-specification materials from waste sorting plants and waste to energy operations” explains Edward Tong, Managing Director at Tong Engineering. “With an increase in demand for equipment to effectively process biomass materials, we developed the new screening equipment by combining these two proven machines to get a high specification biomass material. The specialist equipment is built to suit the specific materials that our customer is processing, making their biomass operations much more productive, with capacities from 5 to 40 tonnes per hour .”

In addition to the screen options, Tong Engineering and Prostar Recycling Machinery also offer a wide range of feed hoppers and elevators with capacities to suit a wide range of handling requirements. They have also developed a special bagging system for biomass processors, for effectively filling one metre high bags. The new bagging machine can be used alongside the star screening equipment to pack the undersized dust as it comes off the line.

Adam Dye, of Newquip in North Yorkshire, has recently taken delivery of a new handling system for the company’s woodchip processing plant, including a high capacity feed hopper, star screening system and a number of mobile elevators. Adam says “We were initially looking for a feed hopper to handle the woodchip as it is delivered to site. Once we could see how a star screening system would work for us, allowing us to remove fines from the woodchip and grade it into different sizes to meet a variety of customer requirements, we decided to integrate a Prostar screening system into the process. We are also using Tong mobile elevators to stockpile the woodchip and speed up loading of lorries.”

“The new system allows us to handle up to 400 tons of woodchip daily, which is more than we would ever achieve. With the new Tong hopper we can now take walking floor delivery of the woodchip and feed it directly into our driers. This has allowed us to significantly reduce the filling time of our driers by three quarters! Our entire woodchip handling process is much more efficient; it is not only faster but we can achieve much more value from the woodchip than ever before.”

For more details on the wide range of recycling and waste handling equipment available from Tong Engineering and Prostar Recycling Machinery visit