Wood Energy Boiler is ‘Shore’ Thing for Seaweed Plant

Wood Energy Boiler is ‘Shore’ Thing for Seaweed Plant

Biomass heating pioneer Wood Energy has extended its reach to the furthest shores of the UK, with the installation of a 999kW Binder wood chip boiler, at a unique Outer Hebridean production plant.

Hitched to a drying mill at the state of the art Uist Asco production facility on North Uist Island, the fully automatic boiler uses timber from the company’s own renewable supply to process Knotted Wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum) seaweed, freshly harvested from the shores of the island, into feedstuffs and organic fertilizer for the agricultural sector.

It is estimated that around six million tonnes of wood is wasted by being sent to landfill in the UK each year and that the forestry industry wastes enough biomass annually to heat 1,500,000 homes. But the highly efficient and robust Binder unit - which has a low ash residue and the capability to burn fuel with moisture content of up to 55% (the same as a freshly felled tree) - will allow Asco to make full use of even the very low grade brash and branch wood material recovered from its sustainable forestry operations.

Uist Asco Managing Director Raghnall MacIain explained "The Binder is remarkable and can reduce tonnes of wood to mere handfuls of ash, so we have a low amount of waste; and, because we don’t use traditional fossil fuels, we are able to compete on price and quality and operate a carbon neutral system. We are proud to be a totally local, sustainably organic operation.”

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