Fuel oil is the main fuel of industrial factories which require heat for the manufacturing Fuel oil is the main fuel of industrial factories which require heat for the manufacturing process, such as the food industry, textile industry, brewing industry and rubber glove industry. Fuel oil is easy to burn, and it is convenient to stock and order. The major machinery used with fuel oil is a fire-tube boiler. The important characteristic is that the heat generated from the combustion process will flow in tube surrounding with flow in the tube surrounding with water. The pressure of this boiler type does not exceed 20 kg/cm3 and the capacity is not over20 ton steam/hour.
Another boiler type is a water-tube boiler, which operates at high pressure and produces a significantly greater amount of steam than a fire-tube boiler. The design of a water-tube boiler is opposite to that of a fire-tube boiler, i.e. the heat generated from the combustion process will flow outside the tubes with water circulating inside.
However, due to the considerable increase of fuel oil prices since the 1997 economic crisis, many factories have switched from fuel oil to biomass because the biomass is cheaper in terms of “Baht/heating value.”
To calculate the biomass consumption as substitute for fuel oil, the combustion efficiency of both fuels has to be taken into account because the combustion efficiency of fuwl oil is higher than that of rice husks.
Moreover, there are some other factors that must also be considered prior to switching to use biomass, i.e. the investment cost of a new biomass boiler, a place of stocking biomass feedstock and a bit more maintenance cost.
Reference: Biomass Book
Published by Energy for Environment Foundation, Biomass Clearinghouse