Schenck Process UK, based in Doncaster, has recently secured a large order for the supply of an innovative, leading edge technology solution for the conveying of biomass material at the UK’s largest biomass conversion project which is underway at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.

Transformation of Drax to a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator will provide low carbon, cost effective and reliable renewable power making a significant contribution to the UK’s climate change targets.

Through utilising pneumatic conveying technology, Schenck Process has provided a unique solution to the challenge of transporting biomass material from silo storage to the power station’s boilers in a safe, reliable, accurate and efficient manner 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.

Based on established technology and high performance products that have been installed worldwide, the Schenck Process pneumatic conveying system will play a key role in the project that will see Drax convert three of its six generating units to burn sustainable biomass in place of coal.

Pneumatic conveying provides a totally contained, clean and safe working environment through the elimination of dust throughout the whole mill feed process. The alternative transport method of mechanical conveying has the associated risks of creating high concentrations of dust, which is a major design consideration in the safe use of biomass as a fuel.

The Drax biomass storage and handling project includes the use of individual conveying and mill feeding systems, with each conveying vessel having multiple Clyde Process Dome Valves®. This specialised valve was selected for its reliability and is designed to operate up to one million times without the need for maintenance. Clyde Process Ltd are part of the Schenck Process Group, based in Doncaster and are experts in the pneumatic conveying of materials and fuels for the Power, Metals and Minerals industries.

Sensitive to the need to avoid unnecessary generation downtime during the construction phase of the project, the Schenck Process solution factors in considerations such as the location of the new day silos and conveyors in relation to existing infrastructure thus ensuring minimal disruption to power generation.

Schenck Process have worked closely with Shepherd Construction, the main contractor for the project, to ensure that the silo storage, and its associated conveying system, interfaces smoothly with the Schenck Process equipment.