Sunflower husk pellets



Sunflower Husk Pellets  (SFHP) are made of the scales of sunflower nuts. They are a by-product of sunflower oil extraction process and can be found in big quantities in  sunflower oil factories. Their value as an animal food is very low because of the low content of protein and that is why they are not competing with other animal food products. Big amounts  of sunflower husks are produced in South Russia and in Ukraine. As a biofuel sunflower husk pellets has been successfully used in UK power plants and also in Poland. After Polish government stopped the subsidy for burning   agricultural products  and after in Western Europe co firing has been mainly substituted by wood pellets  importance of sunflower husks has  significantly decreased. But as a biofuel SFHP can be definitely used in biomass dedicated power plants and also for co firing with coal.

Their NCV is close to the NCV of wood pellets, being 17,-17,6 GJ per mt ,in some cases it may go up to 18,0 GJ per mt. Ash content is on the level of 2,6-3,0% being little bit higher than  the ash  content of Industrial 2 wood pellets. In most of the cases Sulphur content may be slightly higher than 0,2% which is slightly higher than accepted for wood pellets. Durability index (Hard Grove Index) of SFHP is 18,which means they are harder than olive cake (GHI 20), but softer than olive stones and PKS ( HGI 15). 

The biggest problem of SFHP may be their relatively high dust content ( bigger content of the particles below 3,15 mm and  lower mechanical durability).Sometimes the problem pf SFHP may be their slightly lower bulk density which may make the inland transportation after unloading more expensive.

Sometimes particle size inside the pellets may be bigger than in wood pellets.

Otherwise as a biofuel  SFHP  are most close to wood pellets, which makes them one of the best biomass options. SFHP produced in Russia are more often dusty and have lower bulk density. Ukranian pellets are usually of higher quality. SFHP are  transported by hopper railway wagons trough Byelorussia and Latvia or Lithuania. To the end users pellets are transported by sea vessels. There  is also a possibility to deliver SFHP directly  by sea vessels from South Russia, in these cases pellets  are loaded on the vessels in Azov sea ports.