Peat Briquettes History
by Marvin Pirila
Local Peat Plants already harvest peat for largely horticultural purposes, but what about expanding its base into new products? What is the potential for new jobs and greater profits?
The most promising peat product would appear to be the peat briquette.
Peat is a natural, ecologically pure product that is also renewable. It has always been used as fuel, but only recently have new technologies created an essentially new, efficient, and demanded product. Peat briquettes and pellets are produced with modern equipment that ensures the highest quality.
Peat is a very efficient fuel once dried and granulated.
Peat briquettes and pellets have a highly calorific fuel coefficient and guaranteed uniform quality, ideal for all types of stoves, boilers, chimneys, etc., designed for solid fuel. The fuel is produced by extrusion of pressed and dried peat ground. As there are no chemical additives, it poses no harm to the environment. Burning peat briquettes or pellets provides an effective, cost effective substitute for wood, oil fuel, coal or electricity for heating.
Basic characteristics of peat briquettes and pellets: high calorific (4500-5200 Kcal/kg) coefficient; long combustion period [7-15 hours (10 kg)]; and low quantity of ash residue (2-5%). One kilogram is just over 2.37 pounds.
The calorific value of a fuel is the quantity of heat produced by its combustion - at constant pressure and under "normal" conditions.
Higher Calorific Value or Gross Calorific Value (GCV) is where the water of combustion is entirely condensed and that the heat contained in the water vapor is recovered. Peat has a Gross Calorific Value of 5,500-8,800 Btu/lb whereas dry wood has a GCV of 6,200 - 7,500.
In comparison to other fuels, 1.1 tons of peat replaces 2 ½ - 3 tons of coal or 7.2 to 9.2 cubic yards of wood (1.51 to 1.94 cords) and as much heat as 475 cubic meters of gas, 132.1 gallons of diesel fuel, or 181 gallons of fuel oil. The energy that emanates from burning of one kilogram of peat is equivalent to about 5 kilowatts per hour of electricity.
One cord (4' x 4' x 8') = 128 ft³; 1 yd³ = 27 ft³ (3x3x3), or 4.74 yd³ per cord. One cubic yard = 0.2109375 cords.
Its compact, consistent form makes it convenient to transport and plan logistics. One ton of peat fuel can be stored in an area of only 1.5 cubic meters. Peat briquettes and pellets are clean, uniform, smooth, shiny, without cracks, and pleasant-smelling. They do not make dust and dirt, and are simple and easy to use.
Firewood efficiency is dependent upon the type of wood (hardness/density) and its moisture content. Briquettes have low moisture rates of 6-12%, whereas “seasoned” firewood is roughly 20% and green (fresh-cut) wood 50-60%.
Peat burns almost entirely, leaving little to clean from the combustion chamber. The small amount of ash (2-5%) can be efficiently used as a natural complex soil fertilizer. Peat briquettes burn efficiently, emits little smoke, and is safe for environment. Additionally, it doesn't throw sparks, thus eliminating a dangerous fire hazard. Peat has high density and flow characteristics which is very important for automated heating equipment
The conversion to peat fuel does not require any change in existing equipment. Peat fuel is ideal for those with modest budgets, as well as those using it for industrial purposes.
Dry wood and peat have similar Btu's per pound, and might be infeasible in areas where wood is plentiful and peat harvesting is absent. However, given the number of peat harvesting operations in the general area, the underlying cost of equipment for taking peat from the bog is already accounted for.