When it comes to making pellets a question we get asked very often is about pellet binders.
There is a lot of confusion as some pellet mill manufacturers state that their equipment does not require binders, while other state binders maybe needed. Some low quality Chinese pellet mills will always require binders to make wood pellets, and in some cases even with a binder it is not possible to produce a good quality wood pellet. With our range of equipment we can produce wood pellets without any binder at all. However we often include a binder hopper in the design of the pellet plant as many are also designed to process animal feeds which often require a binder. As wood is a very strong fibre it contains a lot of lignin, which is its own binder. Under heat and pressure this binder is released and holds the pellet together. Therefore as long as you can generate sufficient heat and compression it is possible to produce wood pellets without any binder at all. However a small inclusion of a purpose made binder such as modified corn starch can aid the process. A purpose made binder will be added in very small quantities, for instance 1% and the costs per ton are very small. What adding a small amount of professional binder can do is reduce energy consumption, improve pellet mill productivity and increase the life of consumable parts such as the rollers and die. Therefore the additional cost of the binder can save much more in production and parts costs. Also modified corn starch in no way will effect the combustion results of the pellets. Therefore to the end user they will not be aware of the difference. In our pellet plants we completely automate this process of adding a binder. Once the material passes through the hammer mill it is carried up an auger to the pellet mill hopper. Please click below and you can see our binder hopper on the small pellet plant.