Herty announces mobile pellet mill

By Herty Advanced Materials Development Center | January 17, 2014

The Herty Advanced Materials Development Center has announced the addition of a new mobile pellet development unit (MPDU), a versatile pellet system designed for rapid screening of feedstocks and processing conditions. As a research tool the MPDU is designed to be more versatile and cost-effective than full-scale systems. It can be rapidly reconfigured to assess a range of feedstocks and identify optimum processing conditions. The mill can be employed either on-site at Herty or at the client’s site as a skid-mounted unit.

Herty obtained the MPDU through a generous donation from La Meccanica s.r.l., an Italian-based company that specializes in the design and manufacture of pelletizing equipment.  “La Meccanica’s actions demonstrate the confidence they have in Herty to provide the tools and expertise needed to further grow the energy pellet industry,” said Alexander Koukoulas, president & CEO of Herty. “Additionally, Herty now has the capabilities to go beyond biomass and examine a range of materials including polymer blends, fiber-based composites and additives. It furthers our ability to work with project developers and help them engineer pellets from the ground up.”

The new mobile pellet development unit (MPDU) offers an option of six compression ratio dies and has the capacity to produce 200 lbs. of pellets per hour. This minimizes the need for large quantities of feedstock for scoping studies. The MPDU provides realistic operational parameters that are relevant at the commercial scale.  “The more compact MPDU complements Herty’s larger, 1-ton per hour pre-commercial mill,” said Omar Ali, director of Herty’s Bio-products Division. “Having both pellet mills on site significantly increases our capabilities and allows our clients to better assess process conditions to produce pellets from a range of feedstock types.” 


Herty has already secured its first client to run trials on the MPDU, with operations scheduled to begin later this month.

With the increased domestic and international demand for energy pellets derived from renewable resources such as wood, wood waste and agricultural biomass, Herty is poised to further promote the growth of the energy pellet industry. According to recent International Energy Agency estimates, global demand for energy pellets increased 110 percent between 2006 and 2010, reaching 13.5 million tons. Global demand is expected to remain strong, increasing to at least 35 million tons by 2020.