AB cogeneration working for Ledoga, an Italian symbol of excellence in the wood processing industry

Chestnut wood is processed to extract the tannins and produce pellets from the tannin-free wood. The process requires a large amount of electric power and thermal energy and AB cogeneration […]

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By george marshall

Chestnut wood is processed to extract the tannins and produce pellets from the tannin-free wood. The process requires a large amount of electric power and thermal energy and AB cogeneration plants have proven to be the ideal choice for the task. Respectful of the environment and attentive to the economies of companies, they are perfect for intensive energy-consuming industries such as this one. Ledoga, an Italian symbol of excellence, is a leading tanning chemical company. In fact, the chestnut wood tannins extracted are mainly used for leather tanning. Always looking to invest in high technology, the Piedmont-based company has taken the path of energy efficiency by adopting a “green” policy and partnering up with AB, a world leader in the cogeneration sector. The aim is to rationalize the use of fossil energy sources in order to achieve economic savings as well as environmental condition improvements from reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Orzinuovi (Bs), 18 January 2017. Chestnut tannin production is an ancient activity that looks to the future. The production process involves using just chipped virgin timber and countercurrent flow of hot water to extract the tannins from the wood. Tannin is used in leather tanning to give the hides flexibility, fastness to light and abrasion resistance, all of which are essential characteristics in the shoe industry. In Italy, Ledoga has a reputation of excellence in this sector but also as a wood pellet manufacturer. Pellet production, in fact, closes the company’s industrial cycle, which is a virtuous one given that the pellets are made out of the tannin-free wood chips that remain after the extraction process. Due to the fact that these production processes consume large amounts of electrical and thermal energy and the skyrocketing costs of energy sources in these last few years, especially in Italy, Ledoga turned to industry leader AB to build a cogeneration plant from the ECOMAX® Natural Gas line right inside its production facility in San Michele Mondovì (Cuneo province), investing a whopping 4.5 million euros in the project.

The plant is a natural gas-fired ECOMAX® 27 NGS, a modular solution in a container with heating power input of 5,970 kW, rated electrical power of 2,668 kW and cogenerated thermal power of 3,006 kW.

The electrical energy produced is entirely self-consumed; any excess is fed back into the grid. In addition to containing energy resource procurement costs, cogeneration has allowed Ledoga to achieve total thermal energy self-sufficiency and partially go off the electrical grid. The plant, in fact, not only covers the facility’s electrical needs but also produces heat in the form of steam and hot water, both of which are introduced into the facility’s utility supply systems for use in the initial processing of the wood and in the washing and final drying of the pellets. The new plant saves approximately 5,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and, in terms of the Group’s operations, nearly 8,200 hours/year.

Cogenerator features

LCV methanekWh/Nm39.5
Natural gas consumptionNm3/h628
Input powerkW5,970
Mechanical power suppliedkWe2,745
Electrical power suppliedkWe2,668
Potential thermal power recovery from engine cooling (hot water)kWt3,006
Electrical yield%44.7
Thermal yield%50.3
Overall yield%95

 

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