What is Biomass?

Why Biomass?

Biomass is the sequestered energy from the sun, or stored solar energy. When released in a controlled way, this energy can be used to heat communities, commercial buildings, and large farming operations. The term biomass refers to structural and non-structural carbohydrates and other compounds produced through photosynthesis consisting of plant materials and agricultural, industrial, and municipal wastes and residues. The components of biomass include cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, lipids, proteins, simple sugars, starches, water, hydrocarbons, ash and other compounds.

Biomass consists of organic residues from plants and animals, which are obtained primarily from the harvesting and processing of agricultural and forestry crops. The most cost effective heating occurs when biomass wastes and byproducts destined for landfill are redefined and reformatted so that they become fuels for producing energy. Examples of biomass residues that are frequently wasted but could be utilized in as an energy source are forest slash, urban wood waste, lumber waste, as well as straw and other agricultural waste.

Environmental Advantages

Biomass is a renewable low carbon fuel, readily available throughout most areas in North America.

It is a sustainable fuel that can deliver a significant reduction in net carbon emissions when compared with fossil fuels. Every ton of pellets used instead of oil reduces carbon emissions by 1.5 tons. (Pellet institute) Fuels are sources from wood including pellets and chips.

Forests represent one of the greatest renewable resources and provide vital ecosystem values, products, sources.

Historical trends show the volume of growing stock of hard wood and softwood tree species in the U.S. forests has increased continually over the past five decades by 49 percent between 1953 and 2006.(SAF) Trees are growing faster than they are being used.

Local Community

The actual feed stock (trees and wood waste) to be used for biomass fuel as well as the conversion facilities are located locally. This means jobs stay local, and more money stays in the region for rural economies, and local development of conversion facilities such as pellet manufacturing facilities and chip plants creates more jobs.

Estimates of as many as 700,000 jobs are exported to other countries that supply the petroleum for the heating fuel used to heat homes and businesses in the Northern states. (Strauss)

Benefits of Biomass

  • Fuel costs are lower per BTU
  • It keeps money and jobs local
  • Carbon neutral
  • It is a locally renewable energy source

Why Gasification?

Gasification is a process that converts carbonaceous materials, such as coal or biomass, into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by reacting the raw material at high temperatures with a controlled (about one-third the oxygen needed for efficient combustion) amount of oxygen [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasification].

The resulting gas mixture is called synthesis gas or syngas and is itself a fuel. Combustion is a function of the mixture of oxygen with the hydrocarbon fuel. Gaseous fuels mix with oxygen more easily than liquid fuels, which in turn mix more easily than solid fuels. Syngas therefore inherently burns more efficiently and cleanly than the solid biomass from which it was made. Gasification is generally recognized to be a very efficient method for extracting energy from many different types of organic materials.

Additionally, the high-temperature combustion refines out corrosive and problematic ash elements such as silica, chloride and potassium, allowing clean combustion from otherwise problematic fuels [www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/gasification.html], specifically straw. If these salts are not removed, they will very seriously shorten the life of any heat exchanger. The TGE patented ASilica Trap@ effectively deals with these salts.

Syngas has been used by others to run internal combustion engines, at Triple Green Energy we burn it in the secondary chamber to extract all possible heat energy out of the biomass.

Energy Source Chart

(prices will vary with time and region)

Energy Source Mega joules BTU Unit Efficiency Cost/Unit Cost per 1 million Btu
Oil 38.2 36,300 Litre 75% $ 0.70 $25.80
Electric 3.6 3,413 Kwh 95% $ 0.057 $17.60
Natural gas 37.5 35,301 M3 75% $ 0.355 $13.33
Propane 25.3 24,200 Litre 95% $ 0.41 $18.01
Hardwood 30,600 26,444,444 Cord 55% $150.0 $10.83
Softwood 18,700 16,160,494 Cord 55% $100.00 $ 9.39
Wood pellets 19,800 17,111,111 Tonne 65% $200.00 $17.21
Estevan coal 16,200 14,000,000 Tonne 65% $45.00 $ 4.86
Alberta coal 24,300 17,000,000 Tonne 80% $65.00 $ 4.98
Wheat straw 8,100 7,000,000 500 kg bale 85% $ 15.00 $ 2.09
Flax straw 9,985 8,629,012 500 kg bale 85% $ 5.00 $ 1.87

General Description

The configuration of the TGE heating unit is that of a gasifier/combuster controlled by a PLC. Triple Green Energy believes that the ideal installation uses fuel originating in close proximity to the heating unit, and that the fuel requires minimal preparation. Other installations can be accommodated.


  • Our SmartFire technology consists of a computer monitoring temperature, vacuum and oxygen content at various points in the system. This information determines the amount of air injected at various points.
  • Fuel is injected as the system calls for heat. Air is optimized for the amount of fuel being burned.
  • Most of our installations depend on large bales of cereal straw, but other biomass fuels can also be used.
  • Our bale shredding system combined with a bale conveying system, allows for the loading of a one week supply of fuel at a time.

Our silica trap removes boiler clogging silica that occurs naturally in cereal straw. Unless these salts are dealt with, they will foul up any boiler. The most common biomass utilized in the TGE heating unit is post-harvest baled wheat straw. In many locations straw is the cheapest, accessible resource that is totally renewable. The gasification process in the TGE unit converts biomass to hot water or air. Models range from 1,000,000 Btu/hr to 20,000,000 Btu/hr. The smallest system producing one million BTU’s per hour and operating at full capacity requires approximately 170 pounds of straw per hour with moisture content from 10 to 15%.

What is the TGE System?

Triple Green Energy has developed the technology to extract heat energy from biomass efficiently. Our automated system will produce heat day after day year after year. Biomass material, which is most often agriculturally generated straw or wood chips, is combusted on a grate. The fuel is fed continuously and automatically by a conveyor system. The heat of combustion is transferred to water in a boiler that is separate from the combustion unit. A hydronic system delivers this hot water to places where it is needed. Close control of combustion and heat output is maintained by synchronizing and automating the rate of biomass feed, the amount of combustion air intake and the temperature difference in inlet and outlet water temperature.

The combination of low operating cost and relatively high capital cost means that the TGE system is most appropriate for large loads operating with a substantial year round base load. Where the system operates near-rated capacity and with a high number of operating hours, the fuel savings cover the capital costs of a TGE System.

Introduction to the TGE System

  • Biomass fuel is more cost effective than fossil fuel.
  • Biomass fuel is a renewable resource.
  • Biomass fuel is CO2 neutral.
  • Biomass fuel efficiently transports and stores.
  • Fuel heating systems comply with the air emissions standards of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Biomass fuel heating appliances provide cost-effective residential, commercial, industrial and greenhouse space heating applications.
  • Biomass fuel is not subject to world price fluctuation as is fossil fuel.
  • Biomass fuel creates 91% less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels.


Agricultural waste (straw) and forest waste (slash, and urban wood waste) is the cheapest available form of energy. The only cost of this energy is the cost of converting it into a useable format and transporting it to the utilization site.

With the growing concern over the long-term availability of fossil fuel, there is increasing interest in growing energy crops. Although such crops show promise, such an energy source will never be as cheap as biomass waste.

The counterpoint to this is that the construction of furnaces utilizing natural gas is relatively easy, and hence such furnaces are relatively cheap. Biomass furnaces are significantly more complex and hence significantly more expensive.


With proper management, the biomass resource base can be sustained indefinitely.

Environmental Benefits

Biomass combustion is CO2 neutral. When biomass is burned in a furnace, it releases CO2. This is inherent to combustion. However, this same CO2 would be released whether that biomass is burned in an uncontrolled way, or if it decays naturally. The normal decay of biomass will result in more release of methane into the air than will be released if the same biomass were burned in a well-designed furnace. Methane gas is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. Most bio-fuels have a negligible sulfur content. A well-designed furnace will not generate smoke.

Fuel Price Stability

Biofuels are widely available. In most parts of North America, there is a supply of available biomass materials, either forest or agriculture-based.

Biofuel prices are relatively stable and locally controlled. Prices have remained steady over the years in spite of wide fluctuations in fossil fuel prices, and are expected to increase more slowly than those of petroleum-based fuels.

Local Economic Benefits

Bio-fuel dollars remain in the local economy. Biomass fuels are generated locally. Their collection, preparation, and delivery involves significant local labor input, whereas whatever benefits there are in fossil fuel distribution, they are not in the local community. The economic impact of biomass utilization activity means dollars remain in the local area, creating filter-down economic activity as well as improving the local tax base and building tax revenues.

Heating Comfort

A well-designed biomass system provides high comfort levels. Because biofuels can be inexpensive, system operators are able to justify increased building temperatures leading to greater comfort and productivity. With high-priced fossil fuels, there is greater pressure to lower temperatures for fuel cost savings.

Commercially Proven and Flexible: Biomass combustion technologies are commercially proven throughout North America, having already achieved significant market penetration in residential and large industrial applications.

Well designed biomass combustion systems are highly flexible. Solid-fuel systems can be easily converted to burn almost any conceivable fuel (solid, liquid or gaseous), thus providing the user with great flexibility in the future.

TGE Bioheat System

TGE3000 Containerized

3,000,000 BTU

900 kW thermal

100 bHP

Other sizes available

TripleGreenEnergy.com This solid fuel close-coupled combustor is a non-pressurized, up-draft design where primary pyrolysis takes place, on a fixed rotating grate fuel bed located in the primary chamber. Final combustion of the gases takes place in the patented secondary chamber. Both primary and secondary chambers are refractory lined and able to withstand temperatures up to 3,500ºF. Post combustion gases are maintained at 1,000ºC for more than 1 second at plus 6% O2 in the exhaust gas stream making the system eligible for MSW and bio-hazards incineration.

The patented silica trap captures the silica inherent in straw and reed based biomass. No other system can do this!

One bale can heat 100 homes for 1 hour in the coldest winter.

Typical Specifications

Systems up to 10,000,000 BTU/h available

Specifications TGE1000 TGE3000 TGE6000 TGE10000
Hot water heat output 1,000,000 3,000,000 6,000,000 10,000,000
bHP 30 90 180 300
kWth 300 900 1,800 3,000
Fuel Feed rate#/hr 170 510 1,000 5,100
CFM combustion air 300 900 1,800 9,400
Overall Efficiency 85.00% 85.00% 85.00% 85.00%
Sq Ft Grate 3.9 12 25 25
Boiler Capacity L 880 1,700 3,400 3,400
Boiler Surface sft 150 543 1,086 1,086
Boiler height 8′ 9′ 9′ 9′
GPM circulation pumps 50 110 220 375
Temp Differential ºF 50 60 60 60
Operating water ºF 180 190 190 190
Water temperature return 130 130 130 130
BTU delivered 1,200,000 3,168,000 6,336,000 10,800,000
Cyclonic Fly Ash collector        
Ash removal augers        

DGE Wood Chip Furnace

One tonne of wood chips can heat 200 homes for 1 hour in the coldest winter

DGE series

One tonne of wood chips can heat 200 homes for 1 hour in the coldest winter


3,500,000 BTU

900 kW thermal

1,000 bHP

Other sizes available


200,000 BTU

Other sizes available


This pellet/chip furnace features a cast iron chain grate for durability. Its unique design provides a smokeless exhaust

Ideal for: Greenhouses

Livestock farms

Industrial Commercial

Heating & processes

Community heating

Green projects

Bio-hazards clean-up


Biomass Composter Vessels approved by MMPR

Biomass Composter Vessels for farm mortality

Check out our slow speed shredder and make your own wood chips!

Typical Specifications

Systems up to 32,000,000 BTU/h available

Specifications DGE200 DGE400 DGE600 DGE1000 DGE1500 DGE2000 DGE3000
BTU 0.2MM 0.4MM 0.6MM 1MM 1.5MM 2MM 3MM
Hot water heat output 200000 400000 600000 1000000 1500000 2000000 3000000
bHP 6 12 17.9 29.9 44.8 59.8 89.7
kWth 59 117 176 293 440 587 880
Fuel Feed rate#/hr 33 67 100 167 250 333 500
Overall Efficiency 85.00% 85.00% 85.00% 85.00% 85.00% 85.00% 85.00%
Sq Ft Cast Iron Grate 1.6 2.1 2.7 3.9 5.3 6.7 9.6
Boiler Capacity L 176 352 528 880 1320 1760 2640
Boiler Surface sft 70 90 110 150 200 250 350
Boiler height 8′ 8′ 8′ 8′ 8′ 8′ 8′
GPM circulation pumps 10 20 30 50 75 100 150
Temp Differential ºF 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Operating water ºF 180 180 180 180 180 180 180
Water temperature return 130 130 130 130 130 130 130
Cyclonic Fly Ash collector              
Ash removal augers              

Suggested Industries for Biomass Furnaces






Commercial and Industrial

Hogs and Pork

Learn about how our technology can revolutionize your industry