The unique Bord na Móna peat briquette is manufactured in 2 drying and briquetting facilities. Briquettes are now subject to a carbon tax at €20 / Tonne of Carbon emitted – which means an increase of €0.52 per bale of peat briquettes to the consumer. This is a critical driver for the development of a biomass– based briquette product which can be manufactured in Bord na Móna’s current facilities, through potential installation of large scale plant to pre-treat biomass.
The development of a biomass briquette utilising Bord na Móna briquetting facilities has been hampered by the inherent characteristics of biomass (biomass’ compressive nature and openness to water absorption), which make it difficult to process and store as a briquette product. The biomass pre-treatment technology, which is now being tested, produces a biomass which is easier to grind and briquette. It also produces a water resistant briquette which is energy dense compared to a standard biomass briquette.
It is intended through this project to assess the market acceptability of a biomass briquette product with respect to look, feel, performance and price point.
In 1990, a ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous (‘smoky’) coal was introduced in Dublin and this has been extended subsequently to all of Ireland’s cities and a number of larger towns.
It has been recently announced by the Minister of the Environment that the ban of bituminous coal for residential burning is to be extended nationally by the heating season of 2017/18.
Bord na Móna welcomes the recent changes in regulations, which will ensure cleaner ambient air for those in urban areas and in time, when the regulations become nationwide, will also ensure that those in small towns and rural villages also benefit from a ban on bituminous coal.
As the leading supplier of solid fuel to the Irish market, Bord na Móna will lead this transition to a ‘smokeless’ Ireland and has received planning permission to develop a smokeless and biomass based solid fuel manufacturing facility in Foynes, Co. Limerick. The proposed manufacturing facility will produce a range of solid fuels, similar in size and shape to traditional coal and suitable for various appliances (open fire, stoves etc.), which will meet all the necessary regulatory requirements. The facility will manufacture up to 150,000 tonnes of smokeless and biomass home heating fuels.