Production of Pellet/Briquette With Agricultural Waste in Kosovo

Apr 18, 2018


Given the lack of wood raw material in Kosovo and increased pellet and briquette consumption, EMPOWER Privat Sector initiated research on the possibilities of using agricultural waste for pellet/briquette production in Kosovo.

BEA Institut für Bioenergie analyzed 3 types of agricultural waste: wheat straw, grape vine prunings, and raspberry prunings. The analysis of the possible use of these agricultural wastes to produce pellet/briquette was based on several criteria:

  • Raw material - quantity available
  • Availability during the year
  • Harvest, collection and logistics
  • Fuel parameters:
    • Water content
    • Heating value
    • Ash content
    • Ash melting behavior
    • Nitrogen content
    • Corrosive potential (Chlorine, Sulfur)
    • Harmful contamination (e.g. heavy metals).

Grape vine prunings

Due to the large amount of grape vines growing in Kosovo, the potential of pellet or briquette production from grape vine pruning was researched.

In Kosovo 3,200 hectares are planted with grape vines. According to literature, for every hectare planted with grape vines, we have 7.5 tons of waste from grape vine pruning. Therefore, in Kosovo approximately 24,000 tons of waste from grape vine pruning are generated per year. Only in the region of Rahovec 1,700 hectares of grape vines are planted, which accounts to approximately 12,000 tons/year of waste.

According to chemical and physical analysis, grape vine prunings have good fuel properties. By drying the grape vine prunings, these residues have fuel characteristics similar to wood.

Grape vines prunings are used in Italy and Spain for pellet production. In Kosovo, the company "Termoinverz", from Krusha, produced small quantities of briquette from grape vine residues in 2017.


Raspberry prunings

Depending on the type of raspberries, the amount of waste from prunings varies. For example, the variations "Polka" and "Mapena", after the end of the season are clear-cut, while "Willamette" is partially cut.

The total amount of residues from raspberry prunes in Kosovo is still unknown. However, it is known that these residues are usually burned in fields causing great environmental damage.

Regarding the chemical and physical analysis of the residues of different types of raspberry prunings, we find that there is potential for its use as fuel, however raspberry prunings should be burned with caution due to the amount of harmful chemical elements present, such as nitrogen and heavy metals.

Until now there is still no known case of using raspberry waste for pellet production.



Wheat straw

Out of a total of 180,000 hectares of crops, only half are planted with wheat. Only 35,000 hectares of wheat are planted in more than 10 hectares of land, so only the waste from these lands may have potential for collection.

Based on the studies calculations, the maximum potential of wheat straw waste in Kosovo is approximately 20,000 tons. Based on this, we have low amount of straw waste in Kosovo. Considering the fact that wheat parcels in Kosovo have relatively small areas and are distributed throughout the country, as well as the fact that wheat straw is very light, transport and logistics for the collection of this waste is problematic.

According to chemical and physical analysis, wheat straw can only be used for industrial combustion systems and not for household combustion systems.


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