The kW could cost 80% less, the agricultural machinery could reduce its emissions by 90% and the vineyard branches provide heating and hot water in a sustainable, more economical and renewable way to 60.000 homes throughout Castilla y León. These are some data that COAG manages in its sessions that promote Against Climate Change.
KRONOSPAN is a company founded in 1897 in Lungötz (Austria). Currently, it occupies a privileged position in the board and its derivatives market. In 2002, it created its subsidiary in Spain, KRONOSPAN SPAIN, with the aim of marketing its products in our country. At the end of 2012, it acquired the assets of the INTERBON GROUP and generated the subsidiaries: KRONOSPAN, SL, KRONOSPAN MDF, SL and KRONOSPAN CHEMICALS, SL

KRONOSPAN is a company founded in 1897 in Lungötz (Austria). Currently, it occupies a privileged position in the board and its derivatives market. In 2002, it created its subsidiary in Spain, KRONOSPAN SPAIN, with the aim of marketing its products in our country. At the end of 2012, it acquired the assets of the INTERBON GROUP and generated the subsidiaries: KRONOSPAN, SL, KRONOSPAN MDF, SL and KRONOSPAN CHEMICALS, SL

Its business strategy has turned the province of Burgos (Castilla y León) into one of the epicenters of board production in Southern Europe, with two production centers: one located in the municipality of Burgos, specifically in the Castañares neighborhood where manufactures particle board and plywood and another in the Burgos municipality of Salas de los Infantes where it produces MDF fiber chipboard.

The Castañares factory underwent a thorough renovation in 2015, the result of which we can say has become the circular economy paradigmBecause the plant currently produces around 1.700 m3 / day of chipboard, from recycled wood, in a percentage that has been increasing to reach 80% today, with a forecast of reaching 100% in the coming years.

This change towards the use of materials from the recycling of pallets, doors, furniture, carpentry remains, etc., maintaining the quality and finish of the board, has meant providing in a special way the infrastructures of the reception area, classification, rejects and conditioning of the crushed raw material that comes mainly from large population centers such as Madrid and Barcelona.

The pre-classified material is deposited in huge storage warehouses over 20 meters high, indoors, which means minimizing the inconvenience caused by the generation of dust particles due to the handling of this type of material.

Currently, new investments continue to be made in the field of reception of recycled material, with the construction of new warehouses and the expansion of the fields.

Process of obtaining the particles to make board


From the storage sheds the material is transferred to one of the two chippers in the plant. One with a 600 kW motor that drives a rotor equipped with three blades that grinds the wood that comes from a vibrating feeding table and the other with a 400 kW motor that drives a rotor equipped with 28 hammers. The two unload the chipped material, via a traveling conveyor belt, onto covered moving bottoms. These are divided by concrete walls in several sections to be able to separate the storage of the different types of materials: recycled wood chips, clean wood chips and sawdust. The discharge conveyor belt moves along the different sections, positioning itself in the place corresponding to the material produced. One of the sides of the mobile funds is left uncovered to allow the loading of materials, which do not need to go through the chippers and which are directly unloaded from the transport trucks. The storage capacities, in the mobile bottoms, for the different types of materials are: 3.000 m3 recycled chip, 3.000 m3 clean chip and 1.000 m3 sawdust.


Chips and sawdust are transported through conveyor belts to the cleaning towers. The quantity of each material that you want to introduce in the process is set from the control post. In the towers the material is conditioned by removing everything that is not wood: ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, plastics, cardboard, silica ...; A classification by size is made sending the large chips to be reprocessed, the good chip to the feed silo of the chippers, the good fines to the storage silo before the dryer and the superfine ones to the storage silo to use them as an energy source in the dryer burner.

Chip formation

After going through the cleaning process, the chip is transformed into shaving. The clean chip arrives at the mills through a redler, where the shaving process is carried out. Most of the mills are of blades and basically consist of a rotor provided with slats, whose purpose is to push the chips against the blades fixed to a basket that rotates in the opposite direction to that of the rotor. There is also a hammer mill that breaks the splinter by hitting.

To achieve high board quality, the chips must have high uniformity in thickness, length, width and fine content. Thus, these mills grind the wood until obtaining particles with a slenderness [length / thickness] close to 100 and dimensions between 0,1 to 0,8 mm thick, 2 to 8 mm wide and 15 to 30 mm long. .


The already conditioned material would go to the dryer, which is a huge tromel (rotary dryer) with a diameter of 8 m and a length of 30 m, capable of processing 45 tons / hour until leaving the wood with a humidity between 3-4%. Inside the drum, conditions vary, from the first sector with higher relative humidity and ambient temperature to the final sector with low relative humidity and high temperatures. Throughout the drying process, which lasts about 20 minutes, the wood loses its humidity due to the effect of circulating hot air.

This is another very important process to obtain high board qualities. Although the final moisture content of the board is around 10%, the particles must be dried at humidity levels of around 3-4% previously mentioned, since the wood absorbs the water coming from the adhesive. If the humidity in the particles is excessive, "blisters" can be generated on the board and if it is insufficient, premature setting of the adhesive can occur, which would lead to poor bonding and therefore, a board with low mechanical resistance and poor quality surfaces .

Particle screening and classification

Once dried, the particles are sieved using suitable size screens, as a result of applying alternate movements or by ventilation, and are classified into four types of chip: very thick chips, good chips, fine fine and superfine chips. The very thick shavings are forwarded to the refining mill for resizing, the superfines and dust are removed for energy use and the good shavings and fines are cleaned of silica particles before proceeding to the next gluing and pressing process. The destination of the smallest particles will be the face and back of the board and that of the largest for the soul or center of the board. This is to minimize the consumption of adhesives, maintain good mechanical resistance and improve the finish of the board.

The boiler

The heat needed both for this process and to heat the thermal oil used in the presses comes from a 50 MW KABLITZ boiler, fed with biomass from the chipping of the remains of cuttings from the poplar mills of Castilla y León and silvicultural actions of nearby mountains and pine forests. Average daily consumption would be around 75 mt, making this KRONOSPAN plant one of the main industrial consumers of residual biomass for energy use. In addition, there is an extra contribution of heat due to the recovery of superfine particles and wood dust that is generated in the cutting and sanding of the boards and which is combusted in a burner.

The boiler, installed in a structure of 500 tons of iron and which is covered with another 250 tons of refractory material, has a continuous feeding system and is equipped with a system of mobile grills, cooled by water and allows the obtaining of Combustion gases at 700ºC that will heat the 100.000 liters of thermal oil to (300ºC), which promote, among others, the pressing process and will provide heat to the dryer. The thermal energy consumption per unit of product is 175 kWh / m3.

Particle filtering system

Before leaving the chimney, the gases pass through a wet electrostatic filter (WESP). It is double, with alternative operation, while one filters the other maintenance work. This equipment is fed by the gases from the dryer and the press to reduce its concentration of particles and volatile organic compounds before its emission into the atmosphere.

Its basic principle of separation consists in passing these gases through a chamber where an established electrostatic field is created between electrodes of different charges: negative emitting or discharge electrodes and the collector or positive plate electrodes connected to ground. These gases are injected with water in order to drag part of the particles and absorb part of the polluting gases as the first separation stage and finally, they are negatively charged when passing through the emitting electrodes and are attracted by the collecting electrodes.

By spraying water, the particles adhering to the collecting plates are dragged into the collection tanks (absorbent tanks). From these tanks the contaminated water is filtered through sieves. The retained solid part is taken to a centrifuge in order to remove as much moisture as possible. The obtained sludge is treated by an authorized manager.


The water used to clean / wash the electro-filters as it contains high amounts of sediments and leachates is treated in a small pond. The larger particles are removed by decantation and the smaller particles are separated using rotary machines (centrifuges) that separate the water from the solids. Part of the water is reused and another part is removed by an environmental manager.


The ashes from the boiler are the only waste that is generated, which has been reused as fertilizer on some occasions, as inert in sealing landfills on others, or which is sent to the cement industry for its use.

Socio-economic benefits: employment

The KRONOSPAN-Castañares plant employs 180 workers and generates indirect employment for approximately 1.400 workers, mainly transporters, external maintenance and repair personnel, biomass supply companies and service companies.

Renewable electricity is produced from forest biomass and wood in one of the largest cogeneration plants in Switzerland, in Sisseln. Since the end of 2018, it supplies electricity to 17.500 homes and heating to many more customers thanks to District Heating.

Renewable electricity is produced from forest biomass and wood in one of the largest cogeneration plants in Switzerland, in Sisseln. Since the end of 2018, it supplies electricity to 17.500 homes and heating to many more customers thanks to District Heating. To receive, process, store and feed the wood chips, the company participating in Expobiomasa, Vecoplan, supplied all the machinery and carried out the installation and commissioning, in an extremely tight time frame.

An extremely climate-friendly option

The production of energy with wood and biomass is neutral in terms of CO2 in the long term, because unlike oil, gas and coal, the carbon dioxide released by burning wood, pellets or wood chips is reabsorbed by the forest in a renewable and sustainable way. This is one of the reasons why the project was developed by DSM, Caliqua and EWZ, replacing a cogeneration plant that operated with natural gas and diesel and achieving a massive reduction in CO emissions.2.

The new plant produces 48GWh of electricity per year and 221 GWh of steam for the District Heating that provides industrial heat to the companies in the industrial area where it is located. The fuel are wood chips sustainably harvested from forests and supplied by suppliers within a maximum radius of 100 kilometers.

Reception, storage and dosing: a safe and reliable process carried out by Vecoplan

The trucks deliver the biomass to the reception area of ​​the plant. The unloading process lasts 15 minutes, during which the bulk material is deposited in two drag chain unloaders. These devices move it, dose it and transfer it to the next stage.

The biomass is stored in four box-type storage silos. The supply tapes have a magnet that removes metal objects such as screws and nails, among other selection and control systems. It also has two stations where samples of the processed material are taken.

Metering screws gradually feed the fuel to the conveyor belts, which in turn transport it to the furnace feed hopper. From there, the boiler is continuously fed with fuel by discharge screws. Vecoplan All components dimensioned to meet acceptance cycles and fuel requirements, ensuring efficient and safe operation at the plant.

Convincing results

With an overall efficiency of 86%, the Sisseln biomass cogeneration plant far exceeds the requirements of the Naturemade-Star Certification. This Swiss seal of approval is used to certify installations that generate energy in an environmentally friendly way.

The promoters have committed themselves against Climate Change, because each cubic meter of biomass that replaces fossil fuels prevents the release of 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the environment. This is equivalent to about 35.000 tons of CO2 per year.


Since 2013, the Castilla y León Regional Government has been carrying out an important program of energy saving and efficiency actions promoted through the Castilla y León Public Society for Infrastructure and Environment (SOMACYL).

Since 2013, the Castilla y León Regional Government has been carrying out an important program of energy saving and efficiency actions promoted through the Castilla y León Public Society for Infrastructure and Environment (SOMACYL).

Within the scope of this program, SOMACYL has carried out 30 actions for the replacing fossil fuels with biomass, through the installation of individual boilers and centralized heating networks that use wood pellets and wood chips as fuel.

One of the actions carried out is the recently completed biomass heat network of the “Fuentes Blancas” complex, which has been designed to supply heating and sanitary hot water to three buildings owned by the Burgos Provincial Council: the Assisted Residence, the College and the Nursing Home. The existence of welfare buildings obliges to assure with total certainty the energy supply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The three buildings had boiler rooms that they used as fuel natural gas and to be replaced by biomass fuel, specifically by wood chips, from the mountains of Castilla y León. The complex also has a small existing solar thermal installation, which continues to support the supply of ACS.

The heat production plant has a installed thermal power of 1.500 useful kW, by means of a single biomass boiler from the manufacturer COMPTE-R with mobile grill technology.

Feeding system using toploader and redler

The silo where the chip is stored is a silo with a surface of 150 m2, equipped with a toploader system and a redler-type conveyor. The toploader is in charge of automatically feeding the splinter to the redler thanks to a mobile upper hinge. With this novel system, the chip is always kept piled up, making better use of the available space and also allowing the possibility of a quick unloading of 2 mobile floor trucks at the same time.

The annual production of useful energy is estimated at 3.150.000 KWh / year, which will mean an annual consumption of forest chips of 1.100 tons / year.

The facility has a buffer tank with a total capacity of 30.000 liters. The pipe network starts from the buffer tank, connecting the new biomass boiler room with the boiler rooms of the 3 buildings. Said pipe has been made of pre-insulated steel and runs underground, with a total length of 1.950 meters.

In Catalonia, the use of pellets and other biofuels has increased significantly. This has made it possible to valorise products extracted from forest cleaning.

There is an increasing demand for biomass in Catalonia, a type of renewable energy that produces hot water and heating without having to use fuels that affect Climate Change, such as diesel or natural gas. It is also, and above all, a good way to regenerate and manage wood from forests.

In the last seven years, production in Catalonia has grown more than 800%, according to data from the Catalan Forest Observatory, and has exceeded 80.000 tons per year.

A very practical and economical way to use biomass is pellets

In Catalonia there are six production plants that manufacture pellets with the highest European quality certification. To produce them, they take advantage, for example, of the sawdust that is generated with the construction of wooden pallets to make pellets, a fuel that does not stop growing.

Alfonso Porro, manufacturer of ENplus pellets and administrator of J. Martorell Pallets, ensures that the quality with which they work makes us foresee a promising future. "Each time the product is getting better. The regulations and certifications make this product more recognizable and, therefore, we believe that the growth, both in facilities and awareness, will make this market continue to progress."

Biomass boilers from medium-sized equipment such as schools, hotels or swimming pools are the main customers of producers, who still see very room for growth.

Wood without other use is the other great biomass resource in Catalonia

It is obtained from trees that are discarded for other utilities. In the last ten years this natural resource has registered a spectacular increase of 628%, and it is expected that in 2019 the 327 thousand tons of 2018 will have been exceeded long.

According to Pere Sala, manager of Sala Forestal: "Sustainable forest management is still in deficit. There are many facilities that use fossil fuels that can be clearly replaced very quickly and automatically."

Forest owners are noticing the increased demand for biomass, although selling it, they say, is no business. Yes, It allows to pay for the cleaning and farm management tasks.

Josep Maria Tusell is owner and forest engineer: "Currently, the value of biomass does not justify making a cut. But it has opened a market for us to place some products that otherwise would have no market. I am referring to low quality wood or small size wood. These are jobs that if not, should be done without being able to sell this product."

The consumption of biomass for heating has also skyrocketed

In fact, in recent years there has been a change in trend since, if before, most of the biomass produced in Catalonia was exported, now it is consumed locally. With this local biomass they already supply some entire towns, such as Vilaplana, in La Noguera. A central biomass boiler supplies hot water and heating to all the houses in the town. They no longer consume diesel.

The biomass comes from selective felling of trees to fluff up the forest, as Antonio Reig, mayor of Baronia de Rialb, explains. "It will be managed by the residents themselves, through a specialized company. Every year we will let it cut a few hectares of forest and the forest production that comes out of these hectares. He will return it to us in biomass, and we will have hot water and heating for free. "

The residents of Vilaplana, as Mercè Codina explains, are satisfied with the change. Stopping the use of your individual diesel or pellet boilers has given them comfort. "Now we don't feel noise or smoke smell. The water also goes well with a good temperature."

Teresa Cervera, from the Generalitat Forest Property Center, explains that cutting down trees is not only to operate the boiler, but also to prevent fires. " When cutting increases the carbon fixation rate of the remaining treesBecause they grow more, they have less competition and they grow more. And therefore, on the other hand, as we do fire prevention We stopped emitting carbon in the event of a fire. "


From the Spanish Biomass Association (AVEBIOM) and the Spanish Association of Wood Pellet Production Companies (APROPELLETS) we want to convey to society that bioenergy professionals will continue to work to guarantee the supply of clean and renewable energy to all users. .

From the Spanish Biomass Association (AVEBIOM) and the Spanish Association of Wood Pellet Production Companies (APROPELLETS) We want to convey to society that bioenergy professionals will continue to work to guarantee the supply of clean and renewable energy to all users.

  • The most popular leading manufacturers of pellets and other biofuels -as chip and bone- they will continue to supply from their facilities to guarantee the supply of the market throughout the territory during the remainder of winter.
  • Pellet dispensers will continue to supply the points of sale that remain open to the public: gas stations and food hypermarkets, and also continue making direct deliveries at points of consumption. Users are advised to assess their needs well to optimize logistics and transportation.

Thus, the heating systems and the industries that use biomass will be able to continue operating without problem during confinement due to the coronavirus alarm.

  • As for technical services of boilers and stovesThey continue to attend faults, either online or, if necessary, in person.
  • Meanwhile, the power plants with biomass they are well supplied with biofuel and will continue to generate energy without problem. Forest biomass utilization companies continue their work in the forest.

In addition, many companies in the biomass chain already report from their websites or by email that they are taking all measures necessary to protect to its workers and its clients during the provision of services.

Energy is a basic service in our society and this is reflected in the Royal Decree 463/2020 of March 14 in its article 17, where an explicit reference is made to the need to guarantee the supply of electricity and fuels during the alarm state.

The distribution of goods is considered necessary, as stated in article 14 of the RD and the recently published TMA / 229/2020, of March 15, which guarantees carriers access to services necessary to facilitate transportation.

The observatory aims to be a benchmark for the rest of the observatories with this ecological transition project using biomass as fuel.

The observatory faces a energy transition project whereby, in order to reduce the ecological footprint, partially replace its traditional sources with renewable ones by employing biomass and solar energy

The center faces a considerable energy demand derived from its situation in the high mountains and its technological characteristics, with which in the coming months it will undertake a project financed with Feder Funds to constitute an "energy island" from which to self-supply at least partially, as it has been transferred in a note.

"Due to the particular characteristics of the surroundings surrounding professional astronomical observatories, electricity and fuel costs are high," explained the director of the observatory and principal investigator of the project, Jesús Aceituno.

With the implementation of the "energy island" of Calar Alto, the center aims to be a "world benchmark" for other professional observatories as a management model that helps the environment, "with an estimated reduction of 160 tons of carbon dioxide and the consequent optimization of associated costs."

The project proposes the installation of a biomass boiler to replace the use of diesel for heating and hot water, from a solar energy production system and the replacement of the observatory's vehicles by electric cars.

The use of biomass will suppose a annual savings of 33.000 euros with respect to the current cost, which will add to the savings that self-consumption will entail through the photovoltaic plate system, which will cover the needs of the facilities in the daytime periods, the most expensive of the energy rates.

Further information:

The Ortín Recoveries company generates pellets from the waste of the furniture industry in the surroundings of Yecla. A success story of the circular economy of the furniture sector and the generation of biofuels.

The family has been for 16 years Ortín decided that with part of the 300 daily tons of waste it collected of companies in the furniture sector of Yecla could make pellet and sell it as an ecological fuel and as an alternative to oil. Currently your demand increases around 5% per year thanks to several factors, but two above the rest: the price, low compared to other raw materials, and its composition with reused material.

The machinery of Ortín recoveries produces About 2 tons of pellets per hour. Its manager, Blas Ortín, explains that they spent about three years knowing in Europe how this matter was worked. They were looking to diversify their board transformation company. "We invested in machinery and started exporting to Italy that were large consumers and our prices were cheaper"He says.

Today about 50 tons of waste is collected from nearby furniture factories daily. 20% of the raw material that Blas collects is decided to manufacture about 11 tons of pellets. "I could make more but it is the raw material that I have and I don't want to buy," says this businessman.

The raw material (beech, pine) and humidity are the keys to calibrate the quality. The more quality, the more heat it generates. The pellet produced has ENplus certification that obliges it to respect regulations, which among other features, prevents passing 10% moisture in the product.

The market of this company are other industries that use it for heating systems, indoor swimming pools, for drying materials such as iron or paint…. ”SUs consumptions are important and with the pellet drops at least 50%, but it depends on the boilers, ”says Blas Ortín.

This Yecla company notes the increase in demand for large consumers because it does not sell to individuals. The price of the pellet has not changed much in recent years, 2-3%. For less than 4 euros, the price of the 15 kilos bag, you can get a house of 90 meters has the necessary heat on a winter day.

Más info:

The Internet has become so common that many of us have difficulty imagining what it takes to realize this digital world, including the number of servers and necessary for its operation. Most data centers around the world rely heavily on fossil fuels to produce the electricity and cooling needed to run the necessary equipment, what some call the "dark side" of the Internet.

The Internet has become so common that many of us have difficulty imagining what it takes to realize this digital world, including the number of servers and necessary for its operation. Most data centers worldwide rely heavily on fossil fuels to produce the electricity and cooling necessary to run the necessary equipment, what some call the "dark side" of the Internet. The statistics are eloquent in that regard: a single search generates 20 mg of CO2, while an email between 0,3 and 4 g. Thus, The 192 billion emails we send annually are equivalent to the footprint of 3,1 million cars per year. Estimates show that the Internet consumes around 1037TWh of electricity worldwide, which represents the production of dozens of nuclear power plants worldwide. This finally represents 609 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions of all civil flights for one year.

In this context, Bioenergy has a lot to offer, either by providing electricity or heating and cooling solutions. A great example showing such synergies can be found in Luxembourg, near the city of Bissen, where the Kiowatt plant operates.

Kiowatt uses wood to produce electricity, heating and cooling. The project started in 2011 a Luxembourg energy contractor and a Belgian company of the wood and bioenergy industry, decided to create a joint venture to take advantage of all the benefits of bioenergy.

Inside the Kiowatt plant, it all starts with a 17 MW boiler designed to use local wood waste that had not been used before. The boiler is equipped with a turbine to produce heat and energy. The electricity produced, around 21 GWh, is sold directly to the grid. The heat, which represents the most substantial energy produced (93 GWh) is used in three key applications: drying wood for wood pellet production, feeding the district heating of the industrial estate around the plant and, finally, two DataCenter refrigerators located in the polygon that provides a renewable source of cooling.

In 2013, this synergy was the first of its kind in Europe. Today, Kiowatt offers 15 full time jobs on the site and contributes quite significantly to the renewable energy goals of Luxembourg. According to expert estimates, 350.000 tons of CO2 will not be emitted thanks to the project, which contributes to a direct reduction of almost 15% of the GHG emission targets for the country!

More information:

In the article you can find a didactic example that explains why biomass emissions are different than those of fossil fuels.

There is a important difference between the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by heating diesel, natural gas and other fossil fuels and CO2 emitted by renewable energy sources such as biomass. Both emit CO2 when burned, but in terms of climate change, the impact of that CO2 is very different.

To understand this difference, it is useful to think small and scale. It is useful to think in your own garden.

A tree, every year for 30 years.

Imagine you are lucky to have a garden with space for 30 trees. Three decades ago, you decided to plant a tree every year, every year. In this example, each tree grows to maturity for thirty years, so today you find a flowering grove with 30 trees in different stages of growth, ranging from one year to 30 years.

At 30 years of age, now, the oldest tree has reached maturity and you cut it, for example at the end of winter, before the sap rises, and you let the wooden logs dry during the summer. Plants a new seedling in its place. During spring, summer and autumn, the 29 trees and the new seedling continue to grow, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere to do so.

Winter comes then and to combat the cold, dry wood is burned to keep warm. Burning it will emit carbon into the atmosphere. However, at the end of winter, the other 29 trees plus the sapling he planted will be in exactly the same stage of growth as the previous year; They contain the same amount of wood and, therefore, the same amount of carbon.

Whenever a tree is talented and replanted every year in a 30-year cycle, the atmosphere will not see additional CO2 and will have used the energy captured by its growth to heat your home. Using only what grows is the essence of sustainable forest management.

If you didn't have your dry wood to burn, you may have been forced to burn coal, diesel or gas to heat your home. In the course of the same winter, these fuels would have emitted carbon into the atmosphere that accumulates endlessly, causing climate change.

Your tree management not only provides you with an endless renewable fuel supply, but you can also enjoy other benefits, such as the shelter provided by their trees and the diversity of wildlife they attract.

No carbon added

This is a simplified example, but the principles are valid if your forest contains 30 trees or 300 million; The important point is that with these renewable carbon emissions, as long as less wood is extracted from the one that is growing and the trees that are cut down are replaced, new carbon is not added to the atmosphere. That does not happen with fossil fuels. To be equally renewable it is true that he could have chosen not to have trees, and instead, he could build a wind turbine or install solar panels in his garden. That would be another perfectly reasonable option, but you will still need to use other fuels when the sun does not shine or when the wind does not blow. Worst of all, you don't get all the other benefits a forest brings: seasonal beauty and habitat that maintains wildlife.

In Europe, biomass comes from our forests that we deal with Sustainable Forest Management.

Source: Matthew Rivers, Group Special Advisor23rd February 2017