Biomass burner is set to slash grain drying costs
It looks set to revolutionise the cost of drying grain. A new 2.5MW biomass burner installed by the Whytes of the Naul, Dublin, is expected to reduce their annual drying costs by 75pc.
The €125,000 unit was commissioned at the weekend in advance of the start of the cereal harvest.
The Whytes, who farm close to 3,000ac in north Co Dublin, also have the unique claim to fame of being one of the only farms in possibly the whole of Europe with seven brothers and their sons working full-time in the business.
"Everything gets well debated around here," admitted Ollie Whyte. "And we've been looking at a system like this for nearly three years. We couldn't get any grant aid on it but I'd be surprised if it doesn't become eligible within the next few years given the benefits that it has for the environment."
Conor Bruton of CPB Biomass predicted that the technology would reduce carbon emissions from the grain drying operation by at least 95pc.
Mr Bruton said: "The carbon that the crop absorbs while it grows pretty much cancels out the carbon used to grow and harvest it. So that will save about 240t of carbon emissions for this operation alone.
"In addition, the emissions from the bales are also hugely reduced in this system because the bales are being burnt at such a high temperature."
Computer-controlled vents turbo-charge the oven so that it is able to raise the temperature to more than 750C.