In India, transitioning from fossil fuels to biomass as a boiler fuel is a matter of choice and a pressing need. This conversion, historically costly and requiring extensive modifications, is becoming urgent due to government plans to ban coal-in-process boilers, which have already been enacted in states like Delhi and NCR, with other states drafting similar policies. The declining quality of imported coal from Indonesia further accelerates the need for this transition, urging us to act promptly.

Transforming a coal-fired boiler to biomass is challenging and often involves extensive, costly modifications, leading to significant downtime and increased operational challenges. However, Steamax offers a solution that avoids these issues and contributes to a greener environment. Instead of modifying the boiler, we customize the biomass fuel to work with the current coal conveying and firing systems, thereby reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainability. This approach enables a direct substitution of coal with minimal modification, significantly reducing conversion costs and minimizing downtime.


Challenges in Converting a Traditional Coal Boiler to Biomass.

Converting a traditional coal boiler to burn biomass is a highly intricate process that poses numerous technical and operational challenges. The distinct properties of coal and biomass necessitate several modifications in the boiler to enable the use of biomass in a coal-fired boiler. Here are some of the modifications needed:

  1. The disparity in bulk density and fuel heating value is a significant factor. Initially designed for coal, the fuel feed systems require substantial modifications to handle biomass efficiently. It can entail a considerable capital investment and result in boiler downtime.
  2. The variance in combustion temperatures of biomass calls for modifications in heat transfer surfaces and firing systems. These changes are essential to maintain optimal performance and efficiency in the converted boiler.

Steamax’s Solution: Substitution of Coal By A New Biofuel

Steamax addressed all the above issues and came up with a solution! Instead of making all the above changes to the boiler, we invented a new biomass fuel, Astillas, with properties similar to coal. Our idea was to retrofit the fuel, instead of the boiler with minimal investments and modifications. Astillas offers significant advantages:

  1. Astillas offer the possibility of either switching to biomass 100% or co-firing it with coal.
  2. Astillas burn more efficiently than coal due to higher calorific value, low moisture content (<10%) and low ash content (<2%).
  3. Astillas are manufactured using low-cost local biomass sources, such as cashew shells, rice husk, spent coffee grounds, and wood waste. This reduces our dependence on imported fuels, like coal, and significantly lowers our carbon footprint.
  4. Astillas are not just a fuel; they are a sustainable choice. Being sulphur-free, they burn cleanly and entirely, leaving no black or acidic smoke traces. This environmental advantage is a crucial feature of Astillas, ensuring a greener future for your operations.
  5. One of the most compelling aspects of Astillas is its compatibility with existing coal feeding and firing systems. It means that a quick and seamless substitution of coal can be achieved with minimal investment, providing a straightforward path to reaping the benefits of this innovative fuel.

Coal Vs Astillas Comparison

Coal and Biomass



Steamax’s approach to converting coal-fired boilers to biomass with Astillas offers a practical and cost-effective solution. By customizing the biomass fuel to work with existing systems, Steamax eliminates the need for extensive modifications, reducing costs and downtime. Want to know more? CONTACT US know!

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