Key points

  1. Due to an increase in fuel prices (68.6% since 2017), companies can save fuel costs by up to 60% by replacing oil- or gas-fired systems with biomass.
  2. Companies can switch to biomass in two ways: buying a new boiler or switching to an Oil to Biomass Kit.
  3. A new biomass installation requires huge CAPEX to replace the oil-fired systems. It may lead to production loss as well.
  4. Oil To Biomass Retrofit Kit can fit an existing oil-fired system at just a fraction of the cost of the new system.
  5. The efficiency of the OBR kit is similar to a fossil-fired system (75-80%). It allows fuel flexibility, where users can shift between biomass and gas or oil within a few hours.

In the present time, the efficiency of a boiler is more important than before. An excellent industrial boiler is known for its energy efficiency and capability of running the production process. Today various types of industrial boilers are powering industries. Well, the importance of these boilers is not unknown to us!

Every industry must set up its boiler unit to generate steam for either utility or power generation. Usually, these boilers consume a lot of fuel, require high maintenance, generate carbon emissions etc. These boilers are usually coal, oil or gas-fired. In 2017, the average price for 1 Litre of diesel in India was just Rs 57.35, which rose to Rs 66.71 in 2019. But the current diesel price in Delhi NCR is Rs 89.62. There has been an approximately 56.24% increase in fuel price since 2017. Due to the increased prices of fossils, industries are looking for cost-effective alternatives like biomass. Let us understand how switching to biomass could benefit the industries.

How Replacing Fossil Fuels With Biomass Can Be Beneficial?

Our reliance on fossil fuels has been the leading cause of environmental damage. The damage can be bought to halt by ditching the utilisation of fossil as fuel and switching to renewable sources like biomass. Biomass fuel is near carbon neutral. Also, because of the surge in fuel prices, it now makes more economic sense to switch to biomass. Replacing oil- or gas-fired systems with biomass can reduce the fuel cost by up to 60%. Thus, choosing biomass over fossil fuels helps save costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the country’s readily available biomass, whereas India still imports most fossil fuels.

Ways to Shift from Fossil to Biomass

If an industry wishes to transition from fossil-fired system to biomass system, then it can do so in two ways:

  1. Buying a new system
  2. Converting the existing boiler to biomass with OBR Kit
  • Buying a new system– One-way industries can shift to biomass is by replacing the existing boiler with a new biomass-fired system. However, this requires huge capital expenditure and is a time-intensive process. Along with the machinery’s cost, production losses could be pretty high.
  • Oil To Biomass Retrofit Kit (OBR): Another method includes retrofitting the existing diesel/gas-fired system with the OBR kit. The first step is the removal of diesel/gas burner. Then comes the installation of OBR kit. Retrofitting is a quick process which requires a few hours only and costs an only fraction of the cost of the new system.
ParameterNew BoilerRetrofitting the Existing Boiler
Payback period2-5 years2 months
Fuel FlexibilityNo. Can only use biomassYes. User can shift between biomass & gas or oil within few hours
CAPEXHighLow (<50% of the new boiler)
Turnaround Time/
Project completion time
2-12 months<30 days
Shutdown required>1 month<1 day

Other features of OBR:

Let us understand the advantages of the kit-

  1. OBR offers flexible fuel options. OBR is compatible with multiple biomass fuels. Thus, even if there is a change in the government norms banning the usage of biomass, the customer would have an option to roll back to gas or diesel within a couple of hours.
  2. The OBR kit also provides the advantage of an auto fuel feeding system and ash removal system. Therefore, it ensures clean and efficient biomass combustion, just like diesel or gas.
  3. The kit is design to meet the government emission norms and doesn’t require any change in the pressure parts. Therefore, there are no requirements for IBR approvals or Pollution control board (PCB) clearances.
OBR kit working on biomass fuel.

How is OBR installed?

The OBR kit is install according to the type of the industrial boiler. Here are the two different types of boilers, and their installation process is describe below.

  1. Horizontal boiler- This type of boiler usually consists of tubes where the water flow takes place. With the help of the diesel burner, the water is converts to steam and heat generation occurs. Here, the diesel or gas burner is removed from the boiler and is replaced with the OBR kit.
  2. Vertical boiler– It consists of a cylindrical shell and it orients vertically. It consists of coils where water enters through one end and steam is removed through another. Here the burning of fuel takes place at the bottom. To install OBR Kit, the diesel burner is removed, the boiler is lifted to a specific elevation, and the biomass burning system is fitted. A furnace-type system is design below, and a boiler is place on it.

How does OBR work?

  1. The OBR kit consists of an automatic fuel feeding system, and the combustion happens at an external furnace with the primary air.
  2. The secondary air then ‘pushes’ the flame inside the boiler. The fuel feeding and air supply system regulates automatically to ensure the efficient performance of the system.
  3. Since biomass combustion generates a more significant amount of ash than liquid and gaseous fuel, the OBR kits come with a tube cleaning system and pollution control device to keep the emissions within the limit.

 There is an immediate need for a solution which effectively controls the pollution but not at the expense of such a massive jump in fuel costs. Therefore, Steamax has worked closely with numerous industries to develop suitable technology and new biomass fuels for their application. If you want to know more about them, Contact +91-9315124803 or mail us at