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Enviva Biomass Case Study

Enviva Work Environment

Industrial Air Solutions was approached by Enviva Biomass in 2013 to provide Large-Scale Industrial Vacuuming solutions to their Wood Pellet Manufacturing Facilities across the Southeastern United States. Installation of Industrial Air solution’s equipment met the specific equipment requirements for the project. In addition, the plant reported increased cleanliness, improvements in efficiency, and decreased maintenance man hours throughout each of the facilities.

The Enviva facilities needed to install several powerful vacuum systems, some as powerful as 131HP, but the vacuums’ also needed to be portable and be able to supply enough vacuuming power for multiple operators vacuuming simultaneously, as much as 10 cu yards at a time. The equipment also needed to be Explosion-Protected bringing the facility in line with NFPA 654 and local regulations. Safety was crucial as the raw material being vacuuming is a fuel source and can be highly explosive in the right environment. This calls for safety measures such as Explosion-Venting and tip to tail Dissipation of Static Electricity as well as providing numerous paths to ground. We were asked to provide a turn-key solution and to also provide training for the operators of the equipment.

Enviva was founded in 2004 with a clear purpose in mind: they wanted to develop a cleaner energy alternative to fossil fuels. In particular, they wanted to offer electric utilities a fuel to replace coal, enabling them to generate power without interruption while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. More than a decade later, Enviva has become the world’s largest producer of wood pellets – a small and seemingly ordinary product that is addressing these big challenges and delivering real results.

The raw material that Enviva sources for their wood pellets are harvested from 100% sustainable materials including tree debris from storms and waste woods that no one else has a use for. Industrial Air Solutions was very excited to be part of this revolution in clean energy! But a large scale operation such as this has large scale needs also. Enviva produces over 3 million metric tons of wood pellets annually, and with this kind of volume there are occasional product “spills” like with any manufacturing process. This is where Industrial Air Solutions 25 years in industry leading vacuuming solutions became an invaluable resource for a company with unprecedented vacuuming needs. While a simple spill in a normal production facility involves using a single operator 110V Portable vacuum, a spill for Enviva could mean a cleanup as much as 10 cubic yards at a time, and the need for a much much larger vacuum. When all the requirements were taken into consideration Industrial Air Solutions calculated the customer would need a pair of powerful Portable Vacuums that needed to be outfitted with Explosion Venting Panels. It also needed to be diesel powered. We also recommended a Large Central Explosion-Proof Vacuum System.

Custom-Designed Solution for Enviva

For the fixed Central Vacuum application we recommended our 30HP 460 Volt Central Vacuum with explosion venting. This vacuum has a total of 23 drops, with each drop being able to support a single operator with a 3” hose; or two operators both with 2” hoses. We also supplied our Static Conductive and grounded Vacuums Hose assemblies as well as our Depureco line of Static Dissipative Vacuum Tools. Industrial Air Solutions was able to do a complete installation of the vacuum and all of the steel tubing and flex hose needed to supply as many as 46 people vacuuming at one time!

For the Portable Vacuum requirement we recommended a pair of our Diesel Powered PL100 Portable Vacuum Power Lifts. One vacuum was rated for 107HP and the other was 131HP. Each one needed to be able to clean up massive spillages, allow for multiple operators, and not have any clogging issues. The project was deemed a success and we have since supplied a variety of vacuuming solutions to multiple Enviva plants across the Southeast.

In addition to turn-key installation, we still service the equipment and are able to provide filters and parts almost immediately. We are also getting ready to start installation at yet another new Enviva plant!

Installation of Industrial Air solution’s equipment met the specific equipment requirements for the project. In addition, the plant reported increased cleanliness, improvements in efficiency, and decreased maintenance man hours throughout each of the facilities.