Biomass fuel, the widely available source of renewable energy, has its outstanding benefits including waste reduction, climate change mitigation and power generation. Under EU’s legal mandate that by 2020, 20% of all energy from energy utilities shall come from renewable energy. In 2012, 4.5 million tones of biomass pellets are imported to Europe, it is expected that by 2020 Europe’s demand for biomass pellets will be well over 25 million tones. There is no doubt that getting into biomass pellet business is profitable investment. Generally, biomass fuel is made of wood waste, agricultural waste and others. Compared with sawdust and some agricultural waste, coconut shell is with cheaper price, higher calorific value and abundant supply, which make coconut shell pelletizing the promising choice.

coconut pellet plant

coconut pelletizing

I. Vast raw material market
Asia is the world’s main source of coconuts, mainly including Indonesia, India, Philippines, Malaysia and so on, some of which are in top five coconut producing countries of the world (see the following table 1). In these countries, coconuts are mainly used for the production of coconut milk, desiccated coconut, dried coconut and coconut oil, which are the major “producers” of coconut shells.

coconut growing countries

Additionally, coconuts are a permanent crop and available throughout the whole year in these countries. Coconut shells, the byproducts from coconut production, always can be found abundantly. Therefore there is a constant, year-round coconut shell supply. However coconut shells are mostly underutilized and gradually become the “waste products”, which provide vast raw material market for coconut shell pelletizing!
Table 1

The top 5 producing countries in 2012
Coconut production  (metric tonnes)
% of world total
18,000,000 m/t
15,862,386 m/t
10,560,000 m/t
2,888,532 m/t
Sri Lanka
2,000,000 m/t

Note: This top 5 list may include official, semi-official or estimated data gathered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Besides enough raw materials in supply, pellets made of coconut shells are at reasonable price in the market and favored by people as biomass fuel for business or home use. So it is necessary and feasible to build coconut pellet plant for pelletizing.

II. Factory for coconut pellet plant
1. Convenient traffic
The factory should be in the place with convenient transportation, which helps raw materials import and final pellets export. It would be better that the factory is near where abundant raw materials can be supplied, which can lower the transportation cost.
2. Geographical location
The factory location should be flat with good ventilation and at least 200 meters away from the residential area.
3. Factory area
Generally factory area is not less than 150 square meters. Because small pellet plant occupies around 20 square meters and temporary land with no less than 30 square meters for the storage of raw materials. If the large-scale pellet plant is applied, the factory area accordingly should be enlarged. Please choose the suitable factory space according to the investment, production scale and so on.

III. Coconut pellet plant
The coconut pellet plant mainly includes: material crushing, drying, coconut shell pelletizing, pellets cooling, pellets packing. Besides the production output, the following aspects must be considered when you plan to build coconut pellet plant.

coconut shell

coconut shell pellets


1. How much do you know the raw material?
You should have better understanding of the raw material, especially the moisture content so that you can choose suitable machines for pellet plant. Coconut shells contain 34% cellulose, 36% lignin, 29% pentosans and 1% ash and main characteristics of raw coconut shells offered in the market are as follows:

12.0-15.0% wt
Ash content
4.0-5.0% wt
Volatile matter
35% wt
Total sulfur
0.25% wt
Net Calorific Value
3500-4000 kcal/kg

2. Where do you purchase the pellet plant?
High efficient machines can directly determine the pellet qualities, so please carefully opt the right manufacturer for your pellet plant. Our company is specialized in manufacturing and supplying top quality pellet machines for pellet plant. We also offer installation and consultation of complete pellet plant including crusher, dryer, pellet mill, cooler, and packager.

Brief economy analysis of pelleting process
Raw material, operating cost of pelleting plant and personnel costs are the major factors that affect your profit. According to the following brief pelletizing cost analysis, you can reckon your budget of pelleting.
1. Operating cost of the pelleting plant was estimated that pellet production cost for a bagasse plant capacity of 6 t/h was about $51/t of pellets. Pellet plants with a capacity of more than 10t/h decreased the costs to roughly $40/t of pellets. So do not take it for granted that capacity of pellet plant is proportional to pellet production cost.
2. In the production, one or two workers are required for the entire production plant. The personnel cost for the pellet plant with 10 t/h production rate is about $4/t.
3. Raw material cost is the largest cost element of the total pellet production cost. An increase in raw material cost substantially increased the pellet production cost. Notice that the price of coconuts shells for pelletizing is around USD 100-150/t, but shells with perfect cleaning, smooth finish and equal trimming around USD 250-300/t are mainly used for handicraft materials.