Biomass and Biofuels

General Description

Biomass power comes from plants — crop and forest residues, corn kernels and stalks, energy crops, perennial grasses, and fast-growing trees like poplars, to name a few. They can be used to make liquid biofuels that serve as alternatives to oil, or to produce heat or electricity to power our homes. Biomass power accounts for roughly half of all the renewable energy produced in the United States, and we use more of it than any country in the world. Today, biomass accounts for nearly 10% of the world’s energy production; by 2050 we believe this number will increase to 30%. Plants capture and store the sun’s energy as they grow. Researchers are developing ways to produce energy from special, fast-growing, and higher-yielding “energy crops” such as willow, miscanthus, and switchgrass. All this plant material can be treated in different ways to produce energy and fuel. Biomass can be:

  • Burned in power plants to produce heat or electricity, with fewer harmful emissions than coal.
  • Fermented to produce fuels, like ethanol, for cars and trucks.
  • Digested by bacteria to create methane gas for powering turbines.
  • Heated under special conditions, or “gasified,” to break down into a mix of gases that can be burned for electricity or used to make a range of products, from diesel to gasoline to chemicals.

Unlike coal, biomass produces no harmful sulfur or mercury emissions and has significantly less nitrogen — which means less acid rain, smog and other toxic air pollutants. Over time, if dedicated biomass is sustainably managed, converting it to energy can result in low or no net carbon emissions, provided that the carbon released is rapidly absorbed back from the atmosphere by biomass re-growth. Using biofuels in our cars and airplanes can potentially produce less global warming pollution than petroleum-based fuels, and allows us to invest our energy dollars at home rather than in foreign oil.

Our Solution

Virtus offers complete production systems, from processing the raw material to bagging the finished briquettes. Equipment in a typical line includes size reduction, conveyance, metering, briquetting, screening, packaging, and customized system controls. Virtus also has experience with the biorefining industry, and provides pre-processing treatment systems for all preferred feedstocks for the preparation and production of advanced liquid (second generation) biofuels being distilled into ethanol fuel and other alcohol-based products. Virtus’  processing experience includes Wood, Corn Stover, Switch Grass, Miscanthus, most Ag Fuel Crops, and a wide range of other organic matters used as fuel. Virtus processing systems are used in the preparation of Biomass boiler fuel, for co-firing with coal and other fuels, for size reduction prior to gasification, for size reduction prior to briquetting, and in the conversion process for cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels.


  • We have a complete range of machines to process waste materials from large parts to fine powders
  • All machines and components are made in house, no OEM
  • Thousands of installations world wide, which gives us knowledge of almost every recycling application
  • Close cooperation with many recycling and waste energy companies to generate new solutions
  • material-general-recycling The Virtus flat ‘E’ style rotor with the specialized knife holders and stator knife.

  • crushmaster-screen-cradleThe hydraulic screen cradle on the Virtus shredders eases maintenance and screen changes.

VirtusEquip_AdminBiomass and Biofuels