BERNECK®, Lages, Santa Catarina (Brazil) – 8.4m Wide Belt Drying System for Bark & Wood Chip Biomass

by | Feb 1, 2024

How STELA’s Belt Dryer BT Met BERNECK®’s Unique Bark and Wood Chip Drying Needs



BERNECK® faced a complex task in their Lages, Santa Catarina (Brazil) facility: efficiently reducing the moisture in large volumes of bark and wood chips from 60% to 45% for fuel pre-drying. This process required managing a flexible usage of low-pressure saturated steam at 2.8 bar(a) , within significant mechanical, load, and site constraints.

The project necessitated a unique design capable of being shipped in 40′ containers, adaptable to material mix variations, and incorporating both efficient heat transfer using low-pressure steam cycles and indirect warm water heating to prevent overheating and fire hazards.


The solution involved the development of a 27.5 feet (8.4 meters) wide dryer tunnel, comprised of multiple 6.5 feet (2 meters) long segments optimized for overseas container transport. The design included a robust framework for load management and alternating ventilation in the dryer tunnel to ensure uniform drying [see image]. This innovative approach carefully balanced capacity, safety, and environmental compliance requirements


The system achieved single-line capacities exceeding 27.5 tons per hour for water evaporation, with a maximum heat dissipation of 92,1 MMBtu (27.1 MW) at 60°F (16°C).


The successful implementation of the wide drying system showcases the ability to meet complex industrial needs through specialized, collaborative engineering. This system not only efficiently reduced wood chip moisture but also complied with stringent safety and environmental standards, representing a significant achievement in biomass processing technology.

“Our experience with the STELA dryer has been very positive. Improvements made during the STELA team’s last visits have helped maintain the belt alignment and prevent seam and edge damage. Their support in maintenance, operation, and training has been effective. The heat exchanger and condensate return are also working very well. Overall, we are satisfied with the dryer’s performance.”


BERNECK® has been at the forefront of producing premium MDP, MDF, HDF, pine, and teak panels since 1952. Operating from state-of-the-art facilities in Brazil, the company prides itself on its global outreach, underpinned by a commitment to sustainability. All products stem from environmentally responsible forest management, demonstrating their dedication to both ecological stewardship and high-quality outputs. Serving sectors such as furniture, construction, automotive, electronics, and packaging, the company is a global player with a conscientious approach.