Buskirk Engineering Biomass Densification Systems

"Farm Show Magazine" Article

May 10, 2009

U.S Built Pellet Mills “Built To Last”

“I enjoyed reading your article about cutting edge pellet-making machines (Vol. 33, No. 1) and agree with you about the future of pellet mills. But why would you feature Chinese-made pellet mills when you can get a better built, more reliable product that’s made in the U.S,” says John Buskirk, President of Buskirk Engineering, Ossian, Indiana.

The company recently introduced two farm-sized pellet mills. The Model 800 operates on single phase or 3-phase power or comes in a pto-driven version with capacities to 400 lbs. per hour. The Model 1200 comes with a 3 phase 20hp or 30hp motor or can be pto-driven and has a capacity of up to 1,000 lbs. The pto-driven models come with a 3-pt mounting frame and require a tractor with at least 20 hp for the Model 800, and a 30hp tractor for the Model 1200.

According to Buskirk, both models have some features not found on other pellet mills on the market.

  • Low speed, high torque: the mill’s main shaft spins a pair of rollers that push material through the die, rather than the die spinning like on other models. It results in a higher quality, more durable pellet with fewer fines. It is also more mechanically efficient.
  • Multi-directional keypad: This feature is found only on the Model 800. At the touch of a button, the operator can vary the speed of the rollers as well as switch the rollers’ direction between forward and reverse. “The variable frequency drive lets you run some materials at a slower speed than others, allowing the right amount of material to be pressed through the die. If the rollers start to plow due to inconsistent moisture, you can reverse their direction to free them,” says Buskirk.
  • Process wood Pellets: Depending on the price, either shelled corn or commercial wood pellets can be used as a filler to reduce the cost or making pellets. “Most other mills can’t handle hard commercial pellets unless you grind them up first. Our mills have enough torque to eat right through them,” says Buskirk. “Some customers prefer to mix corn with pellets just because they think the addition of corn helps the pellets burn better.”

Buskirk says customers who’ve field tested units used many different kinds of materials, including animal bedding, horse and poultry manure, and all sorts of wood products including waste wood and sawdust.

Whatever material is used, it should contain 10 to 20 percent moisture, he says. Depending on the kind of material, there can be a big difference in the amount of natural lignin contained. Lignin is the material that holds the pellets together. Pelleting as a whole is an art rather than a science, says Buskirk. Since wood is a fibrous product, a die lubricant is needed to aide in getting the material through the die. Common die lubricants include vegetable oil, soybean oil, distiller’s grain, and glycerin, or you can use commercially available binders and lubricants.

The Model 800 sells for $7,990 with the multidirectional VFD and keypad. A 3-phase only version of this model is available without the keypad but with a forward and reversing switch. It sells for $6,750. The Model 1200 sells for $7,500.

Those interested in capitalizing on this unique opportunity may gather more information on the company’s website at www.buskirkeng.com, or may email for further information at info@buskirkeng.com or by dialing (260) 622-5550.

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Contact Information

Buskirk Engineering
7224 East 900 North
Ossian, IN 46777

Sales Inquiries:

Ty Stoppenhagen
Sales Manager
(260) 622-5550 ext 1

Additional Contacts:
James I Wheeler IV, Owner/President
(260) 622-5550 ext 3

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