Electric portable air compressors drive renewable revamp of biomass plant

In the south-west of Germany, a biomass power plant underwent a planned biannual maintenance shutdown. IB Service, industrial maintenance specialist, used zero carbon electric portable air compressors from Atlas Copco to sustainably drive the plant’s transformation.

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Since the EU enshrined in law its target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, a nation-wide race against time has been initiated to accelerate climate protection efforts. Atlas Copco Portable Air is leading the way to decarbonization by offering sustainably driven electric compressors to the industrial sector. Atlas Copco’s electric portable air compressors have recently supported the maintenance of a biomass cogeneration plant in Germany, where the compressors were used to clean the plant’s renewably powered kilns.


Two E-Air Variable Speed Drive (VSD) were used in a biomass plant in Kehl, where cogeneration technology is used, fired by waste wood, to simultaneously generate electrical power and process steam. Bioenergy can offer significant reduction in net carbon emissions when operated effectively and plays multiple roles in decarbonizing electricity and other industries that are fossil fuel-dependent.

E-Air in action

Twice a year the plant is shut down for two weeks to undertake maintenance, and it is here that Atlas Copco’s customer, IB Service, stepped in to offer its specialist maintenance and blasting services

The IB Services team were entrusted with the essential task of renewing the plant, scrupulously and spotlessly blast-cleaning the biomass-encrusted kilns. In order to complete this very tough and demanding sandblasting project in time for its tight deadline, the IBS team needed equipment that they knew could perform with the utmost reliability and efficiency, 24/7. 

E-Air German Project Kehl 2

As the ideal partner for tough projects that need continuous output, they opted to use Atlas Copco’s zero emission, low cost and ultra-quiet E-Air electric compressors. Proving their ability to perform in the most demanding of applications, the electric compressors powered the maintenance project 24/7, without any requirement to stop and refuel. And running at 61dB, the quiet nature of the compressor allowed those in the vicinity work without noise distraction, enhancing both productivity and noise safety. The E-Air range turns electricity into kinetic energy by compressing and pressurizing air. The absence of combustion emissions, combined with low noise levels, make the range a perfect match for power plant maintenance where indoor or underground applications are required.  

It delivers more freedom to users and allows for low-maintenance easy plug and play installation- all while producing zero emissions.

Powered by electricity rather than fuel, the energy-efficient E-Air also offers savings of up to 50% in running costs for the end user when compared to its diesel counterpart- a significant cost-advantage for any sites and applications where there is a ready electric power supply. Managing Director of IB Service, Mehmet Christian Kerimoglu, summarises why the electric portable compressors from Atlas Copco are vital to his services:

“With the E-Air compressors, we have the advantage of having no exhaust gases. We can also significantly reduce the noise level, thereby protecting our employees. We don’t have to check after each shift whether they need to be refuelled, and we can achieve continuous output without having to pay any expensive fuel costs. They have such immense added value that we will continue to invest in the electric compressors in the future”.