Wood pellets are a type of wood fuel, generally made from compacted sawdust.
They are usually produced as a byproduct of sawmilling and other wood transformation activities The wood pellets are extremely dense and can be produced with a low humidity content (below 10%) that allows them to be burned with a very high combustion efficiency. Further, their regular geometry and small size allow automatic feeding with very fine calibration. They can be fed to a burner by auger feeding or by pneumatic conveying.
Their high density also permits compact storage and rational transport over long distance. They can be conveniently blown from a tanker to a storage bunker or silo on a customer’s premises.
As the price of heating with fossil fuels increases, more capacity for pellet heating has been installed. In Austria, the leading market for pellet central heating furnaces (relative to its population), it is estimated that 2/3 of all new domestic heating furnaces are pellet burners. In Italy, a large market for automatically-fed pellet stoves has developed.
Pellet heating systems provide a low-net-CO2 solution, because the quantity of CO2 emitted during combustion
is equal to the CO2 absorbed by the tree during its growth.
With the high efficiency burners developed in recent years, other emissions such as NOx and volatile organic compounds are very low, making this one of the most non-polluting heating options available. One remaining problem is emission of fine dust in urban areas due to a high concentration of pellet heating systems. Electrostatic particle filters for wood pellet heaters have however been developed and considerably reduce the problem when installed as standard. For our range
of wood pellet storage units you can view them here online.
The energy content of wood pellets is approximately 4.8 MWh/ton (or about 17 MBTU/ton).
A large number of models of wood pellet stoves, central heating furnaces and other appliances has emerged since about 1999. With the surge in the price of fossil fuels in 2005, the demand has increased all over Europe and a sizable industry is emerging.