Have you ever heard of wood pellets? In this article, we will talk about what are wood pellets and their advantages.
What Are Wood Pellets?
Biofuels called “wood pellets” are created from compressed wood fiber.
Sawmill waste is the main source of BC’s wood pellets. Wood pellets are increasingly created from low-quality logs that were discarded. The wood pellet industry converts waste resources like fiber into low-carbon biofuel, benefiting the environment and economy.
How Do You Make Wood Pellets?
Manufacturers remove moisture from raw wood fiber, ground it into dust, and compress it into little cylinders (pellets) with a diameter of 6 or 8 mm and a length of up to 40 mm to create wood pellets. As the wood is heated, the natural polymer lignin acts as a glue to keep the compacted particles together. The result is an energy product that is dry, compact, and high in value, making it simple to handle and carry effectively across great distances.
A Reliable And Long-Term Energy Supply
There is a wide variety of uses for wood pellets in both the home and commercial settings. Wood pellet boilers or stoves are a popular method of home heating in colder regions of the world. Modern boilers simply need pellets for winter, a button to start, and ash removal six months later for maintenance. In North America, stoves are more common.
Creating an effective and uniform heat source is as easy as repeatedly feeding pellets into the pellet stove’s hopper and lighting them on fire. In terms of particulate emissions, contemporary pellet heating equipment is on par with, and in some cases even better than, traditional fossil fuel boilers and furnaces. Wood pellets are used to make electricity in factories instead of coal because they produce less carbon dioxide. Pellets are powdered, combined with air, and fed continuously into a flame to boil into steam and power generators.
Are Wood Pellets Low-Carbon And Sustainable?
Experts and international organizations agree that wood pellets are a climate-friendly biofuel alternative to traditional fossil fuels. When compared to a fossil energy baseline, biomass has a high potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if it is cultivated sustainably and used efficiently, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s foremost authority on climate change.
Having to withstand strict environmental regulation, careful management, and substantial third-party certification, British Columbia’s forests are among the world’s most resilient and sustainably managed.
Where Do The Wood Pellets Come From?
About 85 percent of the fiber used in the pellet industry comes from waste products from sawmills and related businesses. A recent analysis verifies that low-quality logs and bush grind, as well as sawmill and harvest residuals, are used to produce all of British Columbia’s wood pellets.
To What Other Goods Do Wood Pellets Compare?
Carbon sequestered by BC trees in long-lasting wood products is later converted to biofuel. Reforestation keeps the cycle going by planting new trees that will eventually take in more carbon as they grow. Woody biomass can replace fossil fuels as a sustainable energy source.
Wood pellets replace fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A UK power plant study found that these pellets lower greenhouse gas emissions by over 80% compared to coal. This is true even after accounting for fossil fuel emissions from harvesting, production, and transportation.
Using Scraps From Production And Farming
Wood pellets made in British Columbia are made exclusively from waste products from forests that have been responsibly managed, and the industry’s primary goal is to maximize the value of trees that have already been cut down.
The forest sector in British Columbia is heavily interconnected, which increases the value of each cut tree. This means that before deciding what to make from a certain wood, producers evaluate its quality. On average, 45% of each log is turned into lumber, 35% is used to make pulp chips, and the remaining 5% is used to make pellets out of sawdust and shavings.
More than 90% of the fiber input for pellet factories nowadays is typically sawmill waste. Only around 10% of all lumber comes from logs that sawmills have rejected as subpar due to flaws including rot, insect and fire damage, or diminutive size.
Benefits Of Using Wood Pellets
Wood pellets are an environmentally beneficial solid fuel refined from sawdust and other byproducts of the lumber industry.
Wood pellets have a clear advantage over fossil fuels because they can be made from renewable materials like shavings and sawdust. Also, compared to other European countries, Austria has a lot of trees and is very wooded. Each year, the world’s forest cover increases by more than 30 million cubic meters of dense wood. Despite years of heavy use for building materials, paper production, and energy, Austria’s forest timber stock has been growing.
A new heating system is an expensive investment, but it should pay off in the long run. The market for fossil fuels is characterized by a sharp increase in prices and significant hazards. Statistically, U.S. forest timber is significantly more stable and reliable in supply. Wood pellets are a byproduct of the forestry industry in Austria, and the country generates more of them than it needs.
Wood pellets lower fuel expenses in half compared to fossil fuels or natural gas.
At the same time, wood pellet heating is affordable due to extremely efficient heating systems designed for this solid fuel. Heating systems that employ wood pellets, such as central boilers and stoves, convert more than 90% of the fuel’s energy into usable heat.
The inexpensive cost of pellets, along with efficient heating equipment, is what ultimately makes them a good financial choice.
Central heating boilers that use wood pellets are lauded for the cleanliness, simplicity of usage, and comfort they provide to their owners. The fuel is moved from where it is stored to the boiler by a silo truck. It takes care of itself. From turning on the boiler to keeping it clean and free of ash, everything is done by a machine. Hence, only once or twice per heating season will the user need to clear the ash box.
When compared to traditional wood stoves, wood pellet stoves provide significant improvements in convenience. Likewise, when loaded with wood pellets, the pellet burner can keep a room warm for two or three days without any help from a person. Therefore, every week or every other week, the ash should be cleaned out. A heating system that is easy to use is even better when it has technical features like being able to turn it on or off from a distance and monitor it in real-time with a cell phone.
Because plants take in the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis that they release during combustion, burning wood does not add more CO2 to the atmosphere. Even when produced and supplied using fossil fuels, these pellets emit 95% less carbon dioxide than heating oil.
Wood pellet heating has exceptionally minimal emissions, which is a major benefit. It burns efficiently and cleanly thanks to the dry fuel, the electronically controlled combustion air, and the high temperature of the combustion chamber.
Austria’s 50,000 tons of fine dust emissions dwarf a large single-family home’s wood pellet heating system boiler’s ash.
The use of wood pellets has several benefits, including those for the environment and the consumers’ wallets, and it ensures a stable future market for domestic businesses that provide the fuel, produce the heating systems, and install and maintain them. Wood fuels created €1.4 million and 14,200 jobs in 2011, according to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation, and Technology.
Wood pellets have many benefits that make them a great choice for eco-friendly, cost-effective, and comfortable heating. These benefits make wood pellet heating a great option for both homes and businesses.