Wood pellets – ecological and economical fuel

Wood pellets – ecological and economical fuel
Darrius Drew
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

While coal continues to be an extremely popular solid fuel, an increasing number of people are looking for greener alternatives. One of them is pellet. What is worth knowing about it?

Pellets come in the form of granules. In most cases, its diameter varies between 6 and 8 mm, while its length ranges from 2 to 3 cm. For its production, most often sawdust from coniferous trees is used, which has a higher calorific value than sawdust from deciduous trees.

Interesting facts about wood pellets

The pellet production process involves pressing the sawdust with special machines. Using high pressure, a granulate characterized by a compact structure is obtained. Although waste material is used in the production of pellets, it must not contain any impurities. Not everyone knows that it takes about 5 tons of sawdust to produce one ton of high quality pellets.

  • One of the most important stages of pellet production is drying. High temperature makes most of the moisture simply evaporate. Good quality pellets have a moisture content of around 10%. Of course, the lower it is, the better.
  • Many people think that various types of binders are added to the pellets. Nothing more misleading. Wood contains lignin, i.e. a binder, which is responsible for the compact structure of the granulate.
  • The next stage of production is cooling, thanks to which the pellets retain their properties. The whole process takes place in special coolers.

The production ends with packing the pellets into sealed bags, which go on sale.

Which pellet stove to choose?

During the combustion process of pellets, far fewer harmful substances enter the atmosphere, so this type of heating fuel is considered environmentally friendly. In addition, unlike coal, it takes up much less space. To be able to successfully heat your home with pellets, you need a special stove. What is worth knowing about it?

  1. First of all, burning wood waste pressed under pressure produces much less ash than when burning coal. What is more, pellet residues are easier to remove. You only need to dispose of a small amount of ash every few days.
  1. When choosing a particular stove, it is important to match its efficiency with the size of the house and the degree of thermal modernization of the building. If you buy a stove with low efficiency and in addition you do not have a well insulated house, then sufficient heating of the building will be very slow. What is more, in extreme cases it may even be impossible. In practically every store offering devices of this type, we can count on professional advice from experienced specialists.
  1. Automatic pellet stoves are characterized by simple and intuitive operation. With a few buttons, you can program the entire heating cycle, so the user does not have to worry about the operation of the device.

The heating value of pellets usually varies between 16 and 20 MJ/kg. Of course, the higher it is, the better for us.

Practical information about pellets

Unfortunately, one of the limitations of pellets is the place of storage. If it is stored for a long time in a room with high humidity, its calorific value will decrease. On the other hand, it compares favorably in terms of cleanliness. The pellets are packed in 15 kg bags, so keeping the basement clean will not be a problem.

  • The energy value of 2 kg of pellets is equal to the energy value of 1 l of heating oil. Such a comparison clearly shows the advantages of pellets.
  • Pellets are made from waste, which could be deposited, for example, in sawmills. However, their use makes the granulate one of the most ecological solid fuels intended for heating homes.

For several years, the popularity of pellets has been systematically growing and there is no indication that this trend will change. The increasing awareness of people about conservation makes that coal stoves are being replaced by modern pellet stoves. Not without significance is also the increasingly higher quality of pellets, thanks to which this way of heating the building becomes even more profitable.

Main photo of the article: source: Designed by Freepik

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