Wood Pellets

Wood pellet technology was developed to allow wood heating systems to run fully automatically. The pellets themselves have diameters from about 6 to 10mm and are made of compressed sawdust; an otherwise useless byproduct from saw mills. The small pellets are automatically fed into a specially designed heater in precise quantities and times from a container via a screw gear or a blower.

Besides wood, wood pellets contain about 8 % water. Only 1 % of the mass leaves the process as ash, allowing the pellets to reach a noticeably higher heating value than normal wood. The heating value of 2 kg of wood pellets corresponds to that of 1 liter heating oil.

The energy made available by burning wood counts as renewable because wood grows back within a few decades, and the energy required for the production and transport of the pellets is equal to about 2 % of the available energy in the wood pellets themselves. This stands in stark contrast to the 10-12% for heating oil and natural gas or even the up to 40% required for electrical heating.

Wood pellets can be produced anywhere where wood waste becomes available. The transportation routes are short, supply is guaranteed, and compared to the heating value of heating oil, the cost of wood pellets is about the same.

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