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Environmental Benefits of Wood Pellets

CO2 Emissions Reduction

Carbon Cycle

Wood pellets are recognised as one of the best sources of sustainable, eco-friendly fuel available. In comparison to the likes of oil and gas, wood pellets are pure, sustainable, and emit considerably less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

How are wood pellets better for the environment?

Wood pellet fuel is considered to be carbon neutral. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during their lifecycle. When the plant is burned, the same amount of carbon dioxide is then released back into the atmosphere. The cycle then begins again when the replacement plants begin to grow.

How much carbon dioxide is produced in comparison with other heating fuels?

Including manufacturing and transportation costs, it is estimated that burning wood pellets produces 34g carbon dioxide per KiloWatt Hour of heat produced (g/kWh).

CO2 emission comparison graph

Adapted from “The Carbon Balance of Woodfuel”, Northern Woodheat, 2010.

The process of manufacturing wood pellets is comparatively simple, as it is essentially the compression of sawdust into a pellet. This requires little energy in manufacturing terms and emits minimal carbon dioxide when compared with processes such as oil refining.

With the increase in popularity of wood pellets over recent years it has become necessary to import quantities of wood pellet fuel into the country. Even taking into account the additional transport in this process the amount of embedded carbon dioxide in imported wood pellets is minimal compared to all other popular fuel types – even including locally sourced wood chip.

The newly introduced BSL (Biomass Suppliers List) standards ensure that wood pellets produce two thirds less CO₂ than fossil fuels.

*Carbon Dioxide emissions are measured in grams per kilowatt hour of heat produced (g/kWh). This is a standard measurement and allows us to compare carbon dioxide emissions when burning different fuel types such as wood pellets, oil, or liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

Sustainability

SustainabilityHomefire Wood Pellets* from Woodpellets2U are sourced only from responsibly managed forests and woodlands. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the governing body in charge of guaranteeing the replacement of trees in woodlands and forests.

To ensure that all the trees felled to produce wood pellets are replaced, we source our Homefire wood pellets from areas that are licensed by the Forestry Commission. This governing body ensures that harvested areas are restocked and subsequently maintained.

The UK has the strictest regulations in Europe, and those involved in the felling of trees require a license from the Forestry Commission before felling can commence. In order to be granted a licence, the following conditions have to be met:

  • The felled area has to be restocked
  • The Forestry Commission has a say in how the area is restocked
  • Replanted trees have to be maintained for a period of time before they can be harvested
  • Only in exceptional circumstances will a license be issued without restocking after assessment under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations 1999

As part of our commitment to sustainability, Woodpellets2U promise to only source wood pellets from correctly managed woodlands. This will help us to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions and protect our environment whilst continuing to provide you with high quality pellets to heat your home.

*Our value branded bagged wood pellets do not bear the FSC mark but are obtained from sustainably managed forests.

Lower Pollution

Lower Pollution RiskBurning wood pellets produces up to 90% less Carbon Dioxide than traditional fossil fuels such as gas or oil. Burning just one tonne of wood pellets can replace approximately 400 litres of oil – saving up to 1,070kg of Carbon Dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

All of the wood pellets provided by Woodpellets2U are taken from responsibly managed forests and woodlands. This means that every time a tree is felled another is planted to replace it, creating a sustainable cycle. The Carbon Dioxide which is then emitted from the burning of the pellets is the same that is absorbed during the life cycle of the tree, further reducing the amount of Carbon Dioxide and pollutants released into the atmosphere.

Until recent years, timber and wood waste from industries and other sources has been sent to landfill sites. As the wood breaks down in the ground it generates emissions of methane gas, a potent Greenhouse Gas which is 25 times for harmful than Carbon Dioxide. As we now take this waste wood (2.5 million tonnes so far) and convert it into high performance, low pollution wood pellets we are further reducing the impact of Greenhouse Gases on the environment.

Modern biomass boilers are also very efficient, minimising wasted heat and pollutants from burning wood pellets. As with all solid fuel appliances, wood pellet boilers require a certain amount of manual intervention and care. However, in comparison to wood chip boilers a well maintained and properly fuelled (ENPlusA1 quality) wood pellet boiler will provide trouble free heating.

It is important to always follow the operating instructions of your boiler and essential to make sure that the fuel you use is from a recognised and certified source. It is possible to purchase fuel to a lower quality standard than ENPlusA1 but this fuel will generate less heat per kg of fuel and produce more ash per kg burned.

Finally, the physical nature of the pellets means that they are less polluting to the environment should any spillage occur. For instance, an oil spillage would mean a major clean up issue and potentially serious damage to the surrounding environment. However if wood pellets are spilled they can be quickly and cleanly gathered together and disposed.