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What are wood pellets?

Wood pellets are a type of biomass fuel and are one of the most popular renewable energy sources available across the world. Produced from compacted sawdust and other wood waste products, they are cylindrical in shape and general measure between 6-10mm in diameter and 10-30mm in length.

The wood used for biomass wood pellets either comes from wastes from industries such as sawmilling or from virgin trees that have been specifically grown for the purpose of creating pellets. Once they have been manufactured, wood pellets can be used as fuel to power plants, homes and large commercial buildings.


Wood pellet fuel

Biomass wood pellets are a highly efficient fuel as they are much denser than natural wood and have a low moisture content of less than 10%, which means that very little of the energy produced is needed to evaporate water. This allows biomass wood pellets to be burnt at high temperatures with high combustion efficiencies.

To maximise the energy potential of wood pellets high efficiency boilers have been developed in recent years. These can be automatically controlled and will provide an impressive heat through their thermostat controls.

As a biomass fuel, wood pellets produce very little C02 when burnt and are therefore widely recognised as one of the most eco-friendly fuels. As a result they are included as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive and users can receive regular payments for using wood pellets as their primary source of heat.

Wood pellet popularity has increased in the UK following the RHI but they have been widely used in Europe for a number of years. Sweden, Germany and Austria in particular have traditionally been big users of wood pellets as fuel.  As well as a fuel, wood pellets can also be used as horse bedding for a hygienic and absorbent alternative to straw.

To ensure consistency of quality within the wood pellet market, there is a European standard that should be met, the ENPlus certification. Woodpellets2u were the UK’s first distributor to achieve this accreditation, as our A1 grade pellets have the following characteristics:

  • Low ash content <0.7%
  • Low dust <1%
  • Low moisture content <10%
  • High ash melting temperature > 1200degrees celcius

Next page >> What are the advantages of biomass?