Wood pellets are one of the more efficient and practical ways to use forest biomass as a source of energy. Making wood pellets is a relatively simple process compared to making other biofuels since pellets are just a compressed version of the original material. Other forms of biofuel require more complex refining which wastes much of the energy potential of the original material.
Wood pellets manufacturing consumes more energy than traditional firewood but much of this is returned since pellet burning stoves are typically more efficient than traditional wood burning stoves.
Wood pellets have several advantages over traditional firewood. Pellets are cleaner burning as well as cleaner to handle. Pellet stoves are thermostatically controlled and you can fill the hopper with pellets and the stove will feed itself. No more getting up in the night to put firewood in the stove.
Wood pellets typically are made as a by product from wastes created from the production of other forest products. Since wood pellets come from trees they are a renewable source of energy and are carbon neutral since the carbon dioxide they produce comes is removed from the air by the growing trees that replace them.
Advantages of Wood Pellets vs Other Fuels
- Cleanest burning of any solid fuel.
- Domestic – Pellets usually come from a local source. This reduced transportation costs and energy consumption.
- Economical – Cost less than most other fuels and adjusted for inflation prices have remained stable over the past decade.
- Low cost and easy to install. Pellet stoves produce almost no creosote so no chimney is needed, only an exhaust vent.
- Utilizes material that would otherwise go to waste.