A wood pellet is a biofuel from compressed wood fiber. In British Columbia, it primarily comes from left over residuals from the process of sawmilling when the manufacturer convert logs into lumber & other valuable wood products. Then, harvesting residuals and waste of low-quality logs belong to a source of wood pellets’ raw materials. By making wood pellets from fiber once left behind or burned, this sector reduces waste. After that, it turns the debris into valued, low carbon biofuel.
The Make of a Wood Pellet
To create wood pellets, manufacturers get rid of moisture from wood fiber, grind the fiber into dust, and then compress the dust into small cylinders (pellets). Usually the pellets come in a diameter of 6 or 8 mm while the length is up to 40 mm. In this process, they apply heat. It causes lignin to act as a glue to hold the particles together. And, it results a dry, highly compressed & high energy-value product where you can easily handle and transport it efficiently over long distance.
A Wood Pellet as an Efficient Sustainable Source of Energy
People use wood pellets in domestic & industrial applications. In colder climates, they use wood pellet stoves or boilers to heat their homes. With well-automated broilers, they don’t need human maintenance or operator except to load a winter season worth of pellets, press a button to start the system, and then remove the ash 6 months later.
In North America, stoves are more common. We just need to feed pellets into the stove’s hopper by hand, and burn them to create an efficient, even heat source. For your information, particulate emissions that come from modern pellet heating equipment are similar. In some cases, they are lower than conventional fossil fuel boilers & furnaces.
In industrial electricity generation, manufacturers use a wood pellet as a low carbon alternative of coal. Then, they grind pellets back to dust. After that, they combine the dust with water. And, they feed the resulting mixture continuously to a flame creating steam to generate electricity.
Is a Wood Pellet a Sustainable Low Carbon Energy Source?
Scientists & global agencies recognize wood pellets as a biofuel offering climate benefits than fossil fuels. The United Nations IPCC has also recognized the significant greenhouse gas mitigation potential of biomass, as long as it is developed sustainably & used efficiently.
It is important to know that the industry of pellet sources an estimated 85% of its fiber comes from the by-products of the allied industries and the sawmills. Then, a new study shows that in British Columbia, wood pellets entirely come from sawmill & harvest residuals or from low-quality logs & bush grind that other industries would not reject them.
In the past, people leave damaged trees to decay and waste a valuable resource. Then, in 2019, a BC-based bioenergy company started to harvest the damaged trees and converted them to pellets. In 2020, the replaced the scarred landscape with 1.1 million seedings to create a carbon sink. So, we can conclude that we can convert damaged trees into a wood pellet.