Wood pellets or fuel pellets are biofuels created in the process of processing waste from woodworking and agricultural industries. Everything that was previously decayed in landfills or disposed of with minimal efficiency now serves to the good. The raw material for such fuel pellets can be everything that has grown with the help of ultraviolet radiation. It is actively used in production: tree bark, wood chips, sawdust, cones. Farmland for these purposes is distinguished: straw, sprouts of grain crops after harvesting, corn and many other sources, including chicken droppings.
The secrets of pellet production
All of the above and much more, which is suitable for the manufacture of fuel pellets, comes in large quantities to the place of production. First, the raw material is dried, and then crushed into flour in a hammer mill. After preparing and moistening the raw materials, the pellet mill creates the familiar pellet shape by pressing the crushed waste. Under tremendous pressure, the wood particles heat up to the point where natural glue is released from it. Thus, the natural sticky substance in the tree is the only thing that affects the preservation of the shape of the pellets. No other substances of chemical origin, in high-quality pellets, are used for this.
How to choose pellets
Price, this is the prevailing factor in choosing pellets for heating a country house. But as practice shows, the consumer who throws money on barely smoldering pellets, next time, puts quality first. To select high-quality granules, you can use several basic characteristics.
- Color. Fuel granules are often called wood pellets for good reason. The fact is that woodworking waste shows the best figures for heat transfer, density and strength of individual granules. While chicken droppings or peat can not boast of the same indicators. To a greater extent, woodworking waste during mixing and pressing creates a light yellow or brown color of the final product, and peat and litter will be black or dark gray. Separately, it is worth noting that the granules are dark and when adding wood bark. In general, choosing a lighter product, the chance to get fuel from wood, and not from something else, is higher.
- Integrity and strength. Chips, cracks, and strong friability of the surface may indicate a lack of wood in the granules. Lignin, as the main natural adhesive, with the right amount, creates a dense, strong structure of the material. If the granules crack and are heterogeneous, then there are two options: there is not enough wood in the granules or it is not there at all, and everything is glued together with chemicals.
- Buoyancy and solubility. High-quality granules invariably drown in water and dissolve in the form of a homogeneous “pulp”. If dissolution does not occur, then artificial glue is definitely present in the composition. Complete dissolution should also not be taken immediately for a positive outcome. You need to look at the sediment formed at the bottom of the vessel. It is highly likely that you will see sand or ground. This happens when the wood during production is in constant contact with the ground. For home boilers this is unacceptable.
- Certificate. Such luck is rare, but if you managed to get a pellet certificate from the seller, you need to look at three characteristics: ash, calorific value, humidity. Desired indicators:
- ash content – not more than 1%;
- calorific value – above 4200 kcal / kg ;;
- humidity – not higher than 8%.
We hope that our advice will help avoid unscrupulous sellers making money, and you, enjoy the warmth for a reasonable fee.