Processed Wood Fuel

Processed Wood Fuel

Processed Wood Fuel

Product Type

Wood For Fuel

Subcategory

Processed Wood Fuel

Processed wood fuels are typically used as a fuel source for appliances such as biomass boilers, for which more traditional logs and firewood are not suitable.

Because wood is classed as ‘carbon neutral’, it has also become very popular among eco-conscious consumers looking for ways to heat their properties that will not have a negative carbon impact. But in order to ensure this claim remains true, consumers must only source their wood fuel through chain of custody schemes which can guarantee sustainable forest management where more trees are planted to replace those felled.

There are three main types of processed wood fuels available, which can be produced from both hardwoods and softwoods. These include:

  • Wood Pellets: These are commonly used with biomass appliances such as boilers, that can often be found in more rural areas that are off the mains-gas grid thereby replacing less efficient forms of fossil fuels such as gas oil. The wood pellets are formed of dry sawdust, or fine dry wood shavings, that are compressed under pressure to form cylindrical shapes between 6-10mm in diameter, and 10-30mm long.
  • Wood Chips: These are pieces of wood that have been broken down into very small pieces (usually between 5mm and 50mm). Too small to be used in open fires, they are typically used as fuel for industrial biomass boilers which would include a pre drying phase within the operation. Wood chips can be fed automatically into a boiler as needed, and so do not require as much manual handling as with open fires and log burners.
  • Briquettes: A larger version of wood pellets that is dryer and denser than firewood. Typically sold in 10kg packs for use with wood burning stoves or open fires, these are often used as an alternative to more traditional logs.

The most critical issue around burning all wood fuels is their moisture content. Typically, these wood fuels must have a very low moisture content of less than 14% in order to burn efficiently. This is usually practical to achieve with pellets and briquettes as the raw materials will include a high proportion of process waste form manufacturing facilities that are working with kiln dried wood.

Consumers are always encouraged to check the moisture content of the wood they purchase before use to ensure it is suitable.

* This information is intended as an introduction to processed wood fuels. If you would like more information or advice, we would recommend you contact TDUK members who supply these products.