Biomass Fuel Pellets and Their Benefits

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Emily Burn

People use many biomass materials for energy production and consider new materials. Traditional materials for fuel pellets are wood chips, wood shavings, sawdust from sawmills, or forestry residues such as branches, bark, and leaves. Corn stalks, wheat straw, rice husks, coconut shells, and sugarcane bagasse can also be used. There are also paper pellets made from municipal solid waste.

Now biomass fuel pellet is one such material. It is made from renewable organic materials derived from waste materials such as forestry products and by-products, factory waste, agricultural waste, urban wood waste, livestock waste, and dry animal manure. Biomass pellets are produced in a pellet production plant. The wood is ground, quality tested, heated to reduce the moisture content to below 12%, and turned into a fine powder. It is then forced through a high-pressure screen to form hard, short, dense biomass pellets.

Why are biofuel pellets a good fuel choice?

Biofuel pellets have some undoubtful advantages.

  • Ecological

If plants are planted to replace trees used to produce biomass fuel, biomass pellets will become a sustainable fuel source. Unlike fossil fuels, biomass can be made more quickly than coal products. In addition to being a sustainable fuel source, biomass is widely considered a carbon-neutral fuel, justified by the fact that the same amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere when burned is absorbed by newly planted trees.

  • Clean fuel

Biofuel pellets release fewer environmental toxins than fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. If your biomass boiler is properly maintained, wood pellets produce very little smoke when burned.

  • RHI scheme

One of the benefits of using biomass fuel is the cash incentive scheme offered by the government, known as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme. The government makes cash payments to customers under the RHI scheme based on their biomass usage to encourage both residential and commercial fuel consumers to switch to renewable fuel sources.

  • Cost efficiency

Biomass fuel is a cheaper heating alternative than gas, oil, and electricity.

Thanks to the wide range of boiler systems available on the market, you can heat your home with wood pellets like a gas boiler. Biomass boiler systems can heat your entire home and water.

How are pellets used?

Biomass pellets can generate electricity similarly to coal, allowing existing coal-fired power stations to be converted to renewable bioenergy.

The density and shape of biomass granules make them easy to transport and store in large quantities. However, it is vital that they remain dry during transport and that atmospheric conditions are carefully monitored and controlled when stored in biomass domes to avoid unwanted combustion.

Biomass granules also can be used to heat rooms for various purposes.

  • in cooking stoves;
  • to replace coal or fossil fuels in co-heating for large-scale industrial plants to reduce energy costs;
  • as bedding for cows, sheep, goats, and horses, as they are safe for the animals.

All this makes biomass pellets an efficient and multifunctional material produced from renewable sources. Therefore, such products are quite in demand on the market today.

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