Wood pellets and wood chips are the most common fuels for biomass boilers. One has to decide which one between these two different types of biomass wood fuel to use in a biomass boiler heating system. Biomass is becoming more and more popular to reduce reliance on more expensive fossil fuels.
How do you know what type of biomass wood fuel to opt for when considering a biomass boiler heating system? Here are some insights into the benefits of wood chip and wood pellet:
Wood Chip biomass fuel
- These are small pieces of wood that have been cut to between 5mm and 50mm (measured in the direction of the grain). This is preferred over larger twigs and dust-like particles.
- These can be included but if these twigs are too large they can ‘bridge’ and block the wood chip boiler feed system, too small and they can upset the combustion of the biomass boiler. The same can occur from high bark content, so some care is needed in the quality of the wood chip, which is dictated by the raw material, chipper type and sharpness of blade, handling, etc. In general this is taken care of by a wood chip provider who can prepare biomass fuel according to you requirements.
- In order to produce wood chip fuel, trees are coppiced and the offcuts are chipped and then dried until the chip moisture meets requirements.
Wood pellet biomass fuel
- Wood pellets are made up of sawdust or fine shavings of wood extruded under pressure so that the wood resin binds the material into cylindrical shapes between 6mm and 10mm in diameter and 10mm to 30mm long.
- No artificial chemicals are added to wood pellets but starch or corn flour is sometimes used to improve stability: the result is a high density fuel with low moisture contents, which is less bulky to transport and store.
- Choosing between these fuel types is often a decision that is made during the planning of the system design and is essential to knowing the set up of your boiler and the fuel store type. The transport and storage required can often predict which fuel type is chosen.
Wood pellets are made up of sawdust extruded under pressure, while wood chips are made of small pieces of wood. Wood chips burn much quicker and produce a large amount of flavour. Wood pellets burn slower, cook your meat more evenly, and produce more of a milder flavour.
Pellets don't burn as fast as wood chips and give you a deeper smoke flavor. They also burn at much higher temperatures than wood chips and can be used to cook more kinds of meat. Wood chips do not require as much processing
Browse through this category for wood chips and wood pellets available in Zambian stores.