Wood pellets are used as a fossil fuel primarily for home heating and commercial power generation. Pellets are typically made from compacted sawdust and fine fibrous wood particles. Industrious homeowners having treed property use portable wood pellet mills to manufacture pellets on the spot. These machines are worth their weight in gold for property owners that frequently mill timber or cut firewood. Wood pellets are extremely dense often having a low moisture content below 10% allowing them to burn and release maximum heat with high combustion efficiency.
Almost every part of a leafless tree can be used to manufacture wood pellets – even the root, however for our purposes, we will not use it to calculate how many wood pellets are in a tree. Instead, we will use the wood pellet estimator to calculate how many 40-pound bags of wood pellets can be harvested from the dirt-free part of the tree. The tree and its branches are cut into manageable sections that can be fed into the machine. Larger sections are split much like firewood so they will fit into the pellet mill feeder. The calculator assumes typical branching proportionate to the tree’s height and trunk diameter and is expressed in pounds of pellet product.
Use the wood pellet estimator to calculate how many 40 pound bags you can harvest from a tree.
Pellets are categorized by the materials used to make them, color, size, and moisture content for example and many are priced according to grade.
Premium wood pellets are almost always made from the sawdust produced in massive quantities by lumber mills. Before pellet manufacture, mountain sized piles of sawdust were piled up around the mill, a portion of which were trucked away and dumped at great expense to the lumber mill. Premium wood pellets have low ash content (7% or less), low moisture content (10% or less) and good structural integrity with low fines. Fines are the fine dust particles of wood that can shed from a pellet. A utility wood pellet has poor structural integrity, is easily broken and will dust the immediate area with hundreds of fines, which are small, lightweight particles of partially digested wood. A standard pellet is a compromise between the two.Note: Premium wood pellets burn twice as hot as firewood and hardwood pellets have a higher heat rating (BTU) than softwood pellets. This is because they are comprised of a denser compressed wood fiber than the non-compressed fiber of any temperate hardwood and have half the moisture content (firewood on average has 20% moisture content – the higher the moisture content, the more the fire hisses as it burns).
Many barbeque enthusiasts are trading in their gas fired grills for old fashioned charcoal grills. This trend has become so popular; grill manufactures have introduced newly designed charcoal grills. The reason for this renewed interest in charcoal grilling has been the introduction of flavored wood pellets, which provide an exquisite outdoor flavor to vegetables and meat. Apple, hickory, alder, cherry, maple, mesquite, oak and pecan are just a few of the flavored wood pellets available.
A tree plantation provides an ideal environment for wood pellet production. Annual branch pruning provides feeder stock for the wood pellet mill and second tree thinning in subsequent years provides even more stock. At harvest, sawlogs can be squared, and the slabs used for pelleting. The tops of each tree would be utilized as well. You can use the wood pellet estimator to calculate hoe many wood pellets are in tree you intend to cut.
Wood pellets are typically made by compressing sawdust or other wood waste into small, cylindrical pellets that can be used as fuel for heating or cooking. The process typically involves several stages, including grinding, drying, and pelletizing.
Commercial wood pellet production typically involves large-scale equipment, such as hammer mills, dryers, pellet mills, and packaging machines. These machines can be quite expensive and require a significant amount of space and infrastructure to operate.
There are also smaller-scale wood pellet production systems that are designed for home or small-scale use. These backyard home business systems typically include a grinder or hammer mill, a dryer, and a pellet mill, and can be operated by one person. Cost vary depending on size and complexity of the equipment, but they are generally more affordable than commercial-scale systems, which can move north of 50,000 dollars.
Wood pellets are generally more expensive than firewood or other heating fuels. But they are often more efficient and produce less pollution and waste than traditional other fuels, making wood pellets a popular choice for environmentally conscious consumers. The cost of wood pellets can also vary depending on the region and the availability of wood resources, as well as fluctuations in energy markets and other economic factors.
A morning wander through the back-forty woodlot using the wood pellet estimator to calculate the number of 40-pond bags of wood pellets that potentially can be harvested from your own property will more than likely motivate you to invest in a portable, home version pellet mill.
The grinder or hammer mill is used to grind the wood chips, sawdust, or other wood waste into small particles or powders, which are then fed into the portable pellet mill. The grinder or hammer mill can be powered by electricity or a combustion engine, and can handle different types of wood waste.
The dryer is used to reduce the moisture content of the wood particles, which is important for ensuring the quality and durability of the finished pellets. The dryer can be a simple airflow dryer or a more complex rotary drum dryer, and can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or other fuels.
The portable home version pellet mill is used to compress the dried wood particles into small, cylindrical pellets, which can be used as fuel. The pellet mill typically consists of a die and rollers, which apply pressure to the wood particles to form the pellets. The portable pellet mill can be powered by electricity or a combustion engine, and can be designed for different pellet sizes and production rates.
To make your own wood pellets, you will need to follow a few basic steps:
There’s another way to use living trees that you don’t cut up for pellet wood; donate the value of that tree. Tree Plantation LLC has created an Environmental Tree Credit program that uses trees wherever they grow on private land to combat climate change and help us plant more trees. We have partnered with growingtogive.org, a 501c3 nonprofit, that will issue you a tax-deductible donation for your trees.