Wood pellets are an extremely versatile fuel source made from compressed sawdust. They have multiple uses besides fuel burning, including wood pellet horse bedding, wood pellet cat litter and wood pellet potash for your garden. But have you ever wondered how they are made? This article will provide a complete run-through of the wood pellet production process for those of us who are curious.
Gathering raw materials
A pellet mill is the name of the location whereby wood pellets are produced. To kick off the process, large quantities of raw materials are brought to the pellet mills in a variety of different forms. For example, materials can include sawdust, scrap wood, wood chips and in some instances even full trees. All material is processed in the same way to ensure a consistent product. In order words, the moisture content, heat output, fire life and ash content of all processed wood pellets will be the same.
Creating a uniform size
As mentioned, pellet mills can take in raw materials in a variety of different sizes and shapes. Because of this fact, machines are required to break down the materials into uniform sizes so that they can be processed equally. Large pieces are cut down into smaller pieces using wood chippers. Smaller pieces of wood, such as wood chips and sawdust, are ground down into a consistent size by a hammer mill before the drying and pressing processes take place.
Material gathered at the start of the process may have been affected by rain or high levels of humidity. And what’s more, some of the wood may have been kiln dried, further affecting its moisture content. In order to achieve a consistent moisture content, the chopped and ground material is passed into large dryer drums which heat the wood and get rid of any excess water or other substances.
Shaping the pellets
After the drying process has taken place, the dried sawdust is passed into high pressure dies which shape the material into the recognisable wood pellet shape. During this process, the sawdust binds together and the pellet density, durability and size is set. This is an important stage because some appliances require a specific size of wood pellet, making uniformity essential.
At the end of the process, the wood pellets remain at a high temperature from the drying and shaping stages, making them fragile and at risk of breaking or changing shape. In order to protect and reinforce the wood pellets, they are transported to a cooling tower for hardening.
Once enough time has elapsed within the cooling tower, the wood pellets are generally transported to a storage facility for bagging. Once bagged, the wood pellets are ready for general sale and delivery.
Pretty interesting, right?
After reading this informative article, you may be inspired to try out wood pellets for yourself. Luckily, Coal Hut has high-quality wood pellets for sale at a cost-effective price. Why not use them in your Heaters, Cookers and Boilers?
Maybe wood fuel pellets aren’t your thing. If so, check out our other firewood products. You’re bound to find something that suits you.