Advantages of biomass as a fuel, and the need for fuel pellets

By: Chris Scott

Global warming and climate change are today one of the most central issues facing us. Without changes to how we create and use power the effects of climate change could become lasting and irreversible. The effects of growing temperatures would affect every aspect of our lives, and drastically affect crops and food production. The rising temperatures connected with global warming as due to increasing the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Naturally there is a fairly steady level of carbon within the atmosphere, however human influence is dramatically increasing these CO2 levels. This is due to our heavy reliance on fossil fuels to meet our energy demands. Our cars for example are one of the largest contributors of CO2 into the atmosphere. We need to look to alternative and more importantly renewable energy sources that are either low carbon or carbon neutral. Well know alternative and renewable technologies are solar and wind. Both these forms of machinery capture energy that is almost always available, and will play an important role in our energy future. However both these of these energy technologies rely on energy that is not always available and they cannot meet all our energy demands. Biomass, which is any natural mater, which can be used as a energy source, is a source of energy many people over look.
Wood pellets and other types of wood pellets is a uncomplicated but effect use of wood energy. Pellets in some form or another are used in many different industries, for example the animal feed industry is now the principal sector, which produces pellets. However the energy pellet industry and predominantly the wood pellet fuel industry over the next few years should overtake the feed pellet industry. Pellets have very similar properties to a liquid and flow well through hoppers and are ideal for mechanical systems in stoves and boilers.
Pellet presses are used to create pellets for either the animal feed industry or the fuel pellet industry. The pellet press contains a die and a set of rollers. The die contains holes through which the raw material is condensed to form pellets. The diameter of the holes depends on the use of the end product, for example stove pellets are a much smaller diameter than power station pellets. To produce a pellet the raw material needs to be rather dry, however some moisture is needed to help the pellet form. Also a key condition is heat, as to hold the pellet together lignin within the raw substance is melted. Once the pellet exits the press the lignin then cools to form a firm, dense pellet. Over the next few years there will be a apparent increase in the pellet market enlargement.

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The Wood Pellet Production Guide provides more details on pellet

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