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Wood Burning Pellets
Wood pellets is a kind of biomass burning fuel that has gained national attention with rising fossil fuel prices. Wood pellets are compressed by-products from the forest products industry, often woodchips and sawdust. Wood pellets are a locally available and a cost-effective heating fuel with several advantages over other types of biomass.
Wood pellets are a condensed uniformly sized form of biomass energy, making them easier to store and use than many other biomass fuels. Wood pellets burning technology is also quite simple, minimizing operation and maintenance requirements. These burning systems can be easy to plan for and install and can save a building owner thousands of dollars in energy costs over time while providing significant local economic and environmental benefits.
Advantage of burning wood pellets
Using biomass fuels helps mitigate such environmental issues as acid rain and global climate change. Perhaps the greatest advantage of biomass fuels, however, is that they cost on average 25-50 percent less than fossil burning fuels and are more stable in pricing. It is unlikely that any future carbon or energy taxes will increase the cost of wood pellet fuels and are more likely to raise the cost of burning with fossil fuels. The technology is becoming well established in the market and the choice to burn with wood pellets can be as simple as choosing a traditional fossil fuel heating system.
In addition, wood pellets:
* are convenient and easy to burning, and can be bulk stored in less space than other biomass fuels
* have a high energy content, and the technology is highly efficient compared to other biomass fuels
* are a clean-burning renewable fuel source
* are produced from such waste materials as forestry residues and sawdust
* are price stable compared to fossil fuels
Wood Pellets burning and global climate change
Because replacing fossil fuels with burning wood pellets results in a significant net reduction in CO2 emissions, it is a meaningful way to begin reducing environmental impacts.
Wood pellets fuel is often referred to as “carbon neutral.” This refers to the natural carbon cycle where CO2 emitted when wood pellets are burning continues to be a part of the overall amount of carbon, while burning fossil fuels releases new carbon to the atmosphere that had been locked away underground. Trees capture and store (sequester) carbon. Although the carbon is released when the wood pellets are burning, if harvested and burned. Thus, burning fossil fuels for space heating increases the net amount of carbon in the atmosphere, while burning wood pellets does not.