Wood Pellets Introduction
Wood pellets are the most common type of pellet fuel which generally made from compacted saw dust and related industrial waste from the milling of lumber, manufacture of wood products and furniture, and construction. And other industrial waste sources include Empty Fruit branches, palm kernel shells, coconut shells, and tree tops and branches discharged during logging operation. Though raw materials have different size and different types, it is quite important to produce pellet in the same standard so that pellet application burn and heat consistently.
Firstly , we should shred the raw materials until the pieces are no longer than 2.5cm, and then using hammer mill to grind them into powders. Secondly, we should use drying machine to make the content moisture of these materials at 10 to 20 percent. Thirdly, it is a fairly vital step, using a pellet mill to make them into small particle. Fourthly, sieving the pellets that didn’t form properly and using a cooler machine to cool down the pellets thoroughly. Last but not least, these wood pellets should be stored in a cool and dry place in order to go bad. The length of wood pellet is 1-2 cm and the diameter is generally 6,8,10 or 12mm. It is possible to produce 25mm wood pellet at maximum. By processing these raw materials all in the same way, the end products have consistent moisture content, heat value, ash content, and burn characteristics.
As an unlimited fuel sources, wood pellets become more and more popular all over the word, especially in the EU. Due to the increasing of environmental population problems in recent years, more and more people begin to pay attention to improve the environment. They start to use wood pellets rather than coal in order to reduce the greenhouse effect. Featured with low cost, high calorific value, high efficient and friendly environment, wood pellets will have a larger market in the future.
Raw Materials in East Europe
Europe has a long history of multipurpose forests which own one billion hectares. European forests and other wooded land now cover 155 million hectares and 21 million hectares respectively. This together means more than 42% of EU land areas are covered with forest and other wooded land. As a result of afforestation programmers and due to natural regeneration on marginal lands, forests cover in the EU has increased over the past few years. In EU, they produced varieties of wood products which account for one third of global wood products. Half of globe wood products exports come from EU. They have made a significant contribution to the international markets. In the East Europe, there are also abundant in natural resources. The forests area accounts for half of the plain area, especially in Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia. With the development of wood products, there would be more and more sawmill residues and sawdust which can be utilized to make wood pellets. It is a good method to turn “wast” to wealth and reduced the green-house effect effectively.
Good Opportunities for Making Wood Pellets
Production of Wood Pellets in East Europe
As fuel, wood pellets have a fastest growing market in the last ten years both on the markets of individual countries and the global market. Such market growth mostly results from the price increase of fossil fuels, and more and more people pay heed to the environment they lived. In 2013, global production of wood pellets was 24.5 tons, which was the increase of 11.7% compared to 2012. Currently, EU is the world’s largest markets for wood pellets. While domestic production and imports have both grown since 2006. Nowadays, EU is the leader on the globe consumption of wood pellets. Such a high consumption level in the European Union mostly results from the production realized in Europe as well as from the import which is increasing year after year. In 2012, production has increased to 10 million metric tons, with imports reaching 4.49 million metric tons. In 2013, import of the EU was 6.2 million tons. According to the report, the European Biomass Association expects consumption of wood pellets in the EU to rise drastically, and approximately 50-80 million metric tons by 2020.
According to the research in the middle of 2014, there are about 180 producers were engaged in wood pellets production in East Europe , most of producers of wood pellets has installed capacities of 1000-5000tons annually, while only a few factories in East Europe have installed capacity over 30,000tons one year. It is pointed out that the realized production of wood pellets is lesser than the total installed capacities. And there still many sawmill residues haven’t made full use of them. In this region, the yield of production can’t match with the consumer, they need to imports from other countries, such as North American. Such high import is the result of the underdevelopment of the local market.
There was a rapid increase of the number in producers and factories and plants in the last three years due to high demand in European Union countries and consequently the export of wood pellets from this region increased as well.
Demand of Wood Pellets in Europe
With the development of society, more and more people begin to concern the environment which they lived. As a renewable resources, wood pellets can replace fossil fuel (such as coal) in commercial use and personal use. Today, wood pellets are one of the largest internationally trade solid biomass commodities used specifically for energy purpose. Depending on report, the European Commission launched a plan for a more ambitious and integrated policy for Europe in order to tackle the issues of climate change and energy supply. Wood pellets will play an important role in protecting our living conditions. The biggest market around the world is the European Union. They need plenty of wood pellets each year and most of them are exported from other countries. It is reported that European wood pellet demand to rise to 29 metric tons in 2020. According to the report of the European Union, power production from biomass could account for about 45 percent of renewable use in the heating and cooling sectors. And wood pellet demand is expected to increased from 17.5 million metric tons last year to 21 million metric tons in 2015. Pellet imports are also need to grow, from 6.05 million metric tons in 2013 to 8.5 million metric tons in 2015. With the decreasing of fossil fuel and the demand of friendly environment, wood pellets will be widely used in more aspects all over the world. But now, production can’t match the demand of wood pellets, there must be had a bigger market in the future.
To a large extent, these pellets will end up as fuel for massive municipal boilers in Europe and around the world, where wood is increasingly replacing coal as a means of producing heat and electricity-a move that many governments there consider comparatively clean and climate-friendly. Wood is hardly a green fuel for heating houses and the technology has improved considerably to make it more efficient. Wood pellets have high combustion efficiency which is now over 90% efficient. At the same time, it’s producing less of sulfur dioxide, ammonia nitrogen compound and dust. The calorific values of wood pellets are 4300–4500 kcal/kg, and after charring of caloric values can be up to 7000–8000kcal/kg. With a high caloric value and less pollution, wood pellets become more and more popular in our daily life. According to a recent US Forest Services study, current policies in the European Union and elsewhere requiring the use of renewable and low greenhouse gas-emitting energy are driving demand for wood pellets used to generate bio-energy. As renewable resources and efficient sources of heat, more and more government and individuals concerns on how to make full use of them. Wood pellets is carbon neutral in combustion as the CO2 released is equal to that absorbed by the tree during photosynthesis, and its low carbon overall as production and transportation can be less than that of fossil fuels. Featured with easy to store and environmentally responsible, it can be used extensively around the world.
Global Market of Wood Pellets
Global demanding for wood pellets is growing in the recent years. With a production of about 11.5 million on MT in 2013, nearly 50% of global production, EU is the biggest wood pellets producer globally which has small or middle size pellets production plants. In Asia, wood pellet market is expanding steadily. As to consumer, European union is also the largest market. The total consumption in 2013 is 17.5 MMT and the major consumers of wood pellets in the EU are UK, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, France and Austria. According to the report, the global demand for wood pellet will be increased strongly in the EU and moderately in Northern America and few or marginal demand in Latin America, Africa and Oceania. While in Asia, the demand for wood pellets will be increased highly in Japan, and South Korea and especially in China, with a big growth from 0.6 million tons to 10 million tons in 2020. From the perspective of global demand, 45 million tons of wood pellets will be demanded in 2020. In the future, it will replace most of fossil fuels and change the environment to some extent.
Wood Pellets VS Wood Chips
* wood pellets have lower moisture and high calorific value than wood chips. Wood pellets moisture content is less than 10%, however, wood chips can vary between 30%-60%.
* wood pellets have a higher bulk density than wood chips, it means that less storage space is required and reduced construction costs.
* wood pellets can be transported to a far great distance at economical prices giving security of supply.
* wood pellets can be used in most chip system, while wood chips can’t be used in pellet system.
Nowadays, more and more individuals pay attention to the environmental friendly and green house effect. As a renewable resources, wood pellet will play an important roles in the future. Featured with small volume, high calorific value, easy to store and low price, it can be widely used for house heating and commercial. With the reduction of fossil fuel, more and more countries began to generate electricity by wood pellets. Especially in European union, they require a large amount of wood pellets for personal use or commercial use. They should import plenty of wood pellets to match there needs every year. In East Europe, there are abundant in forests resources and sawmill residues, we can make full use of them to make wood pellets. In the future, wood pellets and biomass pellets will replace the fossil fuel to a great degree. With the development of the world, wood pellets will have a larger market not only in East Europe but around the world.