Pellets, the fuel of the future
Pellets are made of pure, compressed sawdust and wood shavings (without chemical binders). They are characterised by a high energy content, excellent calorific value and of course their environmental friendliness. Their ash can be used as a valuable garden fertilizer.
The advantages of pellets are:
- Indigenous and renewable product
- Clean and easy to handle
- Convenient delivery by truck
- Unaffected by international/political crises
The first developments in wood pellet combustion took place in the early eighties, triggered by the worldwide oil crisis, when there was a heightened interest in alternative energy sources. In the USA the pellet oven was developed, and in Sweden heating systems for large capacities were implemented. But it is in the field of heating systems for small capacities such as household and commercial applications that the Austrian producers play an international leadership role. Austrian pellet heating systems are exported to countries across Europe as well as to the USA and Japan.
As the European demand for pellets has exceeded its capacity to produce them, wood products manufacturers in Maine, New Hampshire, in neighboring Canada, and across the continent have begun making pellets for the European market. That the pellet supply has preceded the introduction of pellet burning central heating systems is fortunate for us all. We are assured a lasting, robust fuel production industry and favorable prices as these large capacity mills compete to sell their pellets. Within the next few years it is likely that over a million tons of premium wood pellets will be produced in the northeastern U.S. and neighboring Canada.