What are carbonized wood pellets?
Wood pellets are widely acknowledged as one of the most environmentally-friendly fuel. They can reduce the carbon emission of power generation industry. Meanwhile, they can take full advantages of millions of agriculture and forestry waste in a renewable way.
But currently, carbonized wood pellets is seen as the new trend in the fuel market. Carbonized bio-fuels are more uniform and more convenient to be applied in power plant. They are used in the same way as coals, but with less carbon and pollutant emission.
What are carbonized wood pellets?
Carbonized wood pellets have all the water content removed under high temperature and oxygen deficient condition. They turn black and burns like coals. After carbonization, they have higher density and become easier to store and transport. Nowadays, they take a small part of wood pellet market. They are more suitable for power generation than home heating.
The production process of carbonized wood pellets
Carbonized wood pellets is produced by thermo-chemical treatment, to place the wood pellets under 300℃ high temperature and oxygen deficient condition.
After processing, the moisture content lowers down to near 0%. Some impurities will transform into carbide gases. The weight of carbonized wood pellets is only 70% of the original wood pellets, but the energy density is much higher.
Wood pellets or carbonized wood pellets?
Environmental benefits of wood pellets
Wood pellets is known as carbon-neutral fuels. They don’t add new greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. As a renewable energy, it can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels like coal and gas. Besides, owing to low ash content and water content, wood pellets fuel features high combustion rate and low waste energy. The low cost makes it popular with farmers, home users, factories, especially power plants.
Disadvantages of wood pellets
The initial cost to install or upgrade the boiler is inevitable if you want to adopt wood pellets. You need to spend time and work to clean up boilers and ash collectors. Besides, wood pellets are has lower energy density than other fuels. So they need more space for storage.
Usability is another restriction. Adoption of wood pellets requires you to have steady source of biomass materials, or have wood pellet manufacturer near you, or the transportation cost would be high.
Advantages of carbonized wood pellets
- Carbonized wood pellets is used in the same way as coal. It can be burned together with coals, so you don't need to upgrade the boiler, which saves you a great deal of money.
- They features higher energy density and combustion efficiency than wood pellets. Carbonized wood pellets can retain 90% of original biomass energy. The heat value of carbonized biomass fuel is 1.5 times that of normal wood pellets.
- Besides, larger density makes carbonized wood pellets easier to transport. And low water-absorbing ability makes them less likely to break down in moist condition, so they are convenient to store.
- The moisture content of wood pellets can reach up to 10%, while carbonized wood pellets only contain 1% moisture content. Besides, carbonization process can remove some impurities in wood pellets and reduce residues.
- The same as ordinary wood pellets, the adoption of carbonized wood pellets can reduce the use of fossil fuel, and lower the green gas emission, promote environment protection.
Disadvantages of carbonized wood pellets
Ukraine biofuel website pellets.wood.com analyzed some disadvantages of carbonized wood pellets.
- Carbonized wood pellets are harder to obtain than normal wood pellets, because carbonized wood pellets industry haven’t fully developed. Besides, carbonized wood pellets cost higher than wood pellets because they need more production process.
- The carbonization technology is still immature. The carbon emission is influenced by the time and temperature in carbonizing process. Every wood material has its ideal burning temperature. Burning at higher or lower temperature would increase carbon emission and reduce energy efficiency.
In conclusion, wood pellets and carbonized wood pellets can be both used for heating or power generation. They are both carbon neutral, and they can reduce the carbon emission.
On the other hand, carbonized wood pellets has higher heat value than normal wood pellets. High density and water proof ability makes them more convenient to store and transport. Besides, less moisture and ash content means they are more environment friendly. But higher cost and immature production technology limit their application.
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