Welcome! Get to know everything about making biomass pellets from GEMCO!

Which is the best wood pellets for pellet stove?

Home > blog >

Wood pellets on the market can be classified into 3 types:

  • Made of agriculture waste: crop straw, peanut shell, chestnut shell, corn stalk, and other wastes on the farm. Their heat value is 3000-4200Kcal/kg.
  • Made of forestry waste: waste wood, barks, branches, bamboos, leaves. Their heat value is 4200-5000 Kcal/kg. Wood pellets made of Redwood have the highest heat value of about 5000 Kcal/kg.
  • Made of industrial waste: household garbage, waste paper, plastic, factory waste, Chinese medicine rediues, tobacco dross, sugar residues.

For people who plan to use pellet stove, furnace, or industrial boiler, it is important to know which biomass pellets are better for heating, which are more environmental friendly, and which are more cost-saving. 

We can identify the quality of biomass pellets by the following aspects:

  • Water content: neither too much or to little is good. The moisture content should be kept under 10%.
  • Adhesive force: If the raw materials have high adhesive force, such as sawdust and rice straw, the pellets will have high forming rate and high density. For materials with low adhesive force such as rice husk, they need to be pelletized together with sawdust or some binders. 
  • Ash content: the lower the ash content, the more the conbustible content. Standard wood pellets have ash content lower than 2%, while superior wood pellets have ash content less than 1%. 
  • Mildew: mildewed materials looks black. Pellets made of mildewed materials are not easy to burn in stoves or boilers.
  • Heat value: Peanut shell, sawdust pellets have high heat value because they have high density, low ash content and little sulpher. The following chart shows the compositions of several common wood pellets.
Material Moisture % Ash % volatiles % Fixed carbon % low heat value kcal/kg Sulfur %
weed 5.43 9.10 68.27 16.40 3873 0.22
Straw 3.61 12.20 67.80 19.36 4215 0.09
Maize stalk 6.10 4.70 76.00 13.20 4241 0.11
corncob 4.87 5.93 71.95 17.25 4238 0.01
wheat straw 4.39 8.90 67.36 19.32 4429 0.07
Peanut shell 7.88 1.60 68.10 22.42 5119 0.10
Cedar 3.27 0.71 81.20 14.79 4587 0.03
Pine 6.00 0.40 79.60 17.00 4552 0.00

How to choose the best wood pellets for pellet stove?

High quality wood pellets are made of single biomass material, usually sawdust. These kind of biomass pellets are not easy to coke. On the other hand, wood pellets made of mixed materials are easy to coke.

The wood pellets sold on the market are usually made of oak, pine, redwood and weed trees. Red wood pellets have higher heat value than other products, with no cokes, but the cost is higher.

It is better to use dried sawdust rather than mixed wet and dry sawdust to make pellets. Pellets made of wet materials will have high ash content. They are harmful to the environment, especially when you use them indoors.

pellet stove pellet stove

What appliance can wood pellets be used?

Wood pellets can be used for heating, cooking and power generation. The wood pellet burning equipment include pellet stove, pellet furnace, pellet burner and boiler.

Biomass pellets has high purity and heat value. With no sulphur or phosphorus, they can protect the boiler and prolong their working life. They applies to all boilers who use coals as fuel, including industrial boiler and home furnace. Biomass pellets is regarded as an excellent substitute for coals.

Pellet stove

Pellet heating stove uses biomass pellets instead of coals to generate heat. The heating effect is good in unblocked environment. If there are many partition walls in the room, the heating effect would weaken. But nowadays, some pellet stoves can be connected with heating radiator, some can serve as cooking range. They have huge application prospect in the future.

Pellet stove is an individual heat supply system. They are excellent substitute for firewood stove. It can be installed in any place of the room, near a wall or at the corner. The venting device is installed on the outer wall several feed above the stove, or go though the ceiling and roof to outside. The pellet stove should be placed on a non-flammable plate. It takes much less place than traditional stoves.

Advantages of pellet stove: safe, clean, environmental-friendly, low-cost fuel.

Weakness of pellet stove: the weight is large.

Pellet furnace

Pellet furnace is usually installed in the same place as fireplace. You need measure the height, width and depth to determine which suit you best. Before installation, clean up your fireplace and chimney. The back of the combustion chamber and the hearth are embedded in the wall. The smock is discharged through existing chimney flue.

Pellet burner and boiler

Pellet burner and boiler can be applied in existing central heating system. These heating supply system are equipped with large storage hopper. You can install the pellet burner besides the existing boiler and use wood pellets as the main fuel. When the pellet fuel run out, the existing boiler can continue to work.

biomass pellet fuel

How to use wood pellets in pellet stoves at home

Safety first

Stick to the operation guidebook. Make sure every user can operate it independently. Install the venting device to expel the smoke from the combustion chamber. Install an exhaust fan in the kitchen to exhaust harmful air.

Make sure the pellet fuel is enough

If the pellet gasifier works too long, there would be white smoke in the air inlet. This means there are not enough fuel around the nozzle. You need to stir the wood pellet fuel or add some to the pellet stove.

Choose high quality pellet fuel

Choose wood pellets with high heat value, such as sawdust pellets. Different wood pellets have different burning effects. High quality pellets should be dry and fine. If there is smoke in the air inlet, these wood pellets are either too large or too wet.

Get In Touch

We receive enquiries in English, Español (Spanish), Русский язык (Russian), Français (French) and العربية (Arabic). Our professional team will reply to you within one business day. Please feel free to contact us!