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Bags of wood pellets

Wood pellets and briquettes

Pellets are made from compressed wood by-products e.g. sawdust, wood shavings. They have a higher energy content and are much less bulky than wood chips, and so need less storage space. They are also easier to handle.

Other benefits of wood pellets are their consistent heat content and size (6-8 mm for domestic/small scale, 10-12 mm for larger systems) and their low moisture content (8% to 10%).

However, they are more expensive than wood chips since their manufacture requires more energy and the capital cost for production plant is high. Several pellet producers are manufacturing and supplying pellets in Scotland, made from Scottish wood.

Pellets are used in stoves and boilers, fuelling a variety of heating systems from small domestic scale to large industrial scale heating for schools and hospitals.

For the domestic user, pellets offer the most user-friendly form of wood heating. Some suppliers in Scotland can deliver wood pellets in specialised tankers, otherwise they can be bought in bags of varying size individually or as bulk loads.

Compressed sawdust or wood shavings are also used to produce briquettes which are larger blocks of woodfuel, suitable for either open fires or log boilers, but less commonly used.

Briquettes are similar to wood pellets, but physically larger. Widths vary from around 50 mm to 100+ mm. Briquettes are usually between 60 mm and 150 mm in length. They can offer a cleaner, more consistent alternative to firewood logs, offering higher energy density and steady combustion.