Energy demand for wood pelleting (including all stages from reception of raw material to packing) is generally comprised in the range of 80 - 150 kWh/t for electricity and around 950 kWh of heat per ton of water to be vaporised. Thus, the exact energy demand depends on the production conditions: initial particle size, moisture content, technology used and plant scale.
Estimated energy demand for pellet production
Within this framework, the total energy consumption can be estimated at: 1,140 kWh/t pellets
Pellets can be used in small-scale devices (domestic stoves or boilers), medium scale applications (e.g. district heating) as well as in large-scale CHP or power plants. For more details, report to the "Combustion" section in this site.
Standardisation is a key issue to guarantee the product quality and gain market confidence. To date, only a limited number of European (Austria, Sweden and Germany) have official standards specifically for compacted biomass fuels. In some other countries, quality charts can be voluntarily subscribed by market actors (France, UK). Other countries with vital pellet markets like Denmark and Finland have decided to wait for the completion of the European pellets standard included in the Standard for solid biomass fuels CEN/TC 335. For the precise content of the norms, please refer to the Pellets for Europe webpage.
8,000 operating hours per year
At the European level, approximately 3 million tonnes of pellets are consumed every year. The two biggest producers, consumers and importers of wood pellets are Sweden and Denmark. Pellets prices are relatively stable, and usually vary between 150 and 200 EUR/ton (bulk delivery, VAT included) according the country considered. Retail prices are higher, in the region of 200-250 EUR/ton.
Pellets are usually stored in closed rooms or silos. By their form, pellets are a pourable fuel which can be transported just like a liquid, such as oil: pellets can be supplied by tank lorry and pumped into the pellet tank by means of a fuel hose. Then, from the fuel tank, they can be automatically fed to a combustion unit by screw or piston charging.
Sources: pellx.nu, Froling
Pellets for Europe website http://www.pelletcentre.info/