Wood Pellet Manufacturing is Moving Toward Small Scale
A recent trend in wood pellets manufacturing has been an increase in home owners and small businesses producing pellets on a small scale. Small scale mills are allowing operators to make their own pellets or to start a business selling them.
Many home owners have been reluctant to switch to pellet heat partly due to a question of whether pellet supplies will always be available. Most pellets are made in large industrial mills and there have been times in the past when producers and distributors haven’t been able to keep up with demand in some areas.
Since small pellet mills are becoming more available to smaller businesses and even individual home owners this opens up more possibilities for consumers. Pellets produced by local businesses are starting to become more available and home owners who have access to wood and other forms of biomass can make their own.
Wood pellets are usually made from wood waste material such as sawdust from lumber mills and parts of a log that are unsuitable for making lumber or other wood products. Sometimes even whole trees are chipped and made into pellets. This can be a good way to utilize low grade trees or parts of trees that may have otherwise gone to waste in a forestry operation.
Pellets didn’t catch on as a source of fuel until the late 70’s. Before then pellets were made from mostly agricultural materials like alfalfa and grains as animal feed and bedding. Pellets can be made from just about any organic material for both heating and other uses.
As fossil fuel prices continue to rise and as people are searching for alternative renewable energy sources pellet demand will likely increase. For someone with a pellet mill there are many opportunities for wood pellets manufacturing as well as other types of pellets for their own use or to sell.