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How to Check Wood Pellet Quality

How to Check Wood Pellet Quality

pellet quality checking

Wood pellet has become more and more popular due to its environment protection, convenient usage and storage, high calorific value, renewability, etc. However, some unscrupulous traders make profits by adding shoddy to damage the benefits of the customers. And the customers would take the pellet price into consideration, neglecting the pellet quality when selecting wood pellets. Given that, I would like to offer some tips to check the quality of wood pellets.
1. Check Wood Pellet Appearance
First, check the color. If the pellets are made from clean conifer sawdust, they should be light brown in color. Dark brown indicates that the raw material is bark, increasing the amount of ash when burning the pellets. Besides, check the color inside by breaking pellets in half. If the outer color is dark brown, while the inner color is light brown, the wood pellets are high-quality. Then check the surface. The high quality pellets should have a smooth surface like a crayon with no cracks. The higher of surface glossiness indicates the better quality of wood pellets.
2. Check Pellet Fuel Odor
Smell the odor from the wood pellets. They should smell of freshly cut softwood. Besides, smell the odor of burning wood pellets. The smoke should smell of burning wood. If it smells of anything else, it is not of good quality.

straw pellet

3. Check the Amount of Fines
Fines burn faster than pellets, which would make flame too hot if the fines arrive in the burning chamber of burner or boiler. The ash might sinter. Fines should preferably be less than 1% by weight. Pellets are usually screened before leaving the production facility. Pellets in bags tend to have fewer fines than those delivered in bulk. Pellets stored in silos can have an increased amount of fines on delivery.
4. Check Pellet Fuel Bulk Density
Measure the weight of a certain volume of loose wood pellets. The result should be 650 kg/m3, which indicates the pellets have been pressed at the right pressure. If the weight is too low, and the pellets are too soft and break easily, forming fines as a consequence.
5. Check the Ash Content
 Good quality wood pellets have very low ash content, below 0.7%. You can burn a certain amount of wood pellet to check the ash content after burning. Besides, look the bottom part of the wood pellet bag. If you notice a large amount of dust, then it is likely that the pellets will produce high amount of ash when burning.