Wood pellets are made from densified wood material, such as sawdust and fine wood chips, typically from logging operations and sawmills. Wet sawdust is pressed into pellets under high heat and pressure. There are no additives in wood pellets. Natural plant lignin holds the pellets together without glues or additives – so they burn very efficiently.
Wood pellets are of uniform size and shape, between 1 to 1-1/2 inches by approximately 1/4-5/16 inches in diameter. Wood pellets also have a higher energy content by weight (roughly 7,750 BTU per pound at six percent moisture content) due to their densified nature and low-moisture content (typically between 4-6 percent moisture by weight).
Yes. The difference begins with the quality of the hardwoods used to make the pellets. Dry Creek uses select hardwood materials to ensure the highest BTU output and least amount of ash. The Pellet Fuel Institute sets standards for the grades of wood pellet fuel. Dry Creek Pellets meet or exceed the standard for the highest grades of wood pellet.
Dry Creek sources its hardwood from select forests in New York and Pennsylvania. The climate and soil in these regions produce very dense hardwoods, an excellent source for wood pellets.
Lower-quality pellets are made with a blend of lesser quality hardwood material and have a higher percentage of fines. They can create jamming issues in the stove hopper and burn inefficiently, producing less heat and leaving more ash.
One byproduct of burning wood pellets is ash, a non-combustible residue. The container in the stove in which the ash is collected must periodically be emptied and disposed of manually.
This ash makes an excellent fertilizer for lawns, for composting or amending soil. Check with your local municipality for regulations concerning the disposal of ash.