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How to judge biomass pellets quality?

With more company engaged in biomass pellets industry, the market appears unprecedented prosperity. But there are also some problems—pellets of different quality are mixed together. It’s well acknowledged that higher price represents better quality, but customers’ interests may be damaged due to this cognition. Therefore, to distinguish between good and bad ones has become a indispensible ability. Here we’d like to introduce some tips to help you identify pellets quality.

Pay attention to the raw materials that biomass pellets are made from

Biomass pellets can be made from a wide range of raw material like wood chips, saw dust, peanut shell, cotton stalk, corn stalk, straw and household garbage. Among these materials, wood chips possess the highest combustion value, then comes stalk pellets, and household garbage presents the lowest combustion value. By identifying which material these pellets are made from, you can basically know the quality of biomass pellets.
raw materials for making pellets

How to identify the biomass pellet quality by sense

You can also judge the pellet quality through vision, smell and touch. These methods are similar with Chinese medicine diagnosis.

See: By means of observing the pellet color, glossiness, purity and the ash left after burned, you can tell the good pellets from inferior ones.

  • Wood pellets and stalk pellets appears light yellow or brown in color, while garbage pellets looks black.
  • High glossiness is a feature of superior pellets, while pellets made from garbage don’t reflect light at all.
  • Purity describes the molding condition for biomass pellets. Favorable molding condition contributes to producing longer pellets with less cracks. If the ash left after burning is little, it means the pellets are more purified.
  • The ash content are varied between different materials. Wood pellets has the least ash content, which is only 1%. The ash content in stalk pellets is higher, and garbage pellets have the highest ash content, which reaches up to 30%.
  • Besides, some producer even add lime or talcum powder in the raw material as a way to save cost. The ash of these pellets looks white after burned.
biomass pellets

Smell: The smell of biomass pellets comes from the raw materials they are made from. Usually, there are no need for additional binder or addictives. You can judge the purity of biomass pellets based on their smell. For example, wood pellets smell like saw dust and wood chips, stalk pellets have the smell of crop straws. If the pellets are made of garbage, it may emit disgusting smell.

Touch: To touch the pellets by your hands is a convenient way to distinguish their quality. Pay attention to the texture of its surface. It the pellets feel smooth and hard without cracks, they are likely to be high-class pellets. Conversely, if they are not smooth and have cracks, or easily to break, such pellets are not good enough. You can try to squeeze a pellet with your fingers to figure out whether it is hard or not.
judge biomass pellet quality

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