For the last eleven months, we have been publishing our monthly quality reports for you to view. But; it has occurred to us that a no point have we talk about what goes into our pellets or even how they are made.
What’s in a Land Energy pellet?
The raw material for our pellets literally comes from our doorstep in all shapes and sizes. We take softwood timber from local forests such as the Galloway National Forest into our factory in Girvan. These are managed under either the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Forest Standard schemes, this ensures that for every tree we turn into pellets at least one more is planted.
The timber we use has been rejected by other wood processors (furniture, decking, construction etc) because it doesn’t meet the manufacturing specifications. Often the timber is over or undersized or misshapen, we also take in sawmill co product (waste) in the form of sawdust, wood chips and logs.
The sustainability of wood pellets can be a concern to buyers, but by purchasing timber locally, utilising wood waste and only using timber from managed forests, we hope we demonstrate the sustainable wood pellets are possible in the UK.
How are they produced?
Our pellets have no additives, they are made from 100% softwood. Firstly because we only use virgin wood rather than using cheaper waste wood that may contain contamination such as chemicals in the form of wood treatments, plastics etc and secondly because we don’t add any chemical to the process.
The first part of the production process involves removing the bark and then chipping and drying the timber for 45 mins at 900C (this heat is supplied by our own Combined Heat & Power (CHP) unit). The wood chips and sawdust are then mechanically compressed at a high pressure and temperature and it is the natural resins in the woodfibre that bind the pellets together.
Samples are taken at regular intervals throughout the process and tested on site, but we also send monthly samples to a Laboratory to be tested. The results of our July tests are published below.