There are three different types of processed wood fuel – wood chips, wood pellets and briquettes. The major benefit of wood chip is its relatively low price compared to wood pellets. It is used in automated boilers where the chips are fed into the boiler automatically, on demand. Wood chip fuel is generally used in bigger applications, as the size of storage needed is relatively large.
Typical customers for wood chip would be large schools or public buildings, large houses or farms with space for storage, groups of buildings heated from a single boiler or large greenhouse-based businesses with a high heat demand. Chip is generally delivered in bulk from a tipping lorry on a schedule designed to suit each customer’s needs.
Wood pellets are commonly used in the UK when either the boiler is of a small size – less than 40 kiloWatts (kW) – or fuel storage space is limited. Typical wood pellet users would be smaller public buildings such as village halls, private houses and care homes. Wood pellets can be supplied in bulk via a ‘blower’ lorry, 1 tonne dumpy bags or pallets of 10 kg bags, depending on the size of boiler.
Briquettes are a larger version of pellets, which provide a clean and easy to handle alternative to traditional logs, and are typically provided in 10 kg packs for open fires or log burning stoves.