Wood pellets are a heating fuel made from clean, untreated, compressed sawdust. Historically, the sawdust was a byproduct of the timber industry and was considered a waste product which was sent to landfill! Not anymore though!
In New Zealand our pine forests are plentiful and well managed, with most of our larger forests certified by the only truly international forest certification scheme Forest Stewardship Council, according to NZ Wood.
Unlike traditional fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas, fuels which are sustainable and renewable are far less likely to become scarce. By their nature we can create more of them, and this means it isn’t prone to the same price hikes as fuels which have the potential to run out!
In addition to meaning we have a lovely secure supply of wood for making pellets, sustainably managing forests also means we can keep the carbon footprint of wood pellets incredibly small – think new born baby small! In fact, the life cycle of pellets is the perfect carbon neutral story – sustainably grow renewable forest resource (which absorbs Carbon Dioxide), burn wood pellets in highly efficient appliances (emitting carbon which is absorbed by the trees), and finally, use ash from burnt wood pellets to fertilise your garden (and grow more wonderful green things that absorb even more carbon dioxide!). That’s right, wood pellet ash is certified by BioGro as an organic fertiliser!
There’s just one problem – wood pellets burn so efficiently that they produce very little ash!