Increasing importance of biogenic solid fuels for the provision of space heating

Solid biofuels are the fuel of the future and contribute to this biogas and Biofuels the bioenergy family. Due to increasingly scarce resources in fossil fuels such as oil and gas, the biofuels are becoming more and more the focus of public attention. The recent fuels are primarily used as heat suppliers. One of these biogenic solid fuels is the so-called wood pellet, which can be burned in stoves as well as in pellet stoves specially created for it.

Environmentally friendly biofuels

When burned, wood and wood pellets are CO2 neutral. Not only does this result in fewer emissions, it is also an active contribution to reducing the greenhouse effect and reducing climate change to a certain extent. Wood grows on our own doorstep and thus represents a domestic source of energy. In addition to creating jobs, it also makes us a bit more independent of the oil and gas-producing countries.

Wood pellets, as well as the many other biogenic solid fuels, can be stored with little effort. In contrast to petroleum and natural gas, there is only an extremely low risk when it comes to storage and transportation. The biogenic solid fuels do not take up more space in storage than, for example, a heating oil tank. Depending on the desired quantity, the pellets are delivered in bags or, in the case of large orders, also in tank trucks. Due to their compact shape, the wood pellets are both pourable and pumpable.

From the central heating to the pellet stove

Whether an entire house or just a room is heated with biogenic solid fuels depends on the heating system. Central heating systems - even those in combination with oil - can be easily operated with wood pellets. Currently heating with biogenic solid fuels is mostly used in conjunction with oil or gas, but there are more and more heating systems that rely on wood pellet firing all year round. A popular variant for heating a room is the traditional tiled or fireplace stove, as well as the more modern one Variant in the form of a pellet stove.

Economy of solid biogenic fuels

Both sides have to be considered in terms of economy. On the one hand, biogenic solid fuels are very cheap. In contrast to heating oil and gas, the prices for wood pellets are constantly stable. Wood is a naturally renewable raw material that usually only needs to be dried and shredded. Wood pellets are somewhat more complex to produce, since in addition to the dimensions of the pellets, energy, water and ash content are also defined. The compacts are usually made from industrial waste wood, such as sawdust and wood shavings, which are generated in the processing wood industry during the work process. Waste wood and residual wood are also used.
On the other hand, investment costs are often incurred at the beginning. If there is still no heating system that is also designed for wood burning, this means high entry costs. It is only over the years that the use of biogenic fuels pays off due to the favorable raw material price.
Another incentive, in addition to the contribution to the environment, is government funding. The use of biogenic solid fuels and pellet stoves is promoted by the federal government as well as by the EU. Laws like the EEG, Renewable Energy Law as well EEWärmeG, Renewable Energies Heat Act, promote both the generation of electricity and the provision of heat through biogenic solid fuels.

Many thanks for the guest article to Peter Runge.

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