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Home-based Checking of Quality Pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by schenkp, Jul 29, 2008.

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  1. schenkp

    schenkp New Member

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    Source http://woodpelletsguide.com/home-based-checking-of-quality-pellets/

    Home-based Checking of Quality Pellets
    Lately, we have been hearing a lot about an efficient alternative biomass fuel. Wood pellets are by-products of sawmilling that are compacted and manufactured to become wood fuel. These solidified, low moisture and uniform goods are proven to be a competitive burnable material. Recently, lots of homes have been using wood pellets for their heating systems. With the increased demand of wood pellets among consumers, it cannot be avoided that some wood pellets distributed are not good enough in terms of their quality. Consumers need to be aware of the essential properties of high quality wood pellets. Some home-based tests can now be done without the need for complicated laboratory gadgets. They are simple and easy to do.

    Test 1: Using the sense of smell

    With just the use of the nose, you can check if the wood pellets are purely wood pellets and not mixed.
    • Grab a handful of wood pellet.
    • Place them in a plastic container.
    • Position the container close to your face.
    • Smell the odor the wood pellets.
    Note: Expect that it should smell like fresh cut softwood. If not, then it might be mixed.

    Test 2: Using the sense of sight

    By simply using the eyes, you can determine what is good and what is not.
    • Grab a small quantity of wood pellets.
    • Look at these wood pellets closely and carefully.
    Note: You must observe light brown colored wood pellets if they are made from clean compacted sawdust. However, if they are dark, then it might indicate that they were derived from bark which emits more ashes. Furthermore, some pellets are darker on the outside but once broken, they are still colored light brown,this would not be a problem.

    Test 3: Using both the sense of smell and a fire.

    • Choose one longer pellet.

    • Ignite the tip of the pellet.

    • Smell the smoke produced.
    Note: A good quality of wood pellets should smell like a burning wood. Otherwise, the quality is questionable.

    Test 4: Using a glass of water

    • Get a small amount of wood pellets.
    • Place them into glassful water.
    Note: Just a few minutes, they should be dissolved into sawdust. Otherwise, a chemical might have been added to bind them together.
    • Then, observe the settlement of particles inside the glass after swirling it.
    Note: Heavy particles will lie down at the bottom. If there are numerous particles that settled, another feedstock might have been mixed. This would likely result to increased amount of emissions and risk for precipitation.

    These are some of the simple ways to check the quality of wood pellets being used. Most are just common sense, thus, these tests can be easily performed anytime at home. In this way, problems can be avoided. Likewise, good quality wood pellets provide lots of benefits. Consumers should watch out for those wood pellets that are sold cheaply in the market. A more costly wood pellets may be a pain the pocket, but you can ensure that what you are buying is cleaner, safer and more efficient.

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  2. schenkp

    schenkp New Member

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    Make a killer bolognese sauce... :)
  3. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

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    No kidding! I thought Rachel Ray joined the boards. I was getting hungry as I read about wood pellets. There's a first!
  4. schenkp

    schenkp New Member

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    LOL
  5. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    i just tried it. it worked in water, it dont taste good.
  6. schenkp

    schenkp New Member

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    What brand of pellet did you use? And what exactly worked?
  7. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Pinnacle,Natures heat & Pres to logs. the pinnacle fell apart allot faster then the other two did. they all fell to the bottom of the glass.the pinnacle smell like your in a sawmill. the others smell funky not like wood.
  8. schenkp

    schenkp New Member

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    I thought the Natures Heat smelled like wood and not glue or some by product, the Energex smelled funny.... in my opinion.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I use Energex and another brand as litter for my litter trained rabbits. They explode when exposed to moisture- which is what you want in a litter.
  10. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    last year i got Green team. they where the worst so far.
  11. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    here's a cooking recipe for pellets (lets ya know if they have excess moisture in em);

    1, place 1/2 cup pellets in a GLASS not plastic bowl.
    2, cover the bowl with a saucer to make moderately airtight
    3, nuke them in microwave for about 45 sec, to 1 minute.
    4, immediately when finished heating remove the saucer and tip it up vertically, look for moisture on the bottom of the saucer, there should be a little, if enough is present to allow it to run down the bottom of the saucer, they have excessive moisture and probably will not burn optimally.
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