There are no maintenance free solid fuel appliances. Pellet stoves need annual cleaning just like wood stoves. The manufacturing of pellets as a byproduct of some process is pretty easy. Collect saw dust and then press them. Drying may or may not be needed. It’s a single machine. Bag or sell as bulk. As production processes I’m guessing at any commercial scale it’s probably much cheaper. unless you are running a biomass gasification system I don’t see how you could profit. Let alone pass any environmental regulations.I know charcoal is dusty, and it's not better than pellets, but pellets are expensive. $275/ton. because it requires a big central factory to make, transporting wood from field to this central factory, and from factory to end users all cost money.
Cord wood cannot be automatically loaded into stove, plus the chimney sweep trouble.
Charcoal can be cooked and granulated in much smaller scale, could be made almost anywhere from any biomass. This reduces the capital, collection and distribution cost that make pellets more expensive than natural gas.
If we can make charcoal for less than $400/ton, it's a big price advantage against wood pellets.