Q. What type of wood is used to make our pellets?
A. HBI pellet fuel is made from predominately softwoods. We use 100% recycled wood such as scrap from truss and wall panel manufacturers; pallet manufacturers; home builders; and cabinet, furniture and molding manufacturers. We can also use dry tree trunks, stumps, and limbs as well as old fire wood and used lumber. We don’t use any material that contains toxics chemicals such as creosoted posts or treated lumber. Because we use only recycled wood, we help the environment by keeping thousands of tons of waste out of our landfills.
Q. How are wood pellets made?
A. Clean, dry scrap wood is dumped on the floor of our grinding building. From there its loaded into the hopper of a large grinder which grinds the wood into a mulch-like material. The mulch is conveyed to a hammer mill which further grinds the wood into a meal (sawdust-like). Wood meal is transferred into overhead bins where it is stored by type and source. From overhead bins, batches of wood meal are weighed and moisture checked. The meal then drops into a large mixer where a non-toxic lubricant is added to enhance pelleting. These two steps enable HBI to closely control the quality and consistency of the pellet fuel. Once the wood meal is mixed, it is transferred to other overhead bins. From here the meal is fed into one of two pellet mills where the wood is pressed through dies with 1/4" holes. Friction created while squeezing the material through the die, heats up the lignins in the wood which act as a natural binder, holding the pellet together. Pellets are then cooled and screened to remove fines before stored in yet more overhead bins for bagging. Before bagging, pellets are screened one last time, to remove any residual fines created during handling. Pellets are bagged in 40 lb, heat sealed poly bags and stacked 50 to a pallet. Before pallets leave the mill, they are covered with a 4 mil, UV protected heat-shrink cover which is shrunk with a hot air gun to form a tight, water resistant seal around the pallet.
Q. How big are the pellets?
A. Pellets are ¼” in diameter by approximately ½” to 1½” long. They are light brown in color and smooth to the touch.
Q. How do I know I’m getting a quality wood pellets?
A. The grading system for pellet fuel is established by the Pellet Fuel Institute. HBI pellets are Premium Grade pellets meaning they meet or exceed all the parameters set by the institute for that grade such as ash content (<1%), moisture (<8%), and durability index (>97.5) to mention a few. These results are verified by an independent lab endorsed by the Pellet Fuel Institute.
Q. In what type of stove can I use pellet fuel?
A. You need a wood pellet stove, corn stove or combination wood pellet/corn stove. Most corn stoves will burn wood pellets but not all wood pellet stoves will burn corn. Pellets do not work well in fireplaces or cord wood stoves. There are numerous companies that make pellet stoves and fire place inserts. Check your local hardware store or the internet to find a dealer near you.