The Advantages and Disadvantages of Wood Fuel

Wood Fuel

Wood is a renewable energy source regenerating faster than fossil fuels or gas. According to Green Match, “burning wood creates 0.008kg of CO2 per KWH, compared to gas 0.198kg and 0.517kg for electricity.” Furthermore, wood may be obtained for free if you know the proper people! 

Burning wood in a fireplace or other wood-burning equipment may provide a soothing source of heat and atmosphere. Furthermore, the cost and availability of firewood in your location may lower your overall heating expenditures. You may find firewood delivery in Seattle as a convenient way to have your firewood at home. 

Environmental impact

Wood fuel has long been controversial, but recent studies have proven that wood has a more significant impact on global warming than previously thought. Using wood to fuel an electric vehicle can result in substantial carbon emissions, and some studies have shown that these emissions have spiked for decades. According to Natural Resources Defense Council researchers, wood-burning power plants have had higher net carbon emissions than coal-fired power plants for the first four decades. In the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, wood emissions overtook coal for nearly half a century.

One of the most significant effects of wood fuel production is deforestation. It has been estimated that 2.3 million tonnes of solid wood products are placed in landfills annually in Australia. In the process, wood fuel production has resulted in deforestation, forest degradation, and biodiversity loss. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the safe disposal of this waste. 

Costs

In the context of commercial wood fuel boilers, a good benchmark for cost is two-thirds of the price of oil. This allows for a higher operating cost and a reasonable investment return. In addition, wood fuel is cheaper than oil fuel. Nonetheless, the price of wood fuel remains relatively high, even though the price per ton of wood fuel is significantly lower than that for oil.

The costs of using biomass vary according to the amount of biomass consumed and the distance traveled. However, the cost per ton of biomass mainly used depends on the amount of transportation and processing. For example, the cost per ton of wood fuel may be as high as PS10 if it comes from a spruce forest in the Northern Hemisphere. Further, the transport distance and processing time should also be considered. The average annual consumption of wood fuel in Lithuania is around 1,200gt.

Efficiency

During the last few decades, intensive research and development in coal and wood fuel have resulted in improvements in operations, styling, and domestic applications. However, the efficiency level has not improved dramatically enough to remain competitive against fossil fuels. The paper addresses the rising demand for wood fuel worldwide and suggests that optimizing wood fuel production techniques would benefit the global community. It further points to the benefits of wood fuel as an alternative energy source.

High operating rates can cause the flame to extend into the chimney, resulting in heat loss. Adding new fuel at regular intervals is therefore vital to reduce the possibility of chilling the combustion space. Moreover, adding further fuel frequently and in small amounts can minimize the risk of incomplete combustion. However, incomplete combustion can also cause corrosion and staining around stovepipe joints, decreasing efficiency. It is therefore vital to know the exact temperature of flue gas to maximize the efficiency of wood fuel boilers.

Costs of biomass energy plants

Biomass systems require specialized equipment to process and store the fuel. Storage facilities for biomass fuels are commonly bunkers or silos. More extensive fuel storage facilities are outside fuel yards. Fuel is conveyed from the outdoor storage area using an automated control system using front-end loaders, cranes, and stackers. Manual fuel transfer can be accomplished by hand, but this method incurs considerable labor and equipment costs.

The cost of biomass power plants is higher than for conventional fossil fuels. A 100-MW plant generates 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. As the energy density of biomass is lower than coal and petroleum, larger plants may be more profitable, but they have higher construction costs. Despite these limitations, biomass power plants may be cheaper to build than coal-fired plants and refineries.


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