Geologists

Geology and Landscape

What Are Wood Briquettes?

2As the price of fossil fuels is rising continuously, more and more people are opting for wood burning solutions. As a result, wood burning stoves, open fires along with wood briquettes are gaining more popularity.

Wood briquettes offer an easy and convenient fuel solution for multi-fuel burning or open fireplace burning. The briquettes could be used in any wood burning purposes without requiring any modification at all. They are packed in handy bags and are quite easy to carry around. Being dry and providing a clean burning, they burn and light like any conventional logs but more efficiently.

Wood briquettes are usually made of wood-chippings and compressed sawdust. When extreme heat is applied, wood releases a natural glue called lignin which combines wood-chippings and sawdust together. In the process, the briquettes are compressed to 10% of their original volume. The final product is a solid structure only a bit smaller than a house brick. The briquettes could be split into smaller parts for use in smaller stoves or fireplaces.

Wood briquettes could be of two types, namely hardwood briquettes and regular wood briquettes. The hardwood briquettes are rectangular shaped with a hole for better combustion. The hole is especially useful for burning the briquettes in stoves or fireplaces with low air ventilation or when the air input is restricted for some reason. On the other hand, regular wood briquettes are cylinder shaped and do not have any holes. These briquettes are perfect for normal, in-house burning purposes.

Burning up to three hours, wood briquettes last longer than any other firewood products. The wood briquettes are produced from the left over of timber from joinery shops and other wood related industries. Wood-chippings and sawdust are a by-product of these industries, and they have no other use other than producing wood briquettes. As these by-products would have ended up in landfills, these briquettes are both environment-friendly and cost-effective.

Compared to other firewood products, wood briquettes produce the minimal amount of ashes. They contain only 8% moisture, which means they produce less smoke and keeps the chimney clearer. A bag of wood briquettes produces the same amount of heat as of thirty kilograms of dry firewood.

The wood briquette has become a popular choice due to its light-weight, convenient lighting and consistent heat output facilities. Now-a-days, they are also burnt in biomass boilers providing heat for the whole house.

Targeting less greenhouse gas emissions, some European governments are planning to introduce carbon taxes. As a result, the prices of all carbon based fuels will be increased considerably. Wood briquettes could be an excellent alternative in this case, while the government will also be encouraging the use of eco-friendly alternative fuels. The Irish government has already started sanctioning energy grants for those families who are planning to switch to greener or renewable energy for their household purposes.

When wood briquettes are burned, they emit exactly the same amount of carbon-dioxide which would have been released by the plants themselves. Therefore, burning wood briquettes ensures that the natural cycle is not broken or damaged.



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