Making Wood Pellets From Wooden Pallets

We get enquires about using lots of different materials for fuel pellets. Some are very standard but other materials such as cardboard can present some unique issues and challenges. Another such material is using wooden pallets. Most bulky products which are transported are done so on wooden pallets. They make it easy for folk lifts to load and unload the products. However they only have a certain life before they get broken up too much. Also they are generally made from very low quality fast growing pine so they are quite fragile. Therefore these damaged wooden pallets are becoming a waste issue in some locations and they are looking for solutions. Therefore we get enquires about making wood pellets from wooden pallets. In short can this be done, yes. However they do represent some unique challenges and they may ultimately not be suitable for fuel pellets. First you have to reduce the wood to size so we can run the wood through our hammer mills. In the video above you can see a typical example of a wooden pallet shredder in action. However before we can run the material through the hammer mill there is another issue and that’s the nails and metal contamination. This needs to be removed through some sort of magnet separation system. Metal in the hammer mill may puncher the screen reducing particle size screening efficiently. It may also spark and ignite dust particles which can lead to a dust explosion. Metal can also cause expensive damage to the pellet mill rollers and die. Presuming these issues can be resolved there is the issue of treated wood. As the pallets are often left out side various chemicals are used to try and preserve the wood. Wood fuel pellets with these chemicals will not pass any accredited standards and you could get in a lot of trouble for selling them. If the metal can be resolved and only non treated wooden pellets are used it is potentially a suitable material for fuel pellets. Thanks for reading any questions please comment below.