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Choosing green and sustainable energy

Wood pellets are an energy source produced in harmony with the forest, respectful of its life cycle and balance. From production to use, this clean source of biomass energy is one of the most environmentally friendly around.

Its use also reduces dependence on fossil fuels such as oil, propane and natural gas. This helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the environment, which in turn helps to fight global warming.


See how and why in details

What are the environmental benefits?

Wood pellets are an energy source produced in harmony with the forest, respectful of its life cycle and balance. From production to use, this clean source of biomass energy is one of the most environmentally friendly around.

Its use also reduces dependence on fossil fuels such as oil, propane and natural gas. This helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the environment, which in turn helps to fight global warming.


CO2 and pellets

Carbon dioxide is not the only GHG, nor is it the most harmful. The table below, based on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), shows that some natural gases, such as methane, have a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide. For example, methane produced by the decomposition of wood, a greenhouse gas, is more damaging than carbon dioxide produced by its combustion.


Greenhouse gasPotential global warming over 100 years
Carbon dioxide (CO2)1
Methane (CH4)28
Nitrous oxide (N2O)265

The "ash content" of post-combustion residues is another important factor to consider. The ash content is carefully controlled in the wood pellet industry and must meet customers’ strict requirements. The ash content of coal can be as high as 30%, whereas industrial wood pellets have an ash content of less than 3%, which means that wood pellets generate less post-combustion waste.


What about wood harvesting?

When a single plot of forest is harvested, about half of the carbon ends up being stored in long-lived forest products. In North America, 2"x4" lumber is used to build 90% of homes, which last for decades. Paper products that are recycled up to seven times also store carbon.

Canada's approach to sustainable forestry ensures that its forests act as carbon sinks. New engineered wood products allow wood to store carbon in even longer-lived structures, including high-rise buildings.


Figure 3 illustrates this carbon cycle in a typical sustainably managed Canadian forest, where wood is used to make lumber, pulp and wood pellets.

Despite the growing demand for clean energy, only a small amount of biomass is transformed into wood pellets. Quebec wood pellets are produced entirely from the residues of sustainably managed forests.


Figure 3

The carbon cycle

in a sustainably managed Canadian forest
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