What is a wood pellet?

Wood pellets are a clean burning biomass product made from wood residues such as sawdust and wood shavings.

In Quebec, the main source of raw material used in making pellets comes from the processing of wood products (sawdust, shavings, planings and chips). These wood industry by-products are recovered and compressed uniformly to ensure consistent product quality.

The manufacturing processes used by Quebec wood pellet producers guarantee the highest quality standards for the final product, without the addition of glue or other binding agents.

The result is a uniform, low moisture, high heat performance fuel that can be used in residential stoves or multi-residential, commercial, industrial or institutional furnaces.

Wood pellets are better for the environment. As we strive to reduce fossil fuel usage, they are often a less expensive solution depending on geographical location, and easier to use than most available alternatives.

Made in Quebec, wood pellets not only keep you warm thanks to their constant temperature output, but they also create jobs locally.

How are pellets made ?

Wood pellet manufacturers receive raw material in the form of green sawdust, wood chips and forest residues with a moisture content of up to 50%.

Wood pellets are made by removing the moisture from wood fibre, grinding the large particles into sawdust and compressing the resulting fibre into pellets. The heat causes the lignin - which occurs naturally in wood - to act as a glue, holding the compressed particles together. The result is a dry, denser than any hard wood product, that can be transported efficiently over long distances.

In power plants, pellets are processed in the same way as coal. The pellets are ground into dust, the dust is combined with air, and the resulting mixture is fed continuously to a flame that creates steam. This is expanded in a turbine, thus generating electricity.

Wood pellets compared to other energies

ÉnergieUnitPricing ($CAD)H20BTU / BH unitGJ / BH unitEfficiency (%)$ / MMBTU net$ / GJ net$ / kWh net
Wood logtm150,0025%1328350814.0178%14,5313,770,050
Wood pellets (bag)tc249,505%1558000016,4480%20,0218,970,068
Wood pellets (bulk)tm260,006%1698843217,9280%19,1318,130,065
Fuel oilL0,785368350,03980%26,6422,860,091