Drying Woodchips

drying woodchips Drying Woodchips


Energy from biomass

Producing energy from biomass has significant environmental and economic advantages.

It is a carbon neutral process as the CO₂ released when energy is generated from biomass is balanced by that absorbed during the fuel’s production. Compare this to the massive energy loss from grid electric supply and the use of fossil fuels for heating, biomass is a logical, long term solution.

woodchip drying for biomass Drying Woodchips

Reasons for drying woodchip

The usable calorific value of woodchips depends much more on the woodchip’s moisture content than on the species of wood. Fresh wood chips with a water content of 55% provide roughly 2000 kWh in energy per ton.

By drying woodchips to 20% moisture content, the calorific value is doubled to around 4000 kWh per ton. In a burning process of 1 ton of dried woodchips, approximately 400 L of heating oil can be substituted.

For woodchip boilers, dry woodchips equate to higher efficiency, clean and more consistent combustion that in turn ensures simple operation and an extended lifetime of the heating system.

In addition, only woodchips below 30% moisture content are suitable for storage. Woodchips above the 30% threshold are liable to microbial decomposition.

woodchip drying reasons Drying Woodchips

Using residual heat

Stronga have a wealth of experience drying woodchips, shavings, bark and sawdust using our drying solutions. Throughout the year, our dryers use spare residual heat (e.g. CHP based at landfill sites or Anaerobic Digestion plants) for drying saturated timber in all its forms.

Drying woodchips increases the combustion value for use in biomass boilers and lowers storage costs. Resulting high calorific wood fuel helps clients reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Drying is also a frequently used pre-treatment in wood gasification, or for processing wood into briquettes, pellets, panels and similar products.

Watch our woodchip drying test at our European factory.

Advantages of drying woodchip

Stronga continue to lead the biomass drying market, reliably helping customers produce biofuel by drying woodchips. Discover the benefits of using Stronga Energy Solutions to dry woodchips for renewable biomass energy:

  • Making good use of spare residual heat throughout the year (e.g. CHP based at landfill sites or AD plants);
  • Efficient biofuel production, handling, storage and transport;
  • Increased income from wood fuel sales;
  • Spare waste wood utilisation possibilities (tree trimmings & sawmill residue);
  • Ability to store woodchips (woodchips with moisture content >30% are subject to microbial decomposition);
  • Substantial financial incentives from Government Legislation (e.g. Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – UK only).

woodchip drying solutions Drying Woodchips

The Incentives

Across the globe, political institutions are committing to reducing carbon emissions.

Several schemes have been initiated to help bring renewable technology to the market. Most renewable technologies take advantage of one or two of the tariffs to help pay back the cost of the system.

The UK’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) encourages the uptake of renewable heat technologies among communities and businesses through the provision of financial incentives. A heat meter is placed on the system that records generation and the government’s scheme pays the owner of the equipment a certain tariff depending on the technology and size.

Other green energy grants also exist, such as Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).

woodchip renewable incentives Drying Woodchips

Waste material utilisation

Stronga highly recommend that the following clients consider drying woodchips to add value while optimising waste heat utilisation:

  • Sawmills with saturated woodchip for conversion into dry renewable bio fuel.
  • Estates with available forestry or timber to be chipped, dried and sold as renewable biomass boiler fuel.
  • Bio fuel suppliers growing their business by extending their ability to reliably supply dry woodchip to the biomass market.
  • Clients with under-utilised biomass boilers who can use the spare capacity to create dry renewable fuel.
  • Clients with waste wood who can increase their financial income working as a dry wood chip fuel supplier.
  • Gasification CHP plants requiring consistent quality dried fuel for energy production.

woodchip waste utilisation Drying Woodchips