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What is pellet ?

The WOOD PELLET is a compressed fuel, of cylindrical shape, deriving from an industrial process through which the raw materials, mainly fine chip, sawdust and other refuse of sawmill, with water content (w) between 11 and 14%, is transformed in small cylinders with variable diameter from 6 to 8 millimeter and length from 10 to 30 millimeter.


The wood pellet production process ?

The melted material comes to the pelletting area, a roller forces the material through the holes, compressing it in pellet. Knives cut the pellet on wished length. During this phase, we reach high temperatures that determine the partial softening of the constituent of the wood matrix, in specific way of lignin, that becomes a natural adhesive. The next step is cooling; pellet comes out from the pellet mill at about 90°C temperature. With the cooling, pellet will dry once more and saw dust fine parts will be separated from the solid cylinders. Therefore, the main step to produce pellet are:
• pre-treatment of the raw materials, aiming to obtain homogenous size and humidity. This step consists in different operations like: refining, drying, metals separation from wood;
• compression of the wood refuse into the die;
• pellet cooling;
• fine parts separation;
• packaging and storing.

The fuel quality importance

The pellet market has different target, in terms of product quality or final combustion system. Therefore, it’s really important to create a standardization and certification system of pellet, to define a valid reference both for producers, manufacturers of heating systems and final consumers.
A guaranteed quality system will be crucial to pellet market strength and growth and to assure clear and shared rules, to reach market and customers quality requests.

The Italian pellet market

In Italy, the pellet market started to grow during 1999 and 2000 years. However, the actual market situation is more chaotic than other European countries; unfortunately, there are not official statistics that give definitive data of production, importation and use of the fuel. In Italy, manufactures that operate on the market are approximately 47 companies. An interesting data is represented from the main geographic area of the production: beyond 76% of the pellet it’s produced in the North of Italy, mainly in Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, regions where operate some great producers that cover beyond 55% of the national production. The entire Italian pellet production, for 2008 winter season, will be more than 500,000 ton. All this production is sold inside the national borders; however, foreign production satisfies the rest of Italian high pellet demand. There is not definitive data about total imported pellet quantity from other countries, in part because there are too many and diversifies import channels. It is possible, however, to estimate an import rate, for the winter season 2006-2007, more than 300,000 ton. The highest quantity comes from East Europe, ex-USSR, United States and Canada.
The uncontrolled development of the market, at the beginning of 2006, conducted to a lack meeting between consumption and availability, that determined remarkable supply deficiencies. Besides, such situation has raised the necessity to study other raw materials, than wood, with vegetal and organic origin, that should provide the central heating system ‘s market. The high demand in central Europe market, and generally in all Europe market, has conducted Austrian producers to stop their pellet exports to Italy. Before, Austrians producers were strongly attracted by Italian market, because of its higher final consumer prices than other European markets.

The remarkable expansion of pellet market, which will continue in the next few years, has pushed some national entrepreneurs and international partnership, which mainly operate in different business area, to invest in new productive pellet plants in countries as South America and East Europe, aiming to supply the Italian market.



Nova Pellet Arco international srl- Via Brescia. 56, 25026 Pontevico (BS) - P.iva/C.F.: 02354510980 - Tel 030 9307670