What's the advantage gained by converting it into pellets, rather than burning it as logs?
Standardization. Which enables automation. You fill a hopper with pellets, you turn it on and go to sleep and it keeps you warm.
There are wood boilers but they're super dirty because they need to somehow keep the fire going all of the time and then when you call for heat then they turn on a blower and make a mushroom cloud of smoke. That's your wood going up the chimney un-burned.
Wood pellets don't replace a wood stove, they replace an oil furnace.
@cjd @TMakarios There's a lot of good things about wood, but there are downsides. I'm not sure if there's enough to go around and emissions from it are pretty bad. Air quality sucks in an area where everyone is burning wood. Furnace designs can help with this somewhat. I've always wondered if we could grow enough dried algae pellets in the ocean and run them through modified coal plants.
It sounds like a lot of this is quite location-dependent. Here near the middle of New Zealand, my wife and I seldom want overnight heating (the house keeps its heat well enough), and we'd want it even less if we double-glazed. It's windy here, too, so air quality isn't much of an issue, though I think there are regulations on the efficiency of newly installed wood burners.
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