How To Make Wood Pellets


Wood pellets have gained significant popularity as an eco-friendly and efficient heating source. They are made from compressed sawdust and other biomass materials, providing a renewable energy alternative to fossil fuels. If you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint and utilizing a sustainable heating option, learning how to make wood pellets can be a valuable skill. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of producing wood pellets from start to finish.

Understanding Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are small cylindrical-shaped pieces made from compressed biomass materials, primarily sawdust. They are commonly used as a fuel source in pellet stoves, boilers, and biomass power plants. Wood pellets have a high energy density and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, making them an environmentally friendly option.

How to Make Wood Pellets

Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are compressed biomass fuel that can be used in various heating applications and on dishes, such as pellet stoves, boilers, pellets for pizza, and more. They are typically made from wood residues, sawdust, and other wood byproducts. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make wood pellets:

Step 1: Gather Raw Materials

To make high-quality wood pellets, you need to start with the right raw materials. Look for clean, dry, and finely ground sawdust or wood chips. Avoid using wood treated with chemicals or containing impurities that can affect the combustion efficiency and pellet durability.

Step 2: Prepare the Raw Materials

Before pelletizing, it’s crucial to prepare the raw materials properly. This involves removing any oversized particles, foreign objects, or moisture content that exceeds the recommended levels. A thorough screening and drying process ensures the pellets’ quality and enhances their combustion characteristics.

Step 3: Pelletizing Process

The pelletizing process is the heart of wood pellet production. It involves compressing the prepared raw materials into small, cylindrical pellets. There are two main types of pellet mills used for this process: ring die pellet mills and flat die pellet mills.

Ring Die Pellet Mills

These mills are commonly used in large-scale industrial pellet production. They offer higher pellet output and superior pellet quality. The raw materials are fed into the mill’s chamber, where a rotating die compresses them into pellets.

Flat Die Pellet Mills

Flat die pellet mills are more suitable for small-scale or home pellet production. The raw materials are fed into the mill between two rollers, one of which is stationary, while the other rotates. As the rollers compress the materials, the pellets are formed.

Step 4: Cooling and Sieving

After the pelletizing process, the freshly produced wood pellets are hot and soft. They need to be cooled and sieved to remove any fines or oversized pellets. This ensures consistent pellet size and improves their handling and storage properties.

Step 5: Packaging and Storage

Once the wood pellets have been cooled and sieved, they are ready for packaging and storage. Use durable and moisture-resistant bags or containers to protect the pellets from environmental factors that could affect their quality. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain their integrity.

What Are the Ingredients in Wood Pellets?

Wood pellets are typically made from a combination of wood residues, sawdust, and other wood byproducts. These materials are processed and compressed to form small, dense pellets that can be used as a fuel source. The main ingredient in wood pellets is, of course, wood. However, let’s delve deeper into the specific ingredients that make up these pellets:


Sawdust is one of the primary ingredients in wood pellets. It is the byproduct of sawmills and woodworking operations, consisting of fine wood particles and chips. Sawdust is an ideal raw material for pellet production due to its small particle size and high lignin content.

Wood Chips

Wood chips are another essential ingredient in wood pellet production. They are small, thin pieces of wood that are often produced during logging or timber processing. Wood chips are commonly used in combination with sawdust to create a balanced pellet mixture.


Bark is the protective outer layer of a tree. While it is not as commonly used as sawdust or wood chips, it can still be included in the pellet production process. Bark contains higher levels of ash compared to other wood components, so its use may vary depending on the desired pellet quality.


Wood shavings are thin slices of wood that are often produced as a byproduct in woodworking operations. They have a larger particle size compared to sawdust and can be used in pellet production. Shavings are commonly sourced from softwood species.

Wood Residues

Wood residues encompass a range of materials left over from various wood processing activities. This can include trimmings, sawmill waste, and even demolished wooden structures. These residues can be recycled and repurposed into wood pellets, reducing waste and maximizing resource utilization.

It’s important to note that the specific ingredients used in wood pellet production can vary depending on the manufacturer and the available raw materials. The goal is to utilize sustainable and renewable wood sources to create a high-quality pellet that offers efficient and clean combustion properties.

By carefully selecting and processing these ingredients, manufacturers can produce wood pellets that meet specific standards and certifications for quality, sustainability, and environmental friendliness.

Wood Pellets vs Charcoal, Which is Better?

When it comes to fuel sources for grilling, heating, or other applications, wood pellets and charcoal are two popular choices. Both have their own unique characteristics and benefits. Let’s compare wood pellets and charcoal to determine which is better suited for different situations:

Heat Output

Charcoal is known for its high heat output, making it ideal for grilling and searing meat. The intense heat produced by charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal can quickly cook food to perfection. Wood pellets, on the other hand, provide a more controlled and consistent heat output, making them suitable for longer cooking times, smoking, and baking.


One of the distinctive qualities of charcoal is the smoky flavor it imparts on grilled food. Many people prefer the rich, smoky taste that comes from cooking with charcoal. Wood pellets can also add a pleasant smoky flavor to the food, but the type of wood used in the pellets will determine the specific flavor profile. Different wood pellets, such as hickory, mesquite, or fruitwood varieties, offer unique flavors to enhance the culinary experience.


Wood pellets are known for their convenience and ease of use. They come in uniform sizes and can be easily poured into pellet grills or stoves. Wood pellet grills also offer temperature control and automation features, allowing users to set desired cooking temperatures and times. Charcoal requires more effort to light and maintain, as it needs to be ignited and periodically replenished during the cooking process.

Environmental Impact

Wood pellets are considered a more environmentally friendly option compared to charcoal. Pellets are made from renewable biomass sources, such as wood residues, and they produce lower emissions and ash content compared to charcoal. Charcoal, on the other hand, is often made from non-renewable sources like coal, and its production can contribute to deforestation and air pollution.


Wood pellets have a broader range of applications compared to charcoal. While charcoal is primarily used for grilling and smoking, wood pellets can be used not only for grilling but also for heating purposes in pellet stoves and boilers. Wood pellets offer a more versatile fuel option for both indoor and outdoor use.


Learning how to make wood pellets involves gathering the right raw materials, preparing them, pelletizing the mixture, and ensuring proper cooling and storage. It is a process that requires attention to detail and the use of suitable equipment. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can produce high-quality wood pellets for various heating applications. Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly fuel source or exploring a new DIY project, making wood pellets can be a rewarding and sustainable endeavor.

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