Improvement of Wood Fuel Pellet Quality Using Sustainable Sugar Additives

Magnus Ståhl, Jonas Berghel, Karin Granström


The global production and use of wood fuel pellets has increased significantly in recent years. The raw material and the energy required to dry it are the main production costs. Therefore, it is crucial to minimize energy consumption, production costs, and the environmental impact associated with wood pellets. However, these changes should not negatively affect the quality of the pellets. One way to achieve these goals is to use additives. This work investigates how different types of sugar additives affect both the energy needed by the pellet press and the durability and oxidation of the produced pellets. When sugar was used as an additive, the energy use was practically unaffected. When molasses and SSL were added, a small decrease in energy use was observed (6 to 8%) for admixtures up to 1 wt.%; however, when more molasses was added, the energy use increased. Using these additives increased the bulk density (7 to 15 %) and durability (10 to 20 %) of the pellets. The storage of the pellets also caused a small increase in durability (1 to 3 %). Volatile organic compounds were produced as oxidation peaks within the first two months of storage; thereafter, the peaks tapered off.


Wood fuel pellet; Additives; Molasses; White sugar; Spent sulphite liquor; Energy efficiency; Durability; Storage

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126