Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets: What Should I Choose?

When it comes to wood pellets, two choices are there: hardwood pellets and softwood pellets. However, several people are not aware of the differences between the two. 

wood pellets in hand

If you are among them, read this hardwood pellets vs. softwood pellet post till the end. It finds the difference between hardwood and softwood pellets based on several aspects. 

Raw Material Used in Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets

Generally, raw material for hardwood pellets is derived from deciduous trees, such as maple, birch, oak, elm, yew, poplar, etc. These trees lose their leaves annually. On the contrary, raw material for softwood pellets comes from gymnosperm trees that are mostly evergreen. These include cedar, pine, spruce, mahogany, and more.

Uses of Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets

Since hardwood pellets and softwood pellets burn differently, they have diverse uses. Hardwood pellets have lower water content. They burn for longer than softwood. Therefore, people prefer them for fireplaces and wood stoves. They are ideal for slow heat grilling. 

Softwood pellets, on the other hand, burn more quickly and efficiently. Individuals commonly use them in heating stoves, industrial boilers, barbecues, and power generation.  

Price of Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets

Whether you want to buy wood pellets or start a pellet-making business, the price might be a concern for you. Well, hardwood pellets are often more expensive than softwood pellets. After all, the cost of raw material for hardwood pellets is high. 

Apart from this, you will require a pellet making mill and related equipment. To make a good profit, you will have to sell pellets at a higher price.

simple pellet making line

Heating Value: Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets

Softwood pellets have better heating capacity than hardwood pellets. They have a higher calorific value. 

Softwood pellets generate between 10 to 20% British thermal units (BTU) while burning. It happens primarily due to the higher sap amount in the softwood. Nonetheless, hardwood pellets have a longer lifespan. 

Ash Content: Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets

The ash concentration is the percentage of the weight of the ash. Generally, it depends on the cleanliness of the raw material rather than the type of wood you use. 

Since softwood pellets burn more cleanly, we can say they produce less ash. A good quality wood pellet must have less than 1% ash content.

Hardwood pellets produce more ash than wood pellets. It could be up to 3 times extra.

Dust Emission: Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets

Dust emission can be a concern for several pellet-making companies. Softwood pellets emit more dust when the burning rate is low. If the combustion rate is high, hardwood pellets make more dust.

Quality: Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets

The quality of hardwood pellets and softwood pellets depends on the raw material. If you are using good-quality sawdust and other raw material, you will not get complaints about the quality of your wood pellets.

Ensure the raw material has a moisture content between 10 to 15%. Also, use an international standard pellet-making machine to make quality pellets.

Advantages of Hardwood Pellets vs. Softwood Pellets

Both pellet types have their ins and outs. Let us learn their advantages one by one.

Softwood Pellets Advantages

  • Softwood pellets produce cleaner and consistent heat.
  • They are hotter than hardwood pellets.
  • Since they have sap content, they burn easily.
  • They are comparatively more affordable than hardwood pellets.
  • Software pellets generate less airborne particulate emissions.
  • These pellets produce a low percentage of ash. As a result, individuals will not need to clean their stoves frequently.
  • They contain more resins, and so have a higher heat value. 

Benefits of Hardwood Pellets

  • Hardwood pellets have a longer burn time. Therefore, you get heat for a longer time.
  • Hardwood pellets have low moisture content making them ideal for fireplaces and wood stoves.
  • You can also use hardwood pellets as bedding for animals.
  • Hardwood pellets have a better shelf life.

Should I Choose Hardwood Pellets or Softwood Pellets?

Several people are unsure whether they should choose hardwood pellets or software pellets. Well, both have their pros and cons. It is advisable to think about the following points when making a decision.

Consider Your Budget

As mentioned in the above section, hardwood pellets are more expensive than softwood pellets. If budget is your concern, you can go for the latter one. The raw material for hardwood pellets is costly. Even if you want to start a pellet-making business, you will need to spend extra on buying hardwood pellet raw materials.   

Demand for Pellets

Analyze the demand for pellets. Hardwood pellets have a longer burn time. Therefore, they are ideal for fireplaces and stoves. 

Nonetheless, the demand for softwood pellets is increasing. Because softwood pellets have a good heat value, they have also been utilized to generate power. 

If you want to start a pellet-making business, you must consider the demand for pellets in your target area. 

Most modern wood pellet stoves can burn both softwood pellets and hardwood pellets. So you can make both pellet types to make a profit.

Pellet Production Process

The quality of wood pellets depends on the excellence of their production process. Whether you pick softwood or hardwood pellets, be sure they are well-produced. Ensure the raw material has the right size, ideally 3-5mm. Also, the moisture content should be between 14% and 20%

Quality of Our Pellet Machine

If you are in the pellet making business, you must examine the machine’s quality. It would have a significant influence on the quality of the final output.

At Tcpel, we provide an international-standard pellet machine that passes several quality checks. Our machine’s components, such as the die, gears, bearings, and shafts, are all branded.

You can use our machine to make pellets from different raw materials like crop straws, sunflower husks, fruit shells, bark, trunks, branches, etc.

Tcpel pellet machine has a built-in cooling system and fan blower that keeps the pelletizing area cool and ensures quality output. Furthermore, the mill gives you the benefits of both horizontal and flat-die pellet machines.

We hope these points help you determine whether you have to choose hardwood or softwood pellets. If you are looking for a pellet machine that can produce both pellet types, look no other than Tcpel. 

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