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Old 04-27-2008, 09:39 AM   #1
jpw23
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Default Question for pellet heads

are the pellets you guys use 100% wood or is there some sort of binding agent used?
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:42 AM   #2
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100 per cent wood. Bound by pressure in the extruder.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:45 AM   #3
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would a binding agent such as flour be a bad thing?
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:51 AM   #4
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That I do not know.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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The binding agent is naturally occuring in wood. It is called Lignin.

From a pellet producer's website:
Q. What makes them stick together if you don’t use additives or plastics?
A. Good question. Lignin (which is a natural binding agent from the tree itself) combined with the high pressure from the pellet mill as the pellet is pushed through the mill, holds the pellets together.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:58 AM   #6
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Here's the reason for asking....Last year University of Ky bought a pelletizer in the hopes that they could make fuel pellets from sawmill waste.....thier machine does not have enough horsepower to do the job and it requires a binding agent which also cuts into cost effectiveness. They asked me to get some info from you guys about this so that they might find a niche market and try to have this machine earn its keep. Their hopes are to make custom blends of smoking pellets, a person could call in their own custom order.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:02 PM   #7
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Why not sell those pellets to folks you use them for heating their home? There are a couple of reason that cooking pellets do not use a binding agent. One is to make sure that they are food safe, but the other is to cut down on ash.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:25 PM   #8
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i can get you a name and # off one of my bags if you want it
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #9
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My understanding is that the wood has to be heated to 100+ degrees then compressed. The lignin then becomes sticky enough to bind. Are they heating the wood prior to running through the pellet machine? Many manufacturers are running the saw dust through a hammer mill prior to the pellet machine also.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:42 PM   #10
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I think its a 140*.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Why not sell those pellets to folks you use them for heating their home? There are a couple of reason that cooking pellets do not use a binding agent. One is to make sure that they are food safe, but the other is to cut down on ash.
The machine is not big enough to make large amounts of anything and there are a few other problems. This is just one application that they are looking into.....I don't think they know about heating the saw dust, gonna mention that to him today.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:06 PM   #12
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There are other things you might be able to do with that. animal feeds, etc? Cooking pellets you will not want any other binders in... Fuel pellets can get away with some, but when running a pellet stove, the lower the ash (lower maintenance) the better. You can get 100% oak pellets (high btu, low ash) for under $4 for a 40lb bag - typically generally available. Blend pellets can be cheaper... The real question is, can you produce/bag in the smaller scale something that will be able to sell, based on market pricing. I understand why you would like to do the cooking pellets, as they bring more of a premium on price.

Have you thought about adding a stronger motor/engine to run you pellet mill? Might be a better route to consider as well.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smknwhlswife View Post
There are other things you might be able to do with that. animal feeds, etc? Cooking pellets you will not want any other binders in... Fuel pellets can get away with some, but when running a pellet stove, the lower the ash (lower maintenance) the better. You can get 100% oak pellets (high btu, low ash) for under $4 for a 40lb bag - typically generally available. Blend pellets can be cheaper... The real question is, can you produce/bag in the smaller scale something that will be able to sell, based on market pricing. I understand why you would like to do the cooking pellets, as they bring more of a premium on price.

Have you thought about adding a stronger motor/engine to run you pellet mill? Might be a better route to consider as well.
I have not seen this machine in person yet.......just a chit load of phone calls from UK's forestry dept. Might need to go down and take a look at it and the operators manual.
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