Do-it-yourself pellets: making at home



The rel­e­vance of the pro­duc­tion of pel­lets today is quite sig­nif­i­cant.

Wood pel­lets are used as fuel for stoves and boil­ers.

But also today it is a good busi­ness idea for a per­ma­nent income, because it is an eco­log­i­cal fuel with a high heat trans­fer.

After all, it is not only a good fuel, but also a clean bio­fu­el.

So is it pos­si­ble to orga­nize the pro­duc­tion of pel­lets with your own hands and how much will it cost?

Varieties of fuel pellets

wood pellets

Pel­lets are pressed bio­mass, which has a cer­tain ener­gy val­ue. The most demand­ed today are wood pel­lets. They have a num­ber of advan­tages over con­ven­tion­al fire­wood.

Pel­lets solve the prob­lem of wood waste dis­pos­al, being, more­over, an envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly fuel.

In addi­tion to wood, there are such types of pel­lets:

  • veg­etable gran­ules (pressed sun­flower husk, straw, etc.);
  • peat gran­ules;
  • pressed coal;
  • munic­i­pal sol­id waste.

Wood pel­lets have earned the first place in the pel­let rat­ing due to a num­ber of advan­tages:

husk pellets

  • reduc­tion of envi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion car­bon diox­ide;
  • reduc­tion in the amount of excre­tion sul­fur diox­ide;
  • the risk of fire due to spillage of fuel is reduced to zero;
  • great heat dis­si­pa­tion com­pared to boards, chips or bark;
  • com­pact­ness in stor­age;
  • the pos­si­bil­i­ty of plac­ing the pel­lets next to any res­i­den­tial premis­es, due to the lack of bio­log­i­cal activ­i­ty of the pel­lets;
  • the pos­si­bil­i­ty of mak­ing wood pel­lets with your own hands.

Fuel pel­lets dif­fer in their pur­pose: fuel for indus­tri­al pur­pos­es is of low­er qual­i­ty; pel­lets for home use, in turn, con­tain less bark and a low­er per­cent­age of ash.

factory technology

The fac­to­ry tech­nol­o­gy for the man­u­fac­ture of pressed gran­ules can be divid­ed in stages:

  1. Large ini­tial crush­ing of raw mate­ri­als;
  2. Dry­ing;
  3. Grind­ing crush­ing results;
  4. Dry base water treat­ment;
  5. Press­ing;
  6. Cool­ing.
  7. Pack­ag­ing of fin­ished gran­ules.

At the first stage of pro­duc­tion, raw mate­ri­als are fed into crush­ers for grind­ing. The out­put mate­r­i­al dimen­sions are 25×2 mm. This allows you to dry the processed raw mate­ri­als in spe­cial dry­ers, then crush it again.

factory line granulatorsRaw mate­ri­als with excess mois­ture are pressed worse and the result­ing pel­lets are not suit­able for burn­ing. There­fore, dry­ing is a stage that can­not be exclud­ed.

Dry­ing has two types: belt or drum. It is select­ed pure­ly depend­ing on the raw mate­r­i­al and the desired result at the out­put. The dry­ing process is the most ener­gy-inten­sive in all pro­duc­tion. How­ev­er, this process can­not be avoid­ed.

Raw mate­ri­als pre­pared for the press should not exceed 4 mm. For their grind­ing, spe­cial crush­ers are used. Among them, the most suit­able are ham­mer mills. A good prod­uct at the end can be iden­ti­fied by its weight: about 150 kg per m³ is a sign of excel­lent qual­i­ty.

The required mois­ture con­tent of the mate­r­i­al for press­ing is 10%±1%. With strong overdry­ing, the raw mate­r­i­al is sat­u­rat­ed with steam or water.

As a result of press­ing, gran­ules are obtained in the form of cylin­ders, with a diam­e­ter of 6 to 25 mm. Since fresh­ly made pel­lets have a tem­per­a­ture of 70–90 °C, they must be cooled before pack­ag­ing. Indus­tri­al fans are used for cool­ing.

Ready chilled gran­ules are often stored in bins and ware­hous­es, but for a longer preser­va­tion of their qual­i­ties, it is rec­om­mend­ed to place them in large bags.


For the pro­duc­tion of pel­lets, both entire pro­duc­tion lines and mini-gran­u­la­tors are used. The lat­ter are equipped with a vari­ety of types of dri­ves: from diesel engines to trac­tor shaft dri­ves. The lat­ter type of dri­ve pro­vides the high­est per­for­mance.

A com­plete pro­duc­tion line looks like this:

how to make pellets

  1. Chop­per (chip cut­ter);
  2. Dry­er;
  3. Gran­u­la­tor;
  4. Fan or oth­er pel­let cool­er.

When choos­ing a gran­u­la­tor, you should know that the unit equipped with an elec­tric motor is quite large in size., and can only be used per­ma­nent­ly. As for pel­let mills with diesel engines, they are quite mobile and can be used where wood raw mate­ri­als are always in large quan­ti­ties: sawmills, fur­ni­ture fac­to­ries, etc.

spent fuel stoveHow to make a do-it-your­self oven for work­ing out a draw­ing, dia­grams and step-by-step man­u­fac­tur­ing instruc­tions.

A do-it-your­self sol­id fuel boil­er for long burn­ing will sig­nif­i­cant­ly save mon­ey and cre­ate a good alter­na­tive to fuel boil­ers. Read.

In our arti­cle, you will learn about the advan­tages of wood-fired boil­ers and elec­tric­i­ty.

The design of the gran­u­la­tor can be briefly described as fol­lows: this is the con­tain­er in which the matrix is ​​​​installed. Matri­ces are of two types:

  1. Cylin­dri­cal;
  2. Flat.

how to make pellets at home

The names speak for them­selves. The cylin­dri­cal matrix is ​​a per­fo­rat­ed drum, inside of which there are rotat­ing rollers. Crushed bio­mass is pressed into the round holes of the drum, pressed and cut with knives.

A flat die is a flat disc mount­ed on a gran­u­la­tor shaft. The prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion is the same as that of a cylin­dri­cal matrix.

The device is pow­ered by a gear­box and an engine with a pow­er of at least 15 kW. A ver­ti­cal or hor­i­zon­tal shaft is used to mount the matrix. Addi­tion­al com­po­nents of the gran­u­la­tor: capac­i­ty for bio­mass and fin­ished pel­lets.

granulator drawing

To make a gran­u­la­tor with your own hands, you will need the fol­low­ing mate­ri­als:

  • met­al cor­ners, sheets, fas­ten­ers;
  • matrix;
  • rota­tion shaft;
  • weld­ing, grinder, set of elec­trodes, drills and oth­er con­sum­ables.

You should start by cre­at­ing a bed. To do this, cut the cor­ner and con­nect the pieces by weld­ing. Fur­ther, with the help of weld­ing and a met­al sheet, the base of the gran­u­la­tor is made — a box.

A hole is cut in the upper hor­i­zon­tal face accord­ing to the diam­e­ter of the matrix. It is also used to load raw mate­ri­als. Along the cir­cum­fer­ence of the hole, it is nec­es­sary to make a side from a sheet 7–10 cm wide. Every­thing is fas­tened by weld­ing.

A hole with a diam­e­ter of accord­ing to the size of the matrix rota­tion shaft. A square hole is made on the side face for the exit of fin­ished pel­lets. A small met­al tray is attached to it.

working principle of the granulator

The rota­tion shaft is installed and fixed in the box with nuts. The matrix is ​​mount­ed on the shaft so that its sur­face and the upper edge of the box are on the same lev­el. The box is installed and fas­tened to the frame with bolts. The engine is also attached to the frame. The motor shaft and matrix are con­nect­ed by a belt.

A bell is installed on the upper open­ing of the box. So, the raw mate­ri­als will fall asleep most con­ve­nient­ly. The sock­et can be made from a tin buck­et with­out a bot­tom or a met­al sheet. Final­ly, the roller is installed on the matrix. After that, the unit is com­plete­ly ready for oper­a­tion.

As for the require­ments for raw mate­ri­als, they are not so high. The main thing is that the frac­tions should be a homo­ge­neous mass of third-par­ty with­out impu­ri­ties (stones, iron, sand, etc.) no larg­er than 5 cm in size. Humid­i­ty is not so impor­tant, because there is dry­ing to reg­u­late it.

If we talk about saw­dust, then pine is best pressed. Admix­ture of foliage and nee­dles is allowed. Conif­er­ous trees are the most attrac­tive not only for pro­duc­tion, but also for the aver­age con­sumer.

Cost, comparison of manufacture and purchase

The price of pur­chased pel­lets today varies from 6600–77$. per ton. At this price, the approx­i­mate pay­back peri­od for start­ing a pel­let busi­ness is cal­cu­lat­ed.

The cost of a fin­ished pro­duc­tion line pro­duc­ing 700 kg of fin­ished pel­lets per hour will be about $132,000. The approx­i­mate cost of each ele­ment of the chain sep­a­rate­ly:

pellet stoves

  1. Chip cut­ter — 180 thou­sand rubles;
  2. Gran­u­la­tor — from 500$ to 1 mil­lion rubles;
  3. Cool­ing sys­tem — 400 thou­sand rubles;
  4. Dry­ing — from 400 thou­sand rubles.

Self-pro­duc­tion of a mini-gran­u­la­tor will be less expen­sive, but will require the abil­i­ty to han­dle equip­ment. Specif­i­cal­ly, the cost of a do-it-your­self gran­u­la­tor can be cal­cu­lat­ed based on the cost of mate­ri­als:

  1. Met­al cor­ner — from 1,5 dol­lars / m. P.;
  2. Met­al sheet — from 10 $;
  3. Gear­mo­tor — from 30 $;
  4. Matrix — from 89$.

Thus, the approx­i­mate cost of mate­ri­als for cre­at­ing a do-it-your­self gran­u­la­tor is from 140 $.

Buy­ing every­thing ready-made or doing it your­self is up to you, but the fact that the pel­let pro­duc­tion busi­ness is rel­e­vant and in demand is an obvi­ous thing.

By choos­ing to start mak­ing wood pel­lets, you will not only earn a good income, your work will have a pos­i­tive impact on the envi­ron­ment. After all, pel­lets are the safest type of fuel today.

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