Can You Use Grass Pellets In Every Pellet Stove?

Wood pellets are the main fuel pellet, with grass pellets purely being a product of the animal feed industry. However there is now a lot of research being carried out into grass fuel developments. There are several advantages to producing grass fuel pellets, however there are also challenges in using grass as a fuel. Many pellet stoves struggle with the ash content.

Different Forms Of Biomass Materials

Grass is a form of biomass, biomass is simply any cellulose raw material which can be used as an energy source. All forms of grass can be turned into pellets. However research focuses mainly on using grass species such as Switchgrass, Reed Canary Grass and Hemp. These grass species are seen as the most practical way to generate grass biomass energy, as they have very high yields and fairly low ash content.

Switchgrass Pellets, Popular In The US

Switchgrass has a lot of interest in the US as a potential fuel to be upgraded into pellets to be burnt in pellet stoves and boilers. The idea is to promote the process of local energy loops. Where the whole process of crop cultivation, pellet processing and pellet distribution and consumption all happens within the local area. Switchgrass grows very well in many US states, previously described as just weed.

Reed Canary Grass Pellets In Europe

Reed canary grass is more of a cooler climate energy crop. Both switchgrass and reed canary grass have certain combustion issues that need to be addressed before they can be used in a pellet stove or boiler. Only certain designs of pellet burner can burn the pellets without serious complications. Generally you will find they produce an ash content around 5%. This is 4% higher than premium wood pellet fuels.

Hemp Pellets Have The Most Potential

Hemp is an extremely useful biomass material, it can be used for paper, clothes, rope, plastics, oil, food and then the waste residue can be processed into hemp pellets. Hemp pellets produce less combustion issues, and they also produce mush less ash. Therefore of all the different grass pellets its hemp that hold the most potential as a replacement for wood pellet fuels.

The Advantages Of Multiple Pellet Fuels

Below is a video of our biomass pellet boiler at PelHeat burning a selection of biomass pellets, including some Reed Canary Grass pellets. Grass pellets can generate a higher ash content than wood pellets, and can also create other combustion related issues. However we can generate much more biomass in the form of grass than we can from wood species. As stated hemp offers us the best alternative to wood.

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