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Wood pellets "shelf life"?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Blackjack, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Anybody know how long wood/biomass pellets can be stored and still burn well?

    ... and what's the best way to store a large quantity?
  2. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    One of the guys I work with has a pellet stove, I'll ask him what's the longest he has stored his pellets

    Guy swears by it, but I'm looking more in a outdoor wood burner, I don't want to have to rely on having to burn pellets only
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    It depends on how you store them, do not store them on concrete they will suck moisture like crazy, there are small little vent holes in the bags, think about them when you store them, To much moisture and they mush into a saw dust again.
    So it depends on how dry you can store them.
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member


    I live in soggy country and can store a season's worth without worry. The bottom bags tend to have the "dust factor", but by the end of burn season, I have the luxury of a selective pour and don't mind the product loss, as it's not that much.

    Make sure that your storage area has a moisture barrier, you might even elevate them (pallet) as an extra precaution. Some stores will sell you quantity (like a ton) and keep it for you - you can pick it up as needed. I don't know how well that will work in the event of a pellet shortage (like last year), and I'm not big on strangers holding my stuff, so I cannot speak to how well that works.

    If you haven't burned pellets before, I suggest that you buy at least three different brands to run through your stove as a test. Some brands burn nice and hot, with little-to-no dusting. Others are just a dadgum mess to deal with. I have really good luck with GoldenFire and do not care for Bear Mountain (2 most popular brands around here) - but your results may vary. Talk to someone knowledgeable at your local pellet stove store. The guy here is very up front with which brands are junk and which are better (he doesn't sell any). After all; they want you to be satisfied with your stove (for that word-of-mouth advertising) and the pellets that you burn can make a world of difference!

    TMI: I just love our pellet stove (we have both pellet and wood heat on different levels). It's nice to have a warm fire with a push of the button (ahhhh). There's less mess than you get from the old wood pile, and a heck of a lot less work! They are louder than a wood stove (blower) and you need to keep up on auger maintenance (not high maintenance - we adjusted ours about 3 years ago). You can't depend on them in case of power outage - okay, I could, but I'm not using a battery backup for my pellet stove when I can just throw a log into the wood stove. I've never cooked on it, but think I would have minimal results, as there's a much smaller hot surface than on a wood stove top.
  5. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member


    Moisture and humidity is your worst enemy with wood pellets. Damp wood pellets can begin to decay and autoignite, much like storing wet hay in the barn would. Keep your pellets dry!

    I've never had more than one season's worth at a time but would imagine you could store them for a few years if kept dry. A couple years ago we had a few bags left over from the season before and had no problems burning them.

    Most pellet's are made from 100% wood product, some manufacturer's add binder and/or filler, not sure which one's do though. Pellets made from 100% Douglas Fir produce the most heat (Btu's) and least amount of ash in most stove's. Pellets made from Spruce, Pine or White Fir do not burn as well (less Btu's) and produce more ash.
  6. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Both are made by the same company, the only difference is that Bear Mountain is a mixture of Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar while Golden Fire is made of 100% Douglas Fir.
  7. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Lenetics made in SandPoint Idaho are almost 100% Tamarack wood and burn hot and long with very little ash.
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