Paper Pellet Fuel
Around Wisconsin, many
industries are turning to paper
pellets for their fuel needs.
Paper pellet fuel is made of
industrial waste paper headed
With modern pelletizing
techniques, it can be recycled
to provide an excellent fuel for
co-burning with coal or wood.
Paper pellets, also called
Process Engineered Fuel (PEF),
are a home-grown Wisconsin
They were invented by a Wisconsin paper company looking for a way to successfully
burn its waste paper for fuel. The use of pellets has since spread, and now two pellet
manufacturing companies are operating in the state.
The largest purchaser of paper pellets is the State of Wisconsin, which has found they
can save taxpayer money by co-firing in five coal-powered steam plants. Paper
companies have also found pellets to be an economical fuel for process heating,
although the pellets can be used in any industry.
Benefits of Paper Pellet Fuel
Quality: Paper pellets are made to meet the quality demands of your energy system.
They are very dense, giving them a Btu content similar to coal. They are dried during
processing to give them an extremely low moisture rate. Pellets have less sulfur and
produce less carbon monoxide than coal. Compared to wood, paper has less
Cost: Pellets are a low cost fuel to manufacture. Because transportation is the highest
component to the pellet’s cost, however, the distance of your industry from the pellet
manufacturer may be the biggest determinant of its economic value.
Environment: Pellets are made of clean, recycled materials left over from local
industries. By burning paper pellets you are keeping this material out of landfills and
incinerators and reducing air pollution from coal.
Using Paper Pellet Fuel
Pellets can be used in traveling grate or stoker boilers. They are typically mixed in with
coal or wood before being conveyed into the boiler. State regulations limit the use of
pellets to 30 percent by heat content and the facility’s state air permits must include a
provision to burn paper pellets.
Pellets can be transported by rail or truck. In wet or humid conditions, transportation
may increase the moisture content of the pellets. There are no standard methods for
storing pellets or mixing them with coal. They typically are stored in internal or external
Inside bunkers allow longer storage time because less moisture will be absorbed.
Some facilities mix the pellets right away with coal, others mix them just before
burning. The ability to mix the pellets is a major factor in their success.
Paper dust is very light and may affect your system’s lubrication more than coal dust.
State facilities have found that paper pellets absorb some of the moisture on coal,
allowing the coal to flow more easily on its way to burning.
Co-burning paper pellets takes a little more effort than burning a single kind of fuel.
Yet, for the company that wants to save money, develop the region’s economy, and
improve some of its fuel handling, it may be the right choice for your fuel needs.
Paper Pellets for Industrial Fuel
Size: 3/4" diameter, 2 1/2" to 3" long.
BTU per pound: 8,500 to 11,500 per pound.
Price: The price of pellets depends upon the distance from the manufacturer.
The lowest costing pellets are about $1 per million BTU and increase from there. By
comparison, the cost to heat with wood pellets is currently around $20 per one million
Ash: 2 percent to 4 percent by weight compared to .05% for super premium wood
pellets and 1% ash for premium pellets.
Moisture: 2 percent to 4 percent by weight, although moisture can increase with
humidity or rain during transportation.
Weight: 30 to 35 pounds per cubic foot.