Innovative Wood Fuels, LLC was founded to provide refined semi-dry wood chip fuel to the growing biomass thermal market in the northeastern U.S.   Company Principals have many decades of experience in providing wood fuel to a variety of markets. 

Why IWF?

In the United States, small commercial and community-scale biomass units have traditionally used one of two wood fuels:

  • Wood pellets – a refined, standardized wood fuel that is force dried to 3-6% moisture content and pelletized; or
  • Green wood chips, with a moisture content “as found” in the field, generally varying from 40% to 55% moisture, depending upon the species, time of year and other factors.

Wood chips that meet the specifications of a typical biomass thermal user (e.g., <2.5” in two directions, no sticks and branches, live floor delivery, etc.) cost roughly $45 - 60 per green ton, delivered.  Assuming a 45% average moisture content, this means that users of a wood chip system are often paying +/- $5.50 per MMBTU of fuel.

Wood pellets are more expensive, given the processing and handling needed to manufacture a standardized and refined fuel.  Bulk wood pellets at $200 - 250 / ton, delivered, with 4% moisture content, have wood pellet users paying +/- $11.00 per MMBTU.  Wood pellets are in some cases the fuel of choice, despite the higher cost per MMBTU than green wood chips, because of the smaller installation footprint, lower capital cost, operating efficiencies, and easier handling characteristics.

In Europe, where biomass thermal applications are more common and the industry more mature, a fuel exists between these two, and, as a result, specifically designed biomass boilers are now available that use a pellet or a semi-dry wood chip fuel boiler while enjoying a fuel price closer to green biomass chips.  These systems also operate at higher output efficiencies than green chip boilers, and can achieve lower overall air emissions than conventional green chip boilers with less investment in back-end emission controls. Some mid-size boilers designed to burn wood pellets, and sold as such in the United States, have the ability to burn low-moisture wood chips as well. 

Innovative Wood Fuels, LLC is supplying these semi-dry wood chips and grindings to meet this growing market.