Even though gasification pushes wood heating into the background, the demand for firewood remains stable. People continue to use them to heat their homes using solid fuel boilers to light fireplaces, barbecues, and baths. There is a steady upward trend in the cost of fuel on the market, which makes the sale of firewood a promising and profitable business.
Every season, the woodworking, furniture industry, and agriculture produce tons of waste in the form of shavings, sawdust, dry plant stems, husks, and other plant materials. From all these resources, it is possible to produce heat logs. With some organizations, you may be able to reach an agreement on the free collection of such “waste.” As a result, they will save on disposal costs, and you get raw materials.
Relevance of Business on Heat Logs
Sawdust by itself is not the most cost-effective way to start a fire. They burn well, and the combustion area is large, but the percentage of heat released is completely inappropriate. Therefore, this method of using waste wood has not proven itself. In addition, there is a share of release of substances that negatively affect human health after the sawdust burns out.
However, there is a way to use them more intelligently. It is how special wood pellets, called Lekto heat logs, are made from sawdust. They are also used for fuel boilers. Such processed wood residues are called heat logs.
It is a special type of biofuel, which is obtained by pressing industrial waste such as sawdust, wood shavings, and agricultural waste: straw, crop stems, and other materials. Molding of pellets comes in various shapes: cylindrical, polygonal, etc.
Advantages of Heat Logs
Using this type of firewood has several undeniable advantages:
- The heat generation level is very high. The indicators tend to be at the level when burning coal.
- Low ash content
- Environmental indicators. The emissions of carbon monoxide and other harmful substances are minimal.
Heat logs are suitable for use both in boiler equipment and for independent use without special means, which makes it possible to heat completely different rooms.
What You Need to Start a Business
Now, let’s look at what you need to run a successful compressed pellet business. Of course, these factors may vary depending on where you live and the specific market in your area, but the general trends are the same.
The size of the premises for production can vary based on what kind of equipment will be installed for further production, its completeness, and safety rules for use.
To obtain a good productivity of 1000 kg of heat logs per hour, you will need an area of about 300 sq. m. m and an additional 300 sq. m for a warehouse for raw materials and finished products. In addition to heating, ventilation, and plumbing, a three-phase electricity connection with a power of 380 W is required. It is best if the workshop is located on the city’s outskirts, close to the main suppliers.
To press the fuel mixture into briquettes, the size of its particles should not be more than 3 mm, and the humidity should not exceed 15%. The raw material mainly consists of larger and moist particles. Here is a complete list of equipment:
- Chipping machine. From the name, it is clear that with the help of this unit, the raw materials are crushed to the required size.
- Heat generator. It supplies hot air to the crushed raw materials and dries it to the desired level. It is noteworthy that it works on produced briquettes – the finished product of the enterprise. That is, it does not require additional electricity costs.
- Extruder. Through it, the mass is pressed and molded into briquettes of 20-35 cm.
- Packing machine. Sealed packaging allows eco-firewood to remain dry and marketable.
The cost of equipment will vary depending on many factors, including the usefulness and automation of the line, as well as options for additional hardware. If you are planning to install fully automatic production, then you should start considering special offers for turnkey installation of full-fledged lines equipped with all the necessary hardware systems. However, such a level of organization will require incomparably significant capital investment. And it will bring no less volume to the share of production.
Four people will be needed to service the production line, with 3-shift work, which is already 12, plus a director and an accountant working on a 5-day schedule—a total of 14 people.
Effective advertising has a positive effect on the demand for products. To attract customers, you can use the following methods:
- Dissemination of information in the media and social networks.
- Distribution of advertising brochures.
- Creation of outdoor advertising on a car.
- Placing banners in countryside villages.
- Handing out business cards.
For regular customers, it is recommended to hold promotions to provide discounts and gifts, which will create consumer interest in your company’s services.
Risks and Disadvantages of Business
The main risks for eco pellet production will be the following:
- Increasing competition. Manufacturers are increasingly developing this industry, and finding both sources of raw materials and distribution channels is becoming increasingly complex.
- Relatively high cost of equipment. The initial amount of owned or borrowed money should cover all expenses of the first month, 90% of which are the costs of purchasing a production line.
- Seasonality of demand, falling in the summer, which may lead to some overcrowding of warehouses.
- The danger of low qualifications and discipline of workers. Here, reviews of applicants from previous jobs somewhat mitigate the risk.
Earning a decent income from selling firewood is entirely doable. The main thing is to agree with suppliers, register a business, and launch an advertising campaign to form a customer base. When analyzing costs, it is essential to consider the seasonality of the firewood business, which peaks from August to January. When a business begins to function effectively and generate stable profits, you already have the experience and resources, which allows you to consider the possibility of producing additional goods or providing other services, thereby increasing your income.