Lignetics: Manufacturer of Premium Wood Pellets, Pres-to-Logs® Fire Logs, and Fire Starters

Welcome to Lignetics' blog where we will be posting current information about the wood pellet, fire log, and fire starter industry. We welcome your comments and additions as we develop what we hope will be an up-to-date information center on all developments concerning wood pellets and fire logs.


by Gregory Zimmerman, Dept of Biology, Lake Superior State University

From Great Lake Phragmites Collaborative

For the past several years, our research team has been experimenting with the use of weedy grasses for making heating pellets(to be used to heat your home). The focus of the project is to find economic uses for these weedy grasses as well as reduce greenhouse gas inputs into the atmosphere and improve farm finances. The environmental benefits come from the fact that the fuel is more carbon neutral since combustion of grasses simply re-releases previous year’s CO2 taken up by the plants, so long as the harvest and fuel manufacture have minimal energy inputs. Our research suggests a 32x energy payback in fuel compared to the fuel required to harvest and process the grasses. Perennial grasses are also more environmentally benign energy sources since they require no annual tillage, thus reducing energy input and conserving soil carbon. Unlike wood sources, grasses harvested in late fall require little drying during the fuel making process which further reduces the carbon inputs into the fuel making process. Late harvests also conserve soil nutrients since the plants are harvested after translocating nutrients to the roots. The economic benefit to farms is the use of readily available fuel stock using commonly available equipment most likely already on hand, all at a savings compared to the price of propane (the most common heating fuel on farms).

The project was initiated with reed canary grass (RCG). Using a tractor PTO mounted horizontal die pelletizer, we can make nice pellets from RCG. We have been successful using spent brewer’s grain, and with a commercial binder (essentially cornstarch) and even corrugated cardboard. Other attempts at using pond algae, pine needles, and other materials were not successful.

Read the original here.


From Pellet Fuels Institute

Biomass Industry Welcomes Record Pellet Demand in Northeast
Consumers encouraged to smartly plan pellets purchases for winter season to avoid oversupply

Washington, DC – October 29, 2014 – The biomass industry today announced that it is experiencing record demand for wood pellet heating fuel in the United States, particularly in the Northeastern region. The Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) and the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) commended consumers for planning their pellet purchasing in preparation for the winter season. The two groups highlighted the importance of purchasing pellets at a steady pace to avoid demand spikes.
“Last winter was especially cold and long, particularly in the Northeast, and many pellet fuels consumers are planning ahead to be prepared for this season,” said Jennifer Hedrick, Executive Director of PFI. “At this time it’s important for consumers to recognize that purchasing large amounts of pellets that exceed their likely demand for the heating season could result in a personal surplus at the end of the season.”
Many winter forecasts have been adjusted in recent weeks to reflect warmer conditions than originally predicted, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated household expenditures for winter heating fuels will decrease for 2014-2015.
“We’re seeing an impressive demand for woody biomass for residential heating across the United States. Producers and retailers throughout the country are delivering the renewable fuel from regions with strong supply to regions with the highest demand. We’re excited to see this pellet delivery network developing around the country, while the pellet fuels industry is further adjusting its output to meet this growing market,” said Joseph Seymour, Executive Director of BTEC.
Heating residences and businesses with renewable biomass is cost-effective and becoming increasingly popular around the country. Well over one million homes across the country have installed pellet heating appliances, and approximately 2.5 million homes heat primarily with wood. Heating with wood has historically been cheaper than heating with electricity and fossil fuels such as heating oil and propane.

The Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) is a North American trade association based in Arlington, Virginia, that represents a range of contributors to the pellet industry, including companies that manufacture wood pellets and pellet manufacturing equipment, or provide other products and services to the densified biomass industry at large. To learn more, please visit PFI’s website at
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) is an association of biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America’s energy needs. BTEC engages in research, education, and public advocacy for the fast growing biomass thermal energy industry. For more information, visit


PFI: Carrie Annand, 202-494-2493 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
BTEC: Emanuel Wagner, 202-596-3974 x 360 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


From Biomass Magazine

By Erin Voegele

Several energy-related bills were introduced in the Colorado Senate in early January, including one that aims to create an incentive program to promote the use of woody biomass in public buildings.

On Jan. 7, State Sen. Matt Jones introduced SB15-009. The legislation aims create a wood biomass grant program to promote the use of woody biomass as a fuel source for public buildings. According to the text of the bill, the program would be funded by an annual $1 million transfer from the state’s general fund for five fiscal years. The Colorado Department of Natural Resources would be tasked with awarding grants to a public entity that would “use woody biomass as a fuel source for a public building’s biomass energy system when either the use of the grant allows the public building to be cost-effective when compared with other fuels or the executive director reasonably believes that making the grant provides other substantial benefits as specified in rules.”

The legislation explains that preference would be made for projects that use a woody biomass energy system for two or more public buildings located near one another. The legislation also specifies rules for the grant program would include criteria to evaluate grant applications, in part, based on an analysis of whether the building is located within a reasonable distance of a forested area of the state, as determined by the state forester.

The bill was referred to the Colorado Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy. The measure is also sponsored by Colorado Rep. Millie Hamner.

A separate bill, SB15-044, introduced on Jan. 7 by State. Sen. Scoot Ray aims to alter Colorado’s renewable energy standard, reducing the minimum percentage of renewable energy required of investor-owned utilities from 20 percent to 15 percent for 2015 through 2019. The minimum would also be reduced from 30 percent to 15 percent for years 2020. In addition, the bill would reduce the minimum amounts for cooperative electric associations from 20 percent to 15 percent for years 2020 and thereafter. That bill was also referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy. According to information published by the Colorado General Assembly, the bill as six additional sponsors in the Colorado Senate and is sponsored by State Rep. Dan Thurlow in the Colorado House of Representatives.

A third energy-related bill introduced Jan. 7 also aims to alter the state’s renewable energy standard. The legislation, SB15-046, would allow utilities to count each kWh of electricity obtained through retail distributed generation as 3 kWh for proposes of meeting the state renewable energy standards in 2020. The legislation would also allow cooperative electric associations to use purchases from community solar gardens to meet the retail distributed generation component of the renewable energy standard. SB15-046 was introduced by State Sen. Kevin Grantham and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy. The legislation currently shows no sponsors in the Colorado House.

From Biomass Magazine

By Seth Ginther

Seth Ginther says transparency is key to effective policymaking when developing sustainability criteria for solid biomass. The Netherlands began this process behind closed doors, initiating an industry call to open the process to the public.

The industrial wood pellet industry has spent the past several years working closely with policymakers at the European Union level and within its member states on developing sustainability criteria for solid biomass. 

Transparency in these processes is key to effective policymaking.  In fact, the World Trade Organization agrees with that concept, and one of the tenets of its Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement is that the signatory countries to the TBT will undertake any regulatory standards making process, including sustainability criteria, in an open and transparent manner with public consultation and input. 

In that vein, when the United Kingdom, a signatory to the TBT, developed its sustainability criteria for solid biomass, it did so by involving all stakeholders, keeping the process open to the public. The U.K. government went about its work in a very public manner issuing a number of consultations through the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change.  The public was provided with drafts of various proposals and was given time to provide comment on those proposals.  That process culminated with the most robust set of sustainability criteria on solid biomass ever enacted, and those criteria ensure delivery of a sustainable product, while also being reasonable and workable within North American forest products markets. 

Let's contrast that process and its result with earlier this year, when the Netherlands began its process of creating sustainability criteria for solid biomass.  Unlike the U.K. government, Netherlands, which is also a signatory to the TBT and therefore legally required to have a transparent rulemaking process, decided to establish its sustainability criteria for solid biomass through a closed and secretive process that does not allow for any stakeholder consultation or public engagement or comment. 

The Dutch government has failed to publish any form of public stakeholder consultation at any point over the past several months, nor has it released an official draft of any proposal, making it impossible for civil society to comment on those drafts. 

Instead, civil society has been forced to rely upon a secretive expert group on sustainability to try to reach an agreement on criteria. As of this writing, that secretive expert group has failed to reach an agreement and we understand that Minister Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs will have to make some decisions on his own. We now call on Minister Kamp to do what he should have done all along—abide by the binding obligations of the TBT and open up the process for establishing sustainability criteria for solid biomass. 

We call upon the Netherlands to open the process to all stakeholders and the public. We stand ready to work closely with the Netherlands on developing sustainability criteria that satisfies both environmental and economic considerations. To move forward with the current closed process only harms the credibility of the Dutch government in the global marketplace and hinders the ability of the Netherlands to meet its EU-mandated renewable energy targets.