News Articles

Wood Energy FAQs

Fuel Banner

Tarm Biomass sells a broad mix of heating boilers that use diverse forms of wood fuel. 

We decided to make a simple wood fuel guide that contains frequently asked questions about wood energy.  To start with, wood energy is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs.  A BTU is the amount of energy required to raise 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

cord wood wood energy

Energy per cord of wood:

-The average mixed northern hardwood cord contains 24,000,000 BTUs.
-The average coniferous (soft) wood cord contains 18,000,000 BTUs.


wood pellet wood energy

Energy per ton of pellets:

-Wood pellets contain 16,000,000 BTUs* (about 115 gallons of #2 heating oil or 170 gallons of LP).


 

wood chips wood energy

Energy per ton of wood chips:

-Green wood chips contain 8,000,000 BTUs.
-25% moisture content wood chips contain 11,500,000 BTUs.


scale

Weights:

-A cord of green hardwood weighs about 4,500 pounds.
-An air-dried cord of hardwood weighs about 3,500 pounds (The difference equals approximately 125 gallons of water!).


 

cord wood drying

Wood Fuel Space requirements/volume:

-A cord is a stack of wood 4' x 4' x 8' or 128 cubic feet (pulp cord).
-A face cord is a stack of wood 4' x 8' x the length of the firewood.
-There are 3 face cords of 16" long firewood in a pulp cord.

-A long bed pickup truck holds approximately 1/2 pulp cords.


 

bagged wood chips

-One ton of pellets fits in 50 cubic feet or about a space 4' x 4' x 3' (a 40-pound bag of wood pellets holds 1 cubic foot of pellets).


 

-One ton of 25% moisture content wood chips fits in about 135 cubic feet.
-One ton of green wood chips fits in about 100 cubic feet.


 

#2 Heating Oil and Propane equivalents:

-Average mixed northern hardwood - approximately 170 gallons of oil or 260 gallons of propane.
-One ton of wood pellets - approximately 115 gallons of oil or 170 gallons of propane.
-One ton of dry wood chips - approximately 80 gallons of oil or 125 gallons of propane.
-One ton of green wood chips - approximately  60 gallons of oil or 85 gallons of propane.
-One BTU is equivalent to 3414 kW.
-A cord of red oak contains approximately 5760 Kilowatt-hours of energy or about ½ of the total electric power an average American residence uses in a year.

 

While not applicable to all areas of the country due to regional tree species, this is a great resource for firewood information from the University of Nebraska: https://outreach.cnr.ncsu.edu/ncwood/documents/NebraskaFirewoodGuide.pdf

*A United States ton (short ton) weighs 2,000 pounds. 

close

WANT MORE?

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE LATEST TARM BIOMASS BLOG POSTS.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *