The installation of Biomass heating is considered one of the best ways of reducing the carbon footprint of a building. For each building where it is desired to reduce the carbon footprint, a biomass heat source must be installed as the leading or only heat source.
Current 2010 building regulations present the CO2 emission factors as follows:
Biomass pellets are considered almost carbon neutral, and have a carbon emission factor of nearly 7 times less than the equivalent natural gas fired system, and nearly 10 times less than an oil fired heating system.
Biomass fuel generally comes in two distinct types; pellets or wood chips.
The general pro's and con's of pellets v. chips are as follows:
Chips are cheaper, however require more storage space (0.8MWh/m3), produce more ash (1% by weight) and obtaining reliable consistent quality woodchip at constant moisture content is becoming more difficult. Chips need significant mechanical handling and can generally only be tipped into a store.
Pellets are more expensive, however require less storage space (3.2MWh/m3), produce less ash (0.1% by weight) and are readily available in consistent quality. Pellets are free flowing and easily delivered, they are normally blown into the store.