Original Comparative Questions

  1. Which pellet has the most ash mass after burn, the fine sawdust or the coarse sawdust?
  2. Which pellet has the longest burn time, 1000 psi or 500 psi?
  3. Which pellet has the greatest flame temperature, 2000 psi or 1000 psi?
  4. Which pellet burns hotter, commercial or homemade?
  5. What kind of saw dust, fine or coarse will have the highest flame temperature?
  6. Which pellet, one without binder or one with binder will have the highest CO2 reading?
  7. Will the pellet held together with the wax burn longer that the pellet without wax?

The beginning of the wood pellet making process:

  • design an apparatus - some used pipes, some used small fittings, some welded rectangular containers
  • if needed (depending on comparative question) mass out the amount of sawdust to be used
  • apply pressure - some used hammers, some used sledge hammers, some used a press up to 2000psi


For most, the hardest part was getting the pellets out of the apparatus!

Getting Ready for testing the pellets!

To test the pellets, students started making combustion chambers. The combustion chamber needs an intake (air to go in..... preferably low) and an outlet (preferably higher than the intake). Students will use their combustion chambers to help the flow of combustion gases to reach the CO2 and O2 sensors . pellet_chamber_travis.jpg pellet_chamber_corie.jpg


This student knew we would be testing both CO2 and O2 gases, so he made an adapter to his original design that will allow two sensors to be placed in the top to measure the gases without being too close to the flame (heat)
This student group had not designed their chamber at the point when we were doing our run through on the pellets. The group found scrap parts from the welding shop and use as their combustion chamber.
The chamber above was cut from pipe in the welding shop more_chambers.jpg Two more chambers....... the one on the left is a box that welding rods were shipped in. The one on the right is pieces from duct work