Why are Biomass Heating Australia’s Pellets Black?

Some curious people have noticed that our pellets are black, or darker than your average pellet.  They wonder, “why is that, when most pellets I see are lighter in color?  Is that good or bad?”

The answer:  If the pellet is darker, or black, it means that it is most likely made from a hardwood species of tree.  Some of the hardest wood trees in the world reside right here in Australia. 

The dark color comes from a substance called lignin.  Lignin is defined by the International Lignin Institute (there is such an organization!) as:

“Lignin is an organic substance binding the cells, fibres and vessels which constitute wood and the lignified elements of plants, as in straw. After cellulose, it is the most abundant renewable carbon source on Earth. Between 40 and 50 million tons per annum are produced worldwide as a mostly non commercialized waste product.” 

You can see from the picture above that lignin is dark in color, as it is made of carbon.  So the more you have of it, the more dense and stronger your pellet is.  This means that it will burn hotter and longer than your average softwood pellet, which is obviously lighter – because it has less lignin.

So you can be confident that when you buy our pellets, you are getting “the best pellet in the world.”

Here is a picture of our pellets taken a few months ago (please know that the colour does change from darker to lighter at times, depending on the mix of hardwood we are processing at any given time)