All logs to be burnt in residential stoves and wood burners should be dried. Air pollution is increased by the use of unseasoned, green wood. Woodsure Ready to Burn Certification requires logs to be at a moisture content of less than 20% to be ready for use. We work to a maximum of 15% moisture content.
Traditionally logs were stored in a barn or dry place and allowed to season over a period of time. In recent years there has been an increase in the use and sale of ‘kiln dried’ logs, where a method has been used to speed up the drying process. Often this process of kiln drying can use up to 50% of the equivalent fuel, to create the heat needed to speed up the drying process.
It was important to us to ensure our kiln drying process was more sustainable than this, and that it did not use additional fuel.
Our Kiln Drying Process
Our logs are kiln dried using excess heat from a renewable process called Anaerobic Digestion. This is an agricultural process, where methane gas is created as a byproduct of the fermentation of crops and cow slurries under anaerobic conditions. The methane gas that is generated from this process is collected and used to fuel a Combined Heat Power (CHP) unit that generates electricity to supply to the national grid and local area. A by-product of this process is hot water, produced by the CHP unit.
There is a CHP site just a short distance from our yard, and we have an agreement with them to use the waste heat from this process to slowly kiln dry our logs. Our loads are taken to the site using a customised trailer and dried to a moisture level of no more than 20%. They are stored locally and bagged/loaded from there for delivery.
This process not only ensures our logs are kiln dried in an efficient and sustainable way, but also reduces the heat that would be unnecessarily vented into the atmosphere by the CHP.