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"pricing depends on the measured moisture content"

Joseph Pistolozzi who is the manager of the production facility of Wood Energy Corsica thinks measuring moisture of round timber and wood chips is part of his job, as “wood works when everything is done properly”.

Wood moisture content from 55 to 20%

“The moisture content of inbound green wood (maritime pine), it’s 50 to 55% moisture content on the display of the moisture tester for round wood. Between a thousand tonnes of inbound green wood and seven hundred tonnes of despatched wood chips, I loose three hundred tonnes I must justify. Pine looses a lot, from 20 to 30% moisture content. And during wood grinding, bark falls, that’s again a loss, without taking into account farinaceous and dust!
During wood transformation into wood chips, wood moisture content is from 15 to 30%. Wood chips are stored under shelter during a maximum of one year.
Insuring wood chips quality means delivering wood chips at 20-25% moisture content, 30% maximum. But too dry wood chips are not good either.

Wood chips moisture content and pricing

With my experience, I have got an idea as the trailers we use are always the same. I know that at seventeen tonnes, moisture content is from 20 to 15% and up to twenty tonnes, the boiler works properly (few ashes and not much smoke). Whereas at twenty-one or twenty-three tonnes, the boiler will collect more dirt and cleaning out will be needed more often as wood chips moisture content will be too high.” Mr Pistollozi explains.
“But, for billing, I confirm with the Humitest for wood chips moisture tester, as pricing depends on the measured moisture content, between 20 and 40%. And the customer himself can measure moisture.

Wood drying in summer

When wood comes in during summer, drying is quick. In winter, there is less sunshine and wood doesn’t dry. Storage duration of wood goes from a minimum of six months, from May to October, to a year, from October to October, because of climate. Storage lasts up two years.
Without shelter and with bad weather, wood absorbs humidity. When rains come in November, wood chips are full of water.
The interest of warehousing wood in logs is rain flows over the billets so they do not take moisture. At the beginning, we were grinding as we needed; but the new warehouse (800m²) allows to store wood chips under shelter. Thus, we are not bothered as wood chips moisture remains stable. The shelter allows to maintain wood chips quality.

Optimal moisture for efficient energy wood

For the client, maintenance costs are controlled. Even if wood is purchased at a higher price, consumption will be lower and the customer will be satisfied.” Mr Pistolozzi goes on: “With dry wood, the boiler goes higher in temperature, at 800°C. It’s especially significant when it is very cold. With wood with more than 30% moisture content, temperature goes till 600°C, which is not optimal as there is rejection of wood and particles. With wood chips of 1cm2 calibre and 20% moisture, wood is the most efficient. Between 30 and 40% moisture, wood is not efficient.

One must do wood the proper way. Between 20 and 30% moisture and that’s it!” concludes Mr Joseph Pistollozi.

Wood Energy Corsica is a semi public company that has produced forestry wood chips for more than fifteen years. It delivers dry wood chips to eight biomass boiler rooms of medium power (middle and secondary schools, public housing) in Corsica.
Wood resource comes from thinning cuts and sawmill wastes as well as eucalyptus, forestry works and recycled wood. Wood Energy Corsica secures its supply thanks to its relationships with the Corsican wood business players and in accompanying and valorising forestry works (job creation, promoted access to forest and valorisation of Corsican forest).
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Humitest for wood chips

This wood chips moisture tester measures the water content and the temperature of different grades wood chips, sawmill wood chips or forest wood chips.

Humitest for wood, straw and hay

With its hammer probe or special probes, this moisture meter allows to measure water content of round wood, split logs, wood chips, sawdust, pellets, hay, straw and cellulose bales.

Humitest for round timber

With its hammer probe, this moisture meter allows to measure water content and temperature of billets, logs or blocks, even freshly cut.

Equilibrium humidity content

Also known as the hygroscopic equilibrium, this term is used to define the water equilibrium of a material in relation to external conditions.


Energy Wood Corsica, Joseph Pistolozzi