How do biomass boilers work?

The concern for responsible energy consumption in homes, workplaces and the community is latent. Heating systems do not escape this reality, reinventing themselves to be more respectful of the environment. Such is the case of biomass boilers, so we invite you to learn a little more about it.

Surely, you have heard the term ecological heating more frequently in recent years, as an attempt is made to make people aware of the use of renewable energy for domestic heating and to achieve greater energy efficiency, reducing the use of fossil fuels. 

In this sense, ecological boilers are presented as a low cost and highly effective alternative because they use forest residues, wood pellets, fruit shells, among others, as an energy source. In this category, the biomass boiler is, so far, the only type that uses renewable energy. 

Biomass heating operation

If we think about how biomass boilers work, the answer is simple, since they are very similar to other types of boiler. What makes them particular is the type of fuel used, as they are designed for biomass combustion. 

During combustion, a large amount of heat is generated, which is sent to a heat exchanger that works with a hot water circuit. This element transmits all the heat to the hot water for sanitary use, which is identified by the acronym ACS. 

For their feeding, the biomass boilers have a tank to store the fuel. From there comes an extension that carries the biomass to the boiler so that combustion is carried out and the energy for heating is produced. 

In the boiler there is a lower tank called an ashtray in which the combustion residues, that is, the ashes, are stored. This container must be emptied several times a year for complete sanitation, according to its use. 

Biomass: Advantages and Disadvantages

So far everything seems easy, but there are still those who do not know what biomass is. Therefore, we will briefly explain it below.

Biomass is any organic matter that can be used as a source of energy. Therefore, its origin can be vegetable or animal, it can also be obtained in its natural state or produced through transformations of residual matter, using chemical processes. 

It should be noted that biomass represents an energy source with a favorable CO2 balance, which is why the design of biomass boilers is spreading rapidly in thousands of homes in Spain and other parts of the world. 

But, like any source of energy, this one also has some pros and cons that we must point out in order to better understand its usefulness.


– Its price is cheap compared to fossil fuels.

– It represents a renewable, clean and safe source of energy for the environment.

– Produces little waste. Also, these are biodegradable.

– It can be widely used in rural sectors, generating economic progress and solving the problem of waste disposal in many regions. 

– Generates a neutral level of CO2 emissions because it is part of the natural cycle of this element. 


– Needs more storage space than traditional fuels.

– Large extensions of land are occupied to obtain plants for biomass. 

– Its performance is much lower than that offered by fossil fuels, since its energy density is lower. Consequently, it offers a low calorific value.

– There are still no well-planned and extended distribution channels. 

When analyzing the drawbacks of biomass, we realize that these are situations that can be resolved in the short and medium term, all that is needed is the will of governments and the private sector to promote cleaner energy and invest in it. 

Choose a biomass boiler

To buy the right biomass boiler for your home, you should know that there are several types and that they are classified according to the fuel used or the technology used.

Depending on the fuel:

Multi- fuel boilers: These boilers are designed to use various types of biomass as fuel, either pellets or chips. This type offers a medium or high power. 

Pellet boiler: As its name indicates, it only accepts pellets as fuel, resulting in small and compact equipment that works efficiently for low and medium power.

According to technology:

Standard biomass boiler: This can be used with firewood, chips or pellets, reaching 92% performance, using automatic feeding systems, exchanger cleaning and ash disposal.

Refurbished boilers: These are old boilers that used coal or gas oil as fuel and that have been modified to use biomass, offering a performance between 75 and 85%. 

Pellet boilers: They only use pellets as fuel and have been fully automated to optimize their performance, reaching up to 103%. 

Mixed boilers: These models allow the use of two types of fuels and alternate them. Its efficiency reaches about 92% and it can have automatic feeding. 

There is no doubt that the market for biomass boilers is expanding, and although it is true that wood boilers were already used in rural homes, now innovation is within everyone’s reach. But, if you are not completely convinced to use a biomass boiler for your home, you can buy a mixed wood and diesel boiler model that you can use in only solids or only diesel mode, depending on the demands of the home, offering greater autonomy. and high energy performance.

It is only a matter of further investigation and a comparison of ecological boilers to get the most appropriate to your needs and budget, remembering that the new trends, as far as energy is concerned, are committed to renewable resources and bioclimatism for the design of the houses, thus taking advantage of solar energy as the main heating system and reducing CO2 emissions as much as possible. 

It is slow but rewarding work, the fruits of which will be seen in future generations, although the change can be applied now to encourage responsible consumption of energy resources, promoting respect for the environment. 

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