A FACTORY is under construction in Risby to produce an eco-friendly fire log from waste wood.
Bridge Brooke Energy’s new factory will initially employ eight and use electricity from the neighbouring anaerobic digester at Simon’s Farm Business Park. So, the plant will use renewable energy to produce household biofuel, called Hotties, by recycling wood from sustainable sources.
Chief executive John Jardine is no stranger to recycling. He had a composting and woodchip business, which he sold last year.
“I used to sell recycled sawdust logs about 25 years ago,” he said. “But that was a different time, the cost of fuels were different and this new product is much better in terms of kilowatt output.”
Mr Jardine says the key to Hotties’ high heat output, which the company says is better than some coals, is that the wood must be so dry before compression. Its moisture content is four per cent where natural logs may be as much as 50 per cent.
Mr Jardine added: “There are manufacturers around the world making compressed fuel like this but we’re using a different process that makes logs with a hole down the middle, producing a more solid and longer burning product.
“It’s a much more consistent product than natural logs, which are so variable in their moisture content.”
Like all biofuels it is carbon neutral when burned because you only release the carbon the trees absorbed to grow, rather than carbon laid down and stored over millennia, as with fossil fuels.
The company is currently selling imported logs and will retain an imported source to ensure an uninterrupted supply to customers.
The logs will be sold in packs of 10, though they will also do a two-log plus fire starter pack and for next summer will offer a barbecue charcoal substitute. They will be sold through fireplace and stove retailers or by the tonne online at www.bridgebrooke.co.uk. Locally they will sell at £385 a tonne, but Mr Jardine warned people making comparisons to remember that the heat output is higher than natural logs.