Energy Crops Consultancy (ECC) has unveiled its most significant product launch yet: Willoglow® – 100% Natural British Willow Briquettes.
Certified by Defra’s Ready to Burn scheme, the sustainable briquettes are made from compressed willow woodchip, grown locally in the UK, and are reportedly suitable for burning in multi-fuel boilers, outdoor firepits and barbeques. They can also be used in UK smokeless zones.
The briquettes, sold in packs of seven, boast a high calorific value of 18.016 MJ/Kg, with each providing approximately 1.5 hours of continuous heat. The low moisture content, typically only 8%, allows for a longer lasting warmth through the winter period and produces far less smoke than alternatives – an approach championed by Woodsure Ltd, the Certification Body administering the Ready to Burn Scheme, whose independent inspectors look for a moisture content of 20% or less.
Each crop is harvested every three years, capturing carbon in its roots that remains and continues to build for the 30 years plus crop lifetime. In addition to its high calorific value, SRC Willow has is one of the fastest growing crops and boasts a dense structure, allowing for no wastes space on land. It’s a hardy crop, coping with all types of weather and once planted requires very little attention.
Willow’s ability to thrive on less than perfect ground makes it a good choice for areas of the farm where traditional food crops may not be viable. Since short rotation crops of this sort aren’t harvested every year (every 2-4 years in the case of willow), the plantation can offer a semi-long term habitat to numerous creatures and organisms.
Alan Bird, a farmer that works with ECC, said:
“It is great to be able to use UK, local community grown willow briquettes that are 100% sustainable. They are certainly long lasting and provide the heat and comfort I have been looking for.”
Led by industry expert Neil Watkins, ECC provides independent advisory service for farmers and growers who are looking to integrate energy crops and agro-forestry into their land use strategy. More information on the company and Willoglow can be found at www.energycropsconsultancy.com.