Wood Pellets Moisture

Moisture Measurement in Wood Pellets

Benefits of Wood Pellet Moisture Analyzers:

  • Lowers Purchasing Costs
  • Increased Dryer/Boiler Efficiency
  • Less Risk of Low-Quality / Wet Product
  • Huge Energy Cost Savings
  • Less Wasted Product & Downtime
  • 100% Product Inspection
  • Great Accuracy – even with small gaps

We pre-set sensor calibrations, measurement wavelengths, algorithms and sensor optical requirements at our factory. Typical accuracy is about ±0.1% moisture. Typical analog range is 0-20% moisture. The outputs can be adjusted to optimize PLC or recording requirements.

Check out our other wood moisture applications to learn more.

How Much is Moisture Content Costing?

Moisture content is important during the production process for numerous reasons relating to quality, consistency, efficiency and more. But what it can also attribute to is the wear and tear on equipment in the wood [pelleting] process that directly relate to energy usage and production rates.

Making pellets is a fairly straightforward process from a 30,000-foot view, feeding biomass into a pellet mill die chamber and the rolls work to press out a beautiful pellet with a high quality sheen right?  Not so fast, there are several metrics that must be considered when it comes to making a quality pellet day in and day out.  Something to know about pellet mills is that they are only as efficient as the consistency of the material that is being inputted.  There are several factors that must be considered such as: the wood species, the die specifications, the grind size, the geometry of the grind, the conveyance, binder requirements and so on.  However, one metric that is often overlooked or rather undervalued, is the moisture rate of the biomass.  This area is neglected in biomass pelletizing systems due to a lack of knowledge about its importance – changing the moisture percentage even by as little as 1% makes a noticeable difference in the pellet quality both in the durability and in the sheen If the moisture rate varies by 3-5% it is almost impossible to consistently make a durable pellet at all.  The other factor that moisture directly affects is the amperage of the main drive on the pellet mill.  In wood pelleting specifically, if the moisture rate trends upwards the amperage of the motor swings upwards as well.  When the moisture rate drops the amperage falls significantly.  This bouncing of the amperage rate can have a detrimental effect on the production capacity of the pellet mill. Plants can experience over a 20% decrease in production rates simply because the inbound biomass wasn’t a consistent moisture, not to mention there is the possibility of plugging the mill.  How is this overcome? Proper moisture measurement and control throughout the production process.

  • programming of the dryer system to provide a more consistent biomass moisture rate in real time that directly correlates to a higher production capacity and a better-quality pellet

When looking at all the challenges that pellet plant operators are tasked with, moisture control is one of the biggest. In fact, sensing moisture in wood pellets is one of the most important steps, especially after manufacture when pellets are stored.

Those who are proactive in taking steps to monitor moisture in wood pellets understand that they can save money and avoid packaging product that is low in quality or wet. Measuring moisture in wood pellets can also help save energy wasted in over-drying. By measuring moisture continually through the production of wood pellets, proactive avoidance of moisture issues is accomplished. Our goal at MoistTech is to help those who manufacture wood pellets to deliver only the highest quality product through our moisture sensor technology.


Mount the wood pellet moisture analyzer several inches above the conveyor belt. This allows continuous process monitoring and controlled moisture either manually or automatically throughout the wood pellet process.

The IR-3000 is unique in that it is able to give accurate results even with small gaps in product flow. We have also developed sample systems and optical windows using sapphire optics. This provides real-time process measurement. See more details in our sampling technology section.


Dust is not normally a problem for our sensor. If, however, your environment produces extreme dust, it is recommended to install an Air Purge System to prevent accumulation on the sensor’s window. It may also be necessary to cool the sensor with air or water if it has been installed near the dryer outlet.