University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FOR143

Wood to Energy: Systems That Convert Wood into Energy1

Phillip Badger, Mohammad Rahmani, Pratap Pullammanuppallil, Alan W. Hodges and Lauren McDonell2

Click Here for the full text of this document.

Southern forests represent an important potential energy resource for heat, power, and electricity. Wood is not a resource that will be appropriate for every community, nor will the same sources of wood be available to every community. But many communities and industries already use wood, and the potential for others to use woody biomass for energy is significant. There is a great deal to learn about the many ways people are using wood for energy in the South.

The Wood to Energy Outreach Program developed a number of fact sheets, case studies, and community economic profiles. Community leaders and citizens can use this information as they explore the possibility of using wood for heat, power, and electricity. This fact sheet, Systems That Convert Wood into Energy, compares the efficiency and explains the processes of direct combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, and space heat production from wood.

The Wood to Energy Outreach Program is a collaborative effort of the University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation; USDA Forest Service, Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry; Southern Regional Extension Forestry; and the Southern States Energy Board. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the USDA.

Additional fact sheets, community economic profiles, case studies, and information are available in individual pdf files at under Woody Biomass.



This document is FOR 143, one of the series, Wood to Energy, Circular 1526,, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension. Original Publication Date: September 2007. Reviewed February 2011. Visit the EDIS website at .


Phillip Badger is the Bioenergy Technical Director with the Southern States Energy Board in Florence, Alabama. Mohammad Rahmani is the Coordinator of Economic Analysis in the Food and Resource Economics Department; Pratap Pullammanuppallil is an Assistant Professor in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department; Alan W. Hodges is an Associate Extension Scientist in the Food and Resource Economics Department; and Lauren McDonell is a Program Coordinator in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, Florida.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.