Figure 1. This is wood cut in various shapes like logs and kindlings.[1]

This page refers to the use of wood as a fuel.

Wood is an organic substance that usually comes from the stems of trees and has been used as fuel for thousands of years. It can even be burned as biomass to produce electricity and even keeping warm by a fire is using wood as fuel.[2] The energy density will vary depending on the water content in the fuel—the standard value ranging from 18-22 Megajoules per kilogram.[3]

Energy Density 18-22 MJ/kg

Depending on how the wood is cut, it can have a high power density (kindling), or a fairly high energy density (logs).

There is no question that wood is renewable energy, because it regrows once it has been cut. However, whether or not wood is a sustainable energy fuel is an interesting question.

Please see renewable vs. sustainable energy.

For Further Reading


  1. Free Images : tree, branch, abstract, wood, texture, leaf, floor, trunk, bark, pattern, autumn, soil, rough, firewood, lumber, cut, close up, forestry, flooring, woodpile, wooden logs, woody plant 3072x2048 - - 948103 - Free stock photos - PxHere", Pxhere.com, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/948103. [Accessed: 10- Aug- 2018]
  2. "Wood and Wood Waste - Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy - Energy Information Administration", Eia.gov, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=biomass_wood. [Accessed: 10- Aug- 2018].
  3. Ocean.washington.edu, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.ocean.washington.edu/courses/envir215/energynumbers.pdf. [Accessed: 10- Aug- 2018].

Authors and Editors

Bethel Afework, James Jenden, Kailyn Stenhouse, Jason Donev
Last updated: September 3, 2018
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