Driving the Wood Pellet Lorry to the Man of Conviction

He is a man of conviction when we're talking about sustainability. In this point, Jean Pütz doesn't know the meaning of compromise. That's why this science correspondent and TV moderator decided to go for a very special heat supply of his energy-plus house.

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That is concealed in entralling natural surroundings in the Bergisches Land region. However, the quietude is only interrupted briefly when Jean Pütz is expecting a fresh delivery of wood pellets for his heating system. That is when Ralf Zipprick from Raiffeisen Bio-Brennstoffe GmbH Raiffeisen Bio-Brennstoffe GmbH manoeuvres his orange-green silo truck down the narrow driveway and fills the five-cubic meter storage room in the basement with new fuel.

When Jean Pütz converted and extended his house five years ago, he was intent, from the outset, on using as little fossil fuel as possible. There was therefore a good reason for his choice of wood pellets: "Wood is a renewable raw material." In addition to the pellet heating and a solar thermal installation, the native of Cologne has built a 2,000 litre thermal heat store in the cellar, which supplies the entire household.

There is also a stove in the kitchen to provide additional heat and comfort. The principle of conserving resources is the golden thread running through Pütz's life and house: When converting his house, he packed it in an up to 23 cm-thick layer of wood-wool, the terrace consists of bamboo parquet and there is a small three-litre runabout in front of the house.

"I try to handle all resources in a way that will also give our children the chance to use them", says Pütz. As far as wood pellets are concerned, Pütz is finding more and more fellow campaigners, and the market has been growing constantly for years. In Germany alone, there are more than 320,000 pellet heating systems, with the annual production capacity of the 60 pellet factories standing at about 3.2 million tonnes.

Raiffeisen Bio-Brennstoffe GmbH (RBB), an investment company of AGRAVIS, has therefore invested in its distribution network over the past few years. In collaboration with 80 cooperatives, it is supplying customers throughout Germany with wood pellets. "In our area of operation, we have set up a large number of storage facilities in order to ensure that our customers have security of supply and receive prompt deliveries", RBB's Michael Elpe explains. RPellets are ENplus A1 certified. "It is only this quality class that guarantees trouble-free burnout in heating", Elpe emphasizes. With this product, the raw material comes exclusively from wood in its natural state.

When cut in the sawmills, the raw material is produced in the form of saw dust or wood shavings. The shavings are dried and then pressed through corresponding matrices at high pressure. "The ENplus-A1 goods have a diameter of six millimetres", says the expert. Moreover, the pellets must not be longer than 4.5 centimetres or else they could block the heating's intake systems.

Everything goes smoothly during delivery in Bergisches Land. Jean Pütz signs the delivery note and takes receipt of another bag of pellets: "As litter for the rabbit hutch." His sustainable actions and the versatility of RPellets do not stop at four-legged friends, either.

For further information, please contact Michael Elpe on 0251 . 682-2342 or e-mail him at michael.elpe@raiffeisen-bio-brennstoffe.de.