What is the calorifc value of wood?

The calorific value of a fuel expresses the amount of energy released during the complete combustion of a mass unit of a fuel.

The moisture content of wood changes the calorific value of the latter by lowering it. Part of the energy released during the combustion process is spent in water evaporation and is consequently not available for any wished-for thermal use.

Water evaporation involves the “consumption” of 2.44 MJ per kilo of water. It is thereby possible to distinguish between the following:

Net calorific value (NVC):                    

The water released is treated as a vapour, i.e. the thermal energy required to vaporize the water (latent heat of vaporization of water at 25°C) has been subtracted.

Gross calorific value (GVC):                

The water in the combustion products is treated as liquid. When not specified, “calorific value” is to be intended as net calorific value.

The oven-dry calorific value (NCV0) of wood of different wood species varies within a very narrow interval, from 18.5 to 19 MJ/Kg. In conifers it is 2% higher than in broad-leaved. This difference is due especially to the higher lignin content and partly also to the higher resin, wax and oil content present in conifers. Compared to cellulose (17.2-17.5 MJ/kg) and hemicellulose (16 MJ/kg), lignin has a higher NCV0 (26-27 MJ/kg). Some variability in the anhydrous calorific value is also due to the slight variability in hydrogen (H) content and to the comparatively much wider variability in ash contents.

However, when taking into account agricultural biofuels as well, the oven-dry calorific value varies within a 16.5 to 19 MJ/Kg interval. The NCV0 of wood fuels is on average 9% higher than that of herbaceous plants.

Energy content for various biomass (dry weight  basis)

Below you will find an overview of selected raw materials. 

Are you struggling to figure out what the calorific value for your raw material is, don't hesitate to contact us.

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Raw Material
KJ/Kg
(KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
KJ/Kg
(KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
Btu/Kg
(British thermal unit/kg)Lower calorific values
Btu/Kg
(British thermal unit/kg)Higher calorific values
Softwood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17500
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
21100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16590
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
20003
Hardwood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18600
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20700
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17633
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19624
Oak
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17400
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16495
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17822
Birch wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18700
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17728
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19055
Pine wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19500
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18486
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19718
Douglas pine wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19700
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
21000
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18676
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19908
Spruce wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18500
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17538
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18770
Cherry wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17900
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16969
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18107
Cypress wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
21500
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
23000
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
20382
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
21804
Elm wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19000
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20500
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18012
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19434
Eucaluptus wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18300
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19600
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17348
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18581
Maple wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18700
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20000
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17728
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18960
Larch wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18700
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17728
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19055
Poplar wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19400
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18391
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19718
Teak wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18900
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20200
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17917
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19150
Coconut trunk wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
16600
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
17800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
15737
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
16874
Willow wood
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17300
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18600
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16400
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17633
Hardwood bark
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18300
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19600
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17348
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18581
Oak bark
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
18300
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19300
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
17348
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18296
Pine bark
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19700
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
21000
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18676
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19908
Spruce bark
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19100
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
20300
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18107
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
19244
Cedar bark
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19800
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
21100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18770
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
20003
Douglas fir bark
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
20800
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
22100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
19718
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
20951
Eucaluptus bark
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17300
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18500
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16400
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17538
Miscantus/Napier grass
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17800
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16874
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18107
Switchgrass
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
16800
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
15926
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18107
Bamboo
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
19000
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
18012
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18770
Alfalfa
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17030
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18500
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16144
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17538
Lucerne
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17700
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19000
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16780
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18012
Cotton gin trash
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
15200
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
1600
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
14410
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
15452
Cotton stalks
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17000
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18300
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16116
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17348
Flax
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17800
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16874
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17822
Hemp
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
16500
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
17600
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
15642
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
16685
Jute stick
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17800
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19400
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16874
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18391
Grass
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17000
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18100
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16116
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17159
Hay
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
16200
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18300
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
15358
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17348
Corn stalks/stover
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
16800
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18500
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
15926
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17538
Suger cane bagasse
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
17700
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
19400
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
16780
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
18391
Wheat straw
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
15000
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
18900
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
14220
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
17917
Rice straw
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
13500
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
14800
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
12798
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
14030
Rice husk
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Lower calorific values
14200
KJ/Kg (KiloJoule/Kg)
Higher calorific values
15400
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Lower calorific values
13462
Btu/Kg (British thermal unit/kg)
Higher calorific values
14599
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