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Quality of Wood Pellets Produced in British Columbia for Export

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 26(6): 1013-1020. (doi: 10.13031/2013.35902) @2010
Authors:   J. S. Tumuluru, S. Sokhansanj, C. J. Lim, T. Bi, A. Lau, S. Melin, T. Sowlati, E. Oveisi
Keywords:   Wood pellets, Pellet properties, Solid fuel, Pellet standards, Pellet grades

Wood pellet production and its use for heat and power production are increasing worldwide. The quality of export pellets has to consistently meet certain specifications as stipulated by the larger buyers, such as power utilities or as specified by the standards used for the non-industrial bag market. No specific data is available regarding the quality of export pellets to Europe. To develop a set of baseline data, wood pellets were sampled at an export terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The sampling period was 18 months in 2007-2008 when pellets were transferred from storage bins to the ocean vessels. The sampling frequency was once every 1.5 to 2 months for a total of 9 loading/shipping events. The physical properties of the wood pellets measured were moisture content in the range of 3.5% to 6.5%, bulk density from 728 to 808 kg/m3, durability from 97% to 99%, fines content from 0.03% to 0.87%, calorific value as is from 17 to almost 18 MJ/kg, and ash content from 0.26% to 0.93%.The diameter and length were in the range of 6.4 to 6.5 mm and 14.0 to 19.0 mm, respectively. All of these values met the published non-industrial European grades (CEN) and the grades specified by the Pellet Fuel Institute for the United States for the bag market. The measured values for wood pellet properties were consistent except the ash content values decreased over the test period.

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