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Wood Pellet Quality Schemes

Anyone looking at renewable energy options can immediately see that there are many different options available from solar power and wind turbines right through to ground and air source heat pumps. Biomass boilers are currently being hailed as the boiler industry's answer to renewable energy.

Biomass boilers need fuel and many of these boilers use wood in the form of pellets. The wood pellet industry quickly realised the need for a quality assurance scheme to ensure that the wood pellets being used to produce biomass energy would be of a suitable quality to enable its customers to get the best from their biomass boilers.

Currently there are four recognised schemes to certify the quality of the wood pellets supplied to produce biomass energy.

1. DINplus was the first wood pellet quality scheme to emerge in this market. It began in Germany and became popular in the European heating markets. Originally it was based upon the German standards in place at the time but it has now adapted E.U. Standards for wood pellets (EN 14961-2). Although it is still recognised in the area of quality control for wood pellets it has been overtaken in the European market by ENplus.

2. ENplus was established in 2011 and has the advantage of tracking the entire supply chain and it also includes monitoring for greenhouse gas emissions and sustainability. This certification was developed jointly by several European countries under the Pellcert project and is overseen by the European Pellet Council. ENplus is based on the European standard for wood pellets( EN14961-2) and it is shortly expected to adopt the new ISO wood pellet standards.  ENplus standards have been so well- accepted in the European heating markets that wood pellet producers from N.America are beginning to adopt these standards to facilitate their export trade with Europe.

3. CANplus is Canada's own certification scheme which mirrors the ENplus scheme used widely in Europe. The main difference is that CANplus uses a red maple leaf as its quality mark and is mainly intended for the Canadian domestic market for biomass heating energy.

4. The last scheme is the PFI (Pellet Fuels Institute) scheme developed in the U.S.A. which recognises three different grades of wood pellet with premium, standard and utility grades. In 2010 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency( EPA) announced its intention to regulate residential wood burning appliances and the PFI quality assurance scheme has ensured that its certification would meet the EPA's requirements.

Whichever type of biomass boiler you choose it is comforting to know that you can rely on the quality of the wood pellets you use to maximise the efficiency of your biomass boiler and to protect the environment by being a sustainable source of biomass energy.

To find out more about the Wood Pellet boilers or to book your impartial assessment please contact Th!nk Energy today.