Canadian Biomass Magazine

Dryers Equipment Features Pellets WPAC
5 steps to enhance safety of direct-heated belt dryers

October 21, 2022  By Fahimeh Yazdan Panah


Photo courtesy Pinnacle Renewable Energy (Drax).

As belt dryers have become more common, the pellet industry has experienced several safety incidents over the past few years. In response, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada has developed a Fact Sheet for the safer operation of direct-heated belt dryers.

Direct-heated belt dryers used in wood pellet plants present the risk of fire and deflagration that could arise from a range of conditions, including ignition sources entering the dryer through air intake, fibre infeed, or propagating from interconnected equipment.

The one-page fact sheet is based on the Belt Dryer Safety Symposium’s working group’s final report on belt dryer safety which reviewed the current practices and discussed controls and procedures for safer operations of direct-heated belt dryers. The working group also reviewed the positive aspects in safety, operations, and efficiency of indirect-heated system.

The fact sheet outlines five steps operators and workers can take to enhance safety of direct-heated belt dryers:

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  1. Monitor infeed contaminants
  2. Maintain infeed equipment
  3. Prevent ignition sources
  4. Compete housekeeping
  5. Communicate to your supervisor

View the Safer Operation of Direct-Heated Belt Dryers Fact Sheet here.


Fahimeh Yazdan Panah is the director of research and technical development for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada.


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