European Biomass Association to launch pellet standard
June 8, 2012
By Argus Media
June 8, 2012, London, UK - The European Biomass Association (AEBIOM) is looking to implement a new pellet standard for agricultural and mixed biomass pellets.
June 8, 2012, London, UK – The European Biomass Association (AEBIOM) is looking to implement a new pellet standard for agricultural and mixed biomass pellets.
The implementation of the ENagro certification would be similar to the association's ENplus certification for wood pellets, AEBIOM bioenergy expert Peter Rechberger said, but was unable to give a launch date for the certification.
“Once the sector agrees on a handbook for the standard, the implementation should happen quickly as it will have the same structure, inspection and verification bodies as the ENplus standard,” Rechberger said. “The problems lie in the fact that agricultural biomass producers tend to be smaller and their residues aggregated to make the pellets, so they might not agree to yearly audits and such stringent requirements.”
Agricultural pellets are likely to be used mainly on large-scale and industrial installations, according to Rechberger, as agricultural feedstocks produce more ash than wood pellets, making them unsuitable for residential boilers.
“Industrial-scale agricultural residue use for energy is already incentivised in some countries such as Poland, so I think this will be the key range for agricultural pellets,” Rechberger said. “They could also be used in larger, commercial-scale buildings.”
For industrial-scale users, a European standard is important as it will ensure a consistent quality of agricultural pellet, rather than the highest possible quality of pellet, Rechberger said.
“Industrial-scale users have room to manoeuvre,” he said. “But they need consistency.”
The ENagro certification standard was developed and proposed to AEBIOM by Mixbiopells, a biomass information project that includes seven European project partners and is supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and the European Pellet Council (EPC).
The proposed standards would include cereal straw, miscanthus, reed canary grass, blended A class and blended B class, according to Mixbiopells partner the Technical Research Institute of Sweden.
Agricultural pellets are increasingly in demand as wood pellet raw material prices increase and users expect shortages in the near future, according to the EPC's Eija Alakangas.
“Agricultural residues are an unexploited potential so far,” she said. “We need a replacement for wood pellets as prices increase and there are supply shortages.”
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