Canadian Biomass Magazine

Pellet board approves standards program

October 19, 2010
By Pellet Fuels Institute


Pellet board approves standards program

The Pellet Fuels Institute is forwarding the latest version of its densified fuel standards to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for consideration as an enforceable industry standard.

Oct. 19, 2010 – After several months of intense work and a great deal of industry
outreach, the Standards Committee of the U.S.-based Pellet Fuels Institute
(PFI) presented its board of directors with revised standards program documents
for consideration. On October 7, 2010, the PFI board of directors unanimously
passed the latest version of the PFI North American Residential/Commercial
Densified Fuel Standards Program. This approval allows the program to be
forwarded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) well within EPA's
requested timeline to have an enforceable industry standard in place.

The greatest differences between the 2009 program and the current program include
independent third-party inspections, sampling, testing, and overall program
oversight. Many key components of the earlier program remain intact. The
program has a new look and comprises four separate documents.

1. PFI Standard Specification for Residential/Commercial Densified Fuel
document outlines the actual grade parameter test method requirements for
densified fuels registered in the program. Several key changes have been made
to this document, including the inclusion of another fines testing option and
the removal of the Super Premium grade.

2. PFI North American Certification of Residential/Commercial Densified Fuel
document outlines the roles and responsibilities of all participants in the
program, including the certified densified fuel manufacturers, the certification
body, accredited testing laboratories, and accredited auditing agencies.
Changes to this document include the transfer of oversight of the program from
PFI to the certification body, changes to the certification mark, and revisions
to requirements for reapplication for manufacturers following loss of

3. PFI Residential/Commercial Densified Fuel QA/QC Handbook

document provides quality control and quality assurance procedures for the
production of residential/commercial densified fuels. Changes include:
clarification of trace amounts of materials; provision for the use of recycled
pallets, construction debris, and post-consumer recycled wood (provided that
they are verified as clean through an inspection/certification process);
optional in-house testing facilities; inclusion of third-party inspections
(monthly) and sampling (per 1000 tons); establishing compliance criteria for
audited samples at 95%, with deficient samples not exceeding criteria by
10% (2% for durability).

4. PFI Residential/Commercial Densified Fuel Enforcement Regulations

This is
a new document, drafted since the PFI annual meeting was held in July 2010. It
outlines the roles and responsibilities of the auditing agencies and
laboratories and the oversight requirements of the certification body.

In the
upcoming months, PFI hopes to report that EPA has included the PFI standard as
the preferred option for regulation of densified fuels under the New Source
Performance Standards for Residential Wood Heaters.

For further background information, see Canadian Biomass web exclusive by Heather Hager: Wood pellet standards to be made mandatory.

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