Comparative analysis of wood pellet parameters: Canadian case study
SubjectWood pellet production
Pellet quality characteristics
Wood pellet domestic consumption in Canada
Wood pellet export
MetadataShow full item record
Canada is one of the world leaders in wood pellet production and export, however, domestic consumption is extremely low. In addition there is no national standard in Canada for wood pellets. The Canadian government announced that it will increase wood pellet usage as an alternative to coal and natural gas. Wood pellets when compared to natural gas and coal, is an environmental friendly, energy-intensive and easily transported alternative. An independent comparative analysis of prime class (residential) wood pellets was performed in this study. We tested eight producers from five Canadian provinces (BC, ON, MB, NS and QC). The measurements of pellet quality characteristics (i.e., calorific value, moisture content, ash content, durability, bulk density, fines amount, compressive strength, fixed carbon and volatile organic compounds) were analysed. We carried out a statistical analysis of our results with the intent of finding interdependences between parameters. The analysis results show that average values of tested parameters are matching European and North American standards. Significant correlations between several parameters were found. It was also noted that there is a significant correlation between compressive resistance and pellet durability. Therefore, it was found that it is possible to use the compressive resistance test for rapid determination of pellet quality. A linear regression model for predicting mechanical durability was also developed. According to the comparative analysis it will be possible to set parameters equal to other countries for future national standard development in Canada. This will give an opportunity to increase domestic consumption and bring biomass energy through micro-generating and heating projects to geographically isolated areas and to small forest communities as an alternative and easily accessible energy source.