Optimizing the biomass supply chain and use towards clean BB heating

by BB-CLEAN funded by ERDF - Alpine Space Project

Submit your own idea/concept/solution
challenge Owners

Posted by Marc on 08-06-2020 - Last updated on 08-07-2020

It is clear that BB-Installations should use the best available wood quality for burning. However this is often not available, or the user are not aware of the importance of high quality. So what approaches can be used to guide the users or broaden the burning portfolio? An important percentage of the wood supplying industry is also informal. And many house owners have their own wood for burning or burn waste disposals. This Challenge is part of the Interreg-Alpine Space project BB-CLEAN: Strategic tools towards a sustainable use of biomass for low carbon domestic heating. It is dedicated to an exclusive expert crowd of BB-Experts in the Alpine Region.


What can we do to optimize the biomass supply chain and the correct use of fuel qualities?


An important issue in the context of clean BB is the attitude of the users to strictly stick to their long-practiced behaviour patterns. People are often unaware of the importance of quality fuel and how they can recognise it. This is why wet and rotten wood is burned. There is also a need for education among fuel producers, with regard to the production of high-quality fuel.

Biomass fuel suppliers must be trained in the correct production of high-quality fuels. There are already programmes for this. These programmes are designed to teach farmers the correct storage conditions and quality criteria. Special attention is paid to the water content. They are also shown that good fuels should also cost something.

The biggest problem are the old plants, especially the all-burners and the partly self-built plants. Manually refillable plants always carry the risk of being operated incorrectly and misused as waste incinerators. From garden fences to pallets and newsprint, everything that burns will be burned.

Otherwise, high emission levels are often due to low quality fuels or poor user behaviour. Heating material of insufficient quality, with too high humidity is used and the fuel is not stored appropriately. In the case of individual firing systems, ignition is particularly susceptible to errors. The highest emission values occur in this phase.

The quality of the fuels, especially the moisture content, plays a major role in the generation of emissions. While the moisture content of fresh wood is easy to handle in larger, automatically fed boilers due to the mass of fuel and the control system, moisture poses an increased problem in smaller plants.

The sale or use of low-quality fuels contributes to the formation of emissions. This problem is particularly prevalent with wood and wood chips. Especially imports from abroad, which are then sold in local stores, often have too high moisture contents.

Your Ideas/Answers:

We are especially looking for ideas and your experiences in the following three fields of actions:

1.    Knowledge of high quality biomass as fuel in domestic heating appliances (Awareness)

2.    Encourage the development of local wood supply chain

3.    Certification of the entire wood supply chain (also for briquettes, wood chips and firewood, not only for pellets).

The ideas could be of various detailness from just short thoughts/experiences to larger concepts.