Biomass storage and safety guidelines

15 October 2021

Biomass storage is an essential part of the bioenergy supply chain. Without it, there would not be a way to maintain a continuous supply of feedstock for bioenergy systems. During storage, however, natural biological, chemical and physical processes occur, resulting in: dry-matter loss, off-gassing and self-heating.

The Canadian Wood Fibre Centre and collaborators have focused on finding solutions to mitigate these problems and optimize biomass storage. Based on four recent scientific publications, here are some important findings and considerations for pile management of forestry residues:

1. Biomass Storage Safety
2. Bark vs. Woodchip Storage
3. Fresh vs. Older Woodchip Storage Piles
4. Pre-Treatment Strategies of Control Self-Heating and Optimize Biomass Storage.

It is critical that the industry takes the time to know all of the storage risks and guidelines outlined by research findings. Monitoring and preparedness will go a long way to maintain safety, optimize biofuel quality and the overall benefits of using woody biomass as a renewable energy source. Information on the above four issues from research and trials along with links if further details are required can be found here.

Biofuel harvesting systems, the extraction and storage of biofuel and wood chips, drying and transport options are going to be an integral part of the wood residues event. Residues to Revenues 2022 that has been set up for local forest owners, wood harvesting and transport contractors and those supplying wood wastes from sawmilling and wood manufacturing operations on 9-10 March 2022. Further information on the Rotorua, New Zealand event and planned programme of conference, workshops and trade exhibitions can be found here.