Managing Silo Size and Humidity Key to Controlling Self-heating in Pellets

By Shahab Sokhansanj, Fahimeh Yazdan Panah and Jun Sian Lee
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
December 21, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Self-heating is one of the leading causes of fire and explosion in storing wood pellets. …five fire and explosion events occurred in wood storage facilities in 2021, and most recently, in 2023, self-heating led to a fire in Japan’s Yonago biomass-fired power generation plant. These types of incidents are believed to be initiated by temperature rise caused by moisture adsorption and condensation. The temperature increase is then accelerated when an oxidizable material, such as woody biomass, reacts to produce heat, which accumulates to a temperature of ignition and combustion. …when it is not controlled, fire and explosion can occur in biomass storage facilities and cause damage to health and property. Over the past 20 years, researchers at the Biomass & Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) at the University of British Columbia have carried out self-heating research, in parallel with off-gassing research to develop six key steps pellet producers can take to prevent self-heating events.

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