While the efforts of ISO TC 238 are ongoing, they are greatly accelerated each year during the annual plenary and working group meetings, which are being held in Espoo, Finland, May 28 to June 1.
As many pellet manufacturers are likely aware, ISO TC 238 is the International Standards Organization Technical Committee through which numerous countries around the world are working together to develop standards for solid biofuels. While the efforts of ISO TC 238 are ongoing, they are greatly accelerated each year during the annual plenary and working group meetings, which are being held in Espoo, Finland, May 28 to June 1. This year, the U.S. will be represented by three delegates, including Scott Cedarquist, administrator of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ U.S. Technical Advisory Group (ASABE is the direct representative of ANSI), Georgia Biomass’s Ritu Linhart, who is active on multiple ISO TC 238 Working Groups, and me, Chris Wiberg of Timber Products Inspection/ Biomass Energy Lab, and chairman of the U.S. TAG. These efforts are being sponsored by the Pellet Fuels Institute, as well as the employer of each delegate.
While there are always projects at different levels of development within ISO TC 238, this year, there are some projects of significant interest. An issue has been raised with the test method for determining fines content–ISO 18846. This method has been challenged as not being representative of the true amount of fines in the sample tested. The reasons behind this challenge are complicated, so it is anticipated that this method will be reviewed in detail, and could be altered, and/or a new method created, which could change the way fines are measured. We are expecting this to be a significant point of discussion and debate within the assigned working group. This issue is of particular interest to wood pellet producers who supply export power markets, due to an emphasis on fines content as part of contractual requirements. This project is expected to be jointly led by the U.S. and U.K.