The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has developed standards for solid biofuels, including wood biomass, under Technical Committee (TC) 335 Solid Biofuels. COFORD Connects publication Preview of European standards for solid biofuels, which is available at www.woodenergy.ie under Documents and Publications gives an overview of the work of TC 335. The standards are available at www.standards.ie.
Ireland has adopted the TC335 standards. Although it is not a legal obligation for fuel suppliers to apply this standard, it is strongly recommended that purchasers look for fuels meeting the informative recommendations provided in the standard when purchasing wood fuels.
Solid biofuels include woody biomass (chips, hogfuel, firewood, wood pellets, briquettes), herbaceous biomass (straw, grass, miscanthus, etc.), fruit biomass (olive stones, cherry pits, grape waste, nut shells, etc.), as well as a group called ‘blends and mixtures’. The definition of solid biofuels excludes all animal-based biomass (e.g. manure, meat and bone meal) and aquatic biomass (such as algae); these fuels will be dealt with by other standardisation committees. Demolition timber is considered a hazardous waste and is not included in the solid biofuel category.
Wood pellets are often imported into Ireland. Other equivalent standards may therefore have been applied to these products and are equally valid. Common European standards for wood pellets include:
- ONORM M17135 (Austria)
- SS 187120 & SS 187121 (Sweden)
- DIN 51731 (Germany)
In the US and Canada the equivalent standard is "Premium Grade".