Elimination of CO Off-gassing from Stored Wood Pellets Webinar
Over the past 5 years, experts in the pellet industry found that stored wood pellets can off-gas carbon monoxide (CO) at dangerous levels. Measurements in a pellet storage warehouse and in multiple pellet bins have shown concentrations in excess of OSHA regulatory standards. Concentrations in a home with a 10-ton bag storage system exceeded ASHRAE guidelines for indoor CO concentrations. As a result, Renewable Heat New York has required pellet storage to be outside of the structure being heated with the pellets.
NYSERDA funded a study by Prof. Phil Hopke and others who identified an oxidation process causing pellets to offgas CO. Prof. Hopke will present his experiments that provided a pathway to a solution. Elimination of the autoxidation would substantially reduce or eliminate CO off-gassing. The process was simulated using a small auger and produced CO-free fiber. Injecting ozone into the main feed auger of a 100,000 ton/year pellet mill produced no-CO pellets that have the same calorific content as normal pellets.
The process was implemented at Curran Renewable Energy in Massena NY in May, 2018 (?) for a cost of approximately $5,000 for the unit and approximately $2000 for ozone and CO monitors. Kelli Ramsey from Curran Renewable Energy will present initial operating experience. She will describe how the use of this inexpensive and easy to implement addition to the pellet manufacturing process eliminates the issues of CO and aldehydes without affecting pellet quality. Curran Renewable Energy ‘s hope is that this technology can better the marketplace for anybody in the wood pellet business. Relieving the fear of carbon monoxide off-gassing of the storage of wood pellets is a relatively simple fix. Wood pellet manufacturers already face elements out of our control like mild or short winters, low oil prices and exchange rates which can make market demand challenging. This ozonolysis system eliminates one more possible hurdle regarding the concern over the storage of wood pellets.
- Philip K. Hopke, Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. He has been testing the performance of wood pellet systems and issues related to wood pellet quality for the past decade.
- Kelli K. Ramsey, Marketing Manager, Curran Renewable Energy, Massena, NY
Kelli Ramsey is the Marketing Manager for Curran Renewable Energy, a family owned and operated wood pellet manufacturing company in Massena, NY. Kelli started working for Curran Renewable Energy in 2010 where she provides expertise in the areas of digital and print marketing, branding and packaging design, sales and logistics as well as consumer relations. Her focus is on promoting wood pellets and the biomass renewable energy sector with an emphasis on its sustainability, cost savings, energy independence and local economic job creation.