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Wood Pellet Quality Schemes

If you are in the wood pellet manufacturing business, you have likely
heard about various pellet quality schemes to certify or qualify your
product. While there are several, the four most commonly referenced in
North America are the Pellet Fuels Institute Standards Program, CANplus,
ENplus and DINplus. These schemes are similar in many ways, but provide
different market opportunities, making it difficult for wood pellet
producers to decide which quality scheme is best suited for their
business models. Following is a high-level overview.

let’s talk about similarities. All provide a means by which pellet fuel
producers can adhere to an established set of quality control and
quality assurance measures to assure that the overall pellet production
operation is committed to a quality process. In addition, each defines
product grades and grade criteria to which the product is tested to
verify compliance with the grade, and each provides a label that
compliant producers can print on their bags or include with their bulk
material shipping documents to signify quality. All of these quality
schemes incorporate third-party auditing and testing and all of these
schemes are overseen by an accreditation or certification body. At their
cores, all of these quality schemes provide a sound basis for quality

Then, of course, there are numerous differences. This
column is not long enough to go through all of the various nuances that
make each of these quality schemes unique, so I will stick to the
differences that provide key value towards selling wood pellets into
various markets. 

Established in 2002, DINplus was the first wood
pellet quality scheme to enter the market. It was established by DIN
Certco in Germany and early on gained much popularity in German and
other European heating markets. DINplus was originally based on the
German DIN wood pellet standards, which gave it a very regional
emphasis, but has since adopted the European Union standards for wood
pellets (EN 14961-2) and is now also referencing the newly developed ISO
wood pellet standards (ISO 17225-2). Still recognized today, DINplus
seems to be losing popularity to the development of the ENplus quality

The ENplus quality scheme was established in 2011 and
has gained popularity rapidly in European heating markets. ENplus is
very similar to DINplus in many ways, but has expanded the scope over
the entire supply chain, including trader certification, and
incorporates tracking for greenhouse gas emissions and sustainability.
ENplus was a collaborative effort by several European countries under
the Pellcert project and is overseen by the European Pellet Council,
which is part of the AEBIOM European Biomass Association. ENplus is
based on the EU standard for wood pellets (EN 14961-2) and is
anticipated to reference the newly developed ISO wood pellet standards
(ISO 17225-2) with the next draft. Due to a robust acceptance within
European heating markets, wood pellet producers from North America that
are reasonably accessible to export trade routes can find great value in
certifying to the ENplus quality scheme. Within North American markets,
however, ENplus has been slow to emerge.

In recent years, Canada
has also developed a wood pellet quality scheme called CANplus, which
is essentially the same as ENplus, in that wood pellet producers first
certify to ENplus and then apply to the Wood Pellet Association of
Canada for CANplus certification. The primary difference between the two
is that the CANplus quality mark uses the red maple leaf, and is
intended for Canadian residential heating markets.

While DINplus,
ENplus and CANplus are all based on the European Union and ISO
standards (references grades criteria for A1, A2, and B based on EN
14961-2 or ISO 17225-2), the PFI Standards Program is the one quality
scheme that currently reflects historical North American grade
criteria—premium, standard and utility grades. PFI released the first
version of its quality scheme in 2008. In 2010, the U.S. EPA made it
known that it intended to regulate residential wood combustion
appliances and the next year, PFI made substantial modifications to
assure that the PFI quality scheme would comply with the EPA’s
anticipated requirements. The new rule is not yet finalized, but it is
expected the U.S. EPA will reference the PFI quality scheme as part of
its regulation.

Read More: Wood Pellet Steam Boilers, Wood Pellet Steam Generator, Wood Pellet Hot Water Boilers


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