Home Safety Belt Dryer Safety

Belt Dryer Safety

As belt dryers have become more common, the pellet industry has experienced several safety incidents over the past few years. The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), in co-operation with the BC Forest Safety Council, WorkSafeBC and media partner Canadian Biomass, held the Belt Dryer Symposium on Nov. 25, 2020. The purpose of the Belt Dryer Safety Symposium was to share the learnings from these incidents and for individual operators to share in-house safe operating procedures with their industry colleagues. You can read more about the symposium and key learnings here.

The Working Group released its final report on belt dryer safety in 2022, after more than 50 meetings in 2021. You can be read the brief report here. A one-page factsheet for operators is also available here.

Key recommendations include:

  • removing infeed contaminants and resisting the urge to ensure clean feedstock enters dryers;
  • using indirect-heated belt dryers instead of direct-heated belt dryers;
  • applying additional controls besides the ones provided by the dryer manufacturers, such as spark detection and suppression in the burner channel, below belt internal deluge, Infra-Red (IR) thermal detection above and below belts, and controlling contaminants from entering the burner; and
  • employing the bow tie analysis approach to review and update safety procedures looking for any missing steps.

Anyone seeking more information or interested in joining the working group should contact Fahimeh Yazdan Panah, WPAC’s director of research and technical development:

Tel: 1-778-990-2656
Email: fahimeh@pellet.org