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The Voice of Canada’s growing pellet sector

Research and Development Partnership with University of British Columbia

WPAC and UBC are partners in the Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group ("BBRG"). Sample research topics include:

  • Self-heating and spontaneous combustion of wood pellets
  • Wood dust explosibility
  • Hygiene effects of airborne dust
  • Bark as feedstock
  • Wood pellet lifecycle analysis
  • Ventilation, storage, and cooling
  • Oxygen depletion during sea transportation
  • Off-gassing phenomena
  • Materials safety data sheets
Examples of equipment in the BBRG laboratory at UBC

Other WPAC Development Initiatives

  • WPAC's research director, Staffan Melin was a contributing author of the Pellet Handbook published in 2010 by Earthscan.
  • WPAC is developing a best practices handbook, audit process, and certification program to improve the design, operation, and maintenance of wood pellet manufacturing facilities.
  • WPAC's research director, Staffan Melin is chair of a committee of the International Organization for Standardization that is developing standard testing procedures for wood pellets.
  • Together with Natural Resources Canada, FPInnovations, Premium Pellet Ltd., and BC Bioenergy Network, WPAC is developing a commercial scale pellet torrefaction facility. Torrefaction is a process that improves the quality of wood pellets by increasing energy density, making them waterproof, and increasing friability so that they can be puliverized directly with coal.
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These pictures show wood pellets (left) and pellets of torrefied wood (right).

Other resources

Please refer to these white papers for more information on wood pellet research on health, safety, and transport issues.

Research on off-gassing and self heating of wood pellets during bulk storage

Modelling of off-gassing during marine transport - wood pellets

Review of off-gassing from wood pellets - Canadian perspective

Emissions during transport

Off-gassing during transport

Expolsibility of dust from pellets

Airborne dust evaluation - wood pellets

Oxygen depletion during sea transport - wood pellets

Airflow for bulk wood pellets

Industry Links

Industry Links



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Become a Member


WPAC Safety Committee

To find more information about the WPAC Safety Committee and safety resources, please click here

Power Generation


Sustainable power

The vast majority of Canadian wood pellets are made from sawmill residuals - sawdust. The rest are made from the residuals from harvesting operations for sawmills and pulp mills, or low-grade timber from forest industry harvest sites that has no other economic value. Think firewood. Read more...

Breathing easier - pellet emissions vs coal

Sustainability should be top of mind for any company that wants to stay in the game in today’s world.

As important a role as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions play, we also need to focus on noxious emissions versus coal.


Industry News


  • Mark your calendars! New pellet safety webinar series coming soon

    Safety is the foundation of our pellet industry. Our work around safety never ends; we are constantly striving for new ways to improve safety whether it be the equipment we use or the processes that support good, safe decision making.[…]

  • The role RNG is playing in transitioning Canada toward a carbon-negative future

    The cost to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) is higher than that of conventional natural gas, but a number of factors are helping to reduce the gap. Incentives, regulatory action and innovations introduced by utilities have contributed toward shrinking the[…]


The Pellet Advantage

Efficient and Plentiful Production

Wood Pellet Association of Canada members are world leaders in the design and operation of modern pellet plants.


Innovating our way to a safer, better product

Wood pellets are a safe, reliable modern fuel. But they are still a fuel, requiring care in producing, shipping and storing.


Renewable and sustainable? Energy really can grow on trees.

There is no single energy source capable of solving our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead we need to look to a mix of new fuels, including wood pellets.


Argus Wood Pellet Index

US$ per metric tonneArgus Wood Pellet Index

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