Association News and Publications

WPAC climate change pellets

For decades, wood waste from manufacturing was burned in beehive burners and unwanted logs, branches and tops from harvesting were left on site, creating a fire and insect risk. Today, an increasing amount of that waste is being turned into wood pellets in Canada. Those pellets are used around the world to produce clean energy and to displace fossil fuels – supporting efforts to meet important global climate change targets.

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sawdust unloading
Figure 1. Sawdust trailers being unloaded at a Canadian wood pellet plant

Canada is a leading supplier of wood pellets from certified sustainable and legal sources. Today, electric power stations in Europe and Asia are using Canadian wood pellets to displace coal and reduce fossil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  For example, Drax Power operates the world’s largest biomass power station providing about six percent of the UK’s electricity supply.  Drax was a former coal power station that converted to wood pellets, thereby reducing its GHG emissions by more than eighty percent. Many of these wood pellets are imported from Canada.

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scott bax 5F7B4593

Canada’s forests are some of the most resilient and sustainably managed in the world.  They are subject to stringent environmental regulation, careful management and extensive third-party certification. That’s why customers requiring sustainable biomass products have confidence in the Canadian wood pellet sector.

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WPAC combustible gas

Wood pellet plants produce syngas – a highly explosive mix of carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen and other volatiles – during various stages of the pellet manufacturing process. This combustible gas is produced whenever biomass is subjected to high temperatures in a low-oxygen environment. It often accumulates within enclosed areas such as dryers, ducts, cyclones and piping. If not managed properly, syngas can cause catastrophic fires, explosions and deflagrations and resultant injuries, loss of life and equipment. This phenomenon is equally true for woody and agricultural biomass.

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bush residuals 2'
Canada’s forests are some of the most resilient and sustainably managed in the world. They are subject to stringent environmental regulation, careful management and extensive third-party certification. That’s why customers requiring sustainable biomass products have confidence in the Canadian wood pellet sector.

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