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The Voice of Canada’s growing pellet sector
  • Video: Heating with Wood Pellets

    Heating with wood pellets is an effective way to help in the fight against climate change.

  • Video: Wood Pellet Association of Canada

    Existing coal plants can be cost-effectively repurposed to use wood pellet fuel to help the environment and reduce air pollution.

  • Pellets

    Made from renewable forest byproducts and unmerchantable material, wood pellets from Canada provide a renewable, sustainable fuel source for generations to enjoy. | Read More

  • Sustainable

    Only 9% of the world’s forest are certified. Over 42% of them are in Canada, making it an ideal source for sustainable wood pellets. | Read More

  • Renewable

    WPAC members rely on sawmill waste and forest harvest residuals for the bulk of their fibre supply, allowing 100% resource use. | Read More

  • Fossil Fuel Alternative

    Whether on their own or co-fired with coal, wood pellets provide a lower carbon footprint and renewable energy source. | Read More

  • Innovative

    WPAC continues to support R&D in key wood pellet areas like safety, efficiency, fuel stability, energy content and more. | Read More

Nov. 3, 2017 - The wood pellet research laboratory (BBRG) at the University of British Columbia is getting a boost of $250,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The funding is part of a larger grant of $1.8 million to a larger group of UBC researchers to further support the development of the UBC’s biorefining research and innovation capacity. Founded in 1997, the CFI funds state-of-the-art research infrastructure (facilities and equipment) that Canadian researchers will use to conduct world-class research.

ubc_equipment_wood_pellets.pngThe one-time infrastructure grant will be used to acquire a new pilot scale pellet mill complete with hammer mill, conditioning chamber, pellet press, pellet cooling system, and screens for fine removal. The new equipment will augment the already well established facilities for investigations on pellet production, handling and storage. In addition to pilot scale continuous pellet system, a new precision single pellet press will enable the scientists to study the development of new formulations, design, and operating conditions to manufacture high quality pellets. The single pellet press is capable of controlling temperature, moisture, particle size, and speed of compaction, and pressure.

In addition to the densification equipment, a pilot scale continuous heat treatment (pyrolysis) system is planned to test the commercial production of biochar and biocoal. The equipment will be installed in the existing Bioenergy Research and Development Facilities where the Nexterra gasifier is located. The close proximity to the gasifier will facilitate the translation of fundamental research into new prototypes and, ultimately, scalable, market-ready sustainable bioproducts.

The pilot scale pellet mill will be managed by BBRG at UBC. The BBRG is a world-class research group, based at the University of British Columbia. The group conducts advanced research and develops innovative solutions to meet the needs of the emerging biobased businesses in Canada and around the world. To meet its goals, BBRG is made up of a core group of engineers and scientists focused on turning raw biomass into industrial feedstock that would meet the requirements of producing high value intermediate chemicals and biofuels.

The main technical activities of the group consists of evaluating the physical and chemical properties in relation to biomass size reduction, drying, pelletization, and best practices for safe handling and storage of biomaterials. The group has also unique expertise in developing mathematical models for conducting feedstock supply chain simulations and techno economic assessments. In short, BBRG bridges the often neglected gap between raw biomass source and biomass conversion. As feedstock engineers, BBRG integrates all the processes and management strategies involved from biomass harvest until just prior to final conversion to bioenergy, and bioproducts:
  • Supply chain logistics – modeling and analysis
  • Resource assessment and analysis
  • Physical and chemical characterization of biomass
  • Densification that includes drying, size reduction, pelletization
  • Best practices for storage and handling of raw biomass and ready to deploy feedstock
  • Life cycle analysis, cost benefit analysis
BBRG collaborates with industry and government to meet the needs of the emerging bioeconomy. The research ranges from fundamental laboratory experiments to applied, short-term contract work for companies and other organizations on strategic biomass opportunities. The group’s vision is to preserve and enhance the UBC’s position as a global leader in biomass and bioenergy sciences and engineering. Our mission is to enable the emergence of a sustainable biobased businesses through coordinated research, innovation and effective education. We are committed to understanding, creating and conducting world-class research in the area of biomass and bioenergy as well as technology development. Our work demonstrates that there is a viable, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

The overall goal of our research program is to upgrade raw biomass to consistent high quality feedstock for biofuel and bioproducts.
  • Conduct research and develop innovative technologies to supply, process, store and convert lignocellulosic biomass into a competitive high quality feedstock
  • Create and apply comprehensive logistical models and decision-support systems to ensure sustainable and economically competitive biomass supplies for the bio-based industry
  • Train and educate young engineers for the emerging bio-economy
  • Provide consultation and research services to biomass and bioenergy companies and associations
Partners (Industry and University): Wood Pellet Association of Canada, TimberWest, Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Western Forest Products, Global Bio Coal, Pinnacle Energy, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) -CEATI International Inc., LGI, Terminal Forest Products, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, ORNL, NRCAN CANBMET, Boeing, Air Canada, Altentech, BC Innovations, BC Ministry of Forest, City of Vancouver, Fibreco, FPInnovations, NRC, NORAM, Pacific Bio, Vattenfall, Weyerhaeuser, Zilkha Biomass Energy, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, University of Applied Forest Science Rottenburg

HQP training
Since its inception in 2005, BBRG has trained and graduated more than 75 undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D.. BBRG has also hosted +150 visitors and researchers from around the world.

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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


  • Drax, GB Railfrieght, extend contract to transport biomass

    GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Drax have agreed to extend their contract to transport supplies of sustainable biomass from UK ports to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire until 2025. Teams at GBRf have worked closely with Drax for the past[…]

  • Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3

    Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3 [Editor’s note: this article is the third in a series of four. Part 4 online next week.] In early 2020, CanmetENERGY, part of Natural Resources Canada, carried out interviews with nine pioneering rural and remote communities that have installed bioenergy[…]


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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