Project - Large scale Utilization of Biopellets for energy Applications

Kurt  Hjort-Gregersen

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Project - Large scale Utilization of Biopellets for energy Applications

Project start February 2010. Expected completion October 2013.

Denmark consumes annually more than 1.3 million tons of biopellets for energy production of which approximately 500.000 tons are used in power plans. This amount will dramatically increase in the coming years according to plans of the large power producers. Such rapid expansion will require increased import of biofuel pellets with an unknown variety of quality and also new very large storage facilities.

The LUBA project aims to develop necessary technical solutions for three closely connected areas which together will support and strengthen the prospective increased consumption of biofuel pellets.

  1. The basis for an increased import of sustainably produced biomass for energy applications will be analyzed and described.
  2. New sampling techniques for suspended biofuels, focusing on pellet powder will be developed and integrated in a more general “horizontal standard” in the form of a pre-standard guideline for representative sampling of suspended biopowder and similar materials.
  3. Through experimental work important factors that cause self-heating, oxygen depletion and off-gassing during pellets storage will be revealed and quantified. The work shall provide recommendations for estimating risks as well as present technical solutions to prevent self-heating and minimizing hazardous off-gasing.

The results will be aggregated into reports on sustainability criteria, guidelines for representative sampling, safe storage and a biomass certification system for energy applications.

Project Objectives
The main aim of the project is to investigate and evaluate risks at large scale storage of biopellets and find methods to measure these and to minimize any potential risks by means of technological solutions as well as suggestion of guidelines for correct handling and storage of unknown biopellets.

It is also the aim to develop methods and equipment for representative sample taking from large amounts of biopellets as well as other suspended biomass.

Finally, it is the aim to investigate international sustainability criteria for traded biopellets and biomass and thereby also support the currently undergoing work at the European Commission on this topic.        


  • Developing and testing automatic and representative sample taking in a falling stream of pellets or other suspended biomasses
  • Testing of self-heating and off-gassing from biopellets in laboratory as well as in full scale storage tests
  • Reviewing international sustainability criteria for traded biomass and biopellets and formulating suggestions with special focus on Denmark
  • Elaborating suggestions for guidelines and rules for safe large-scale storage of biopellets


  • Danish Technological Institute, Jonas Dahl (project manager)
  • Aalborg University Esbjerg, Prof. Kim Esbensen 
  • Vattenfall DK, Hans Møller
  • DONG Energy, Jeppe Bjerg
  • VERDO, Hans Greve Madsen
  • SP - Technical Research Institute of Sweden / Fire Technology, Anders Lønnermark
  • DBI – Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology, Lars Vædeled Roed

 The project is financed by the Danish Energy Agency under the ForskEl programme (project number: 2010-1 -10541)