Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Understanding Off-Gassing of Biofuel Wood Pellets Using Pellets Produced from Pure Microcrystalline Cellulose with Different Additive Oils

Siwale, Workson; Frodeson, Stefan; Finell, Michael; Arshadi, Mehrdad; Jonsson, Carina; Henriksson, Gunnar; Berghel, Jonas


Fuel wood pellets have the tendency of undergoing self-heating and off-gassing during storage and transportation. Self-heating can lead to spontaneous combustion and cause fires while toxic gasses such as carbon monoxide and some volatile organic compounds released due to off-gassing are a human health and environmental hazard. Previous research suggests that the self-heating and off-gassing of wood pellets are as a result of the oxidation of wood extractives. The aim of this study was to identify the extractives, i.e., fatty and resin acids that are responsible for the emissions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane from wood pellets by testing the off-gassing tendencies of pellets produced from synthetic microcrystalline cellulose and different additive oils. The additive oils were intentionally selected to represent different types of wood extractives (mainly fatty and resin acids) and they included: tall oil, pine rosin, linseed oil and coconut oil. The highest mean concentrations of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane were recorded from cellulose pellets with added linseed oil. The concentrations of carbon monoxide and methane for the other four pellet types were negligible and there was no carbon dioxide emission. Pellets with added linseed oil had high off-gas emissions due to the high content of unsaturated fatty acids compared to other pellet types.


off-gassing; cellulose pellets; additive oils; fatty and resin acids; solid biofuels; wood pellets; self-heating

Published in

2022, Volume: 15, number: 6, article number: 2281
Publisher: MDPI