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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Determination of off-gassing and self-heating potential of wood pellets - Method comparison and correlation analysis

Sedlmayer, Irene; Stelte, Wolfgang; Wopienka, Elisabeth; Bauer-Emhofer, Waltraud; Arshadi, Mehrdad; Haslinger, Walter; Hofbauer, Hermann; Larsson, Ida; Lonnermark, Anders; Nilsson, Calle; Pollex, Annett; Schmidl, Christoph


Several methods for identifying the phenomena of self-heating and off-gassing during production, transportation and storage of wood pellets have been developed in recent years. Research focused on the exploration of the underlying mechanisms, influencing factors or the quantification of self-heating or off-gassing tendencies. The present study aims at identifying a clear correlation between self-heating and off-gassing. Thus, different methods for determining self-heating and off-gassing potentials of wood pellets are compared. Therefore, eleven wood pellet batches from the European market were analyzed. For this investigation, three methods for the determination of self-heating, like isothermal calorimetry, oxi-press and thermogravimetric analysis, and four methods for off-gassing, like volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions measurements, gas phase analysis of stored pellets in a closed container by offline and by glass flask method and determination of fatty and resin acids content, were performed. Results were ranked according to the self-heating and off-gassing tendency providing a common overview of the analyzed pellets batches. Relations between different methods were investigated by Spearman's correlation coefficient. Evaluation of the results revealed an equal suitability of offline and glass flask methods to predict off-gassing tendency and indicated a very significant correlation with isothermal calorimetry for the identification of self-heating tendency. The thermogravimetric analysis as well as the fatty and resin acids determination proved to be insufficient for the exclusive assessment of self-heating and off-gassing tendency, respectively.


Storage; Emission; Self-ignition; Carbon monoxide; Laboratory methods

Published in

2018, volume: 234, pages: 894-903

Authors' information

Sedlmayer, Irene
Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Haslinger, Walter
Luleå University of Technology
Hofbauer, Hermann
Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)
Larsson, Ida
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Lönnermark, Anders
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Pollex, Annett
The Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ)
Schmidl, Christoph
Bioenergy 2020+
Stelte, Wolfgang
Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Wopienka, Elisabeth
Bioenergy 2020+
Bauer-Emhofer, Waltraud
Bioenergy 2020+

UKÄ Subject classification

Other Chemical Engineering

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