Work continues in making solid biofuels an internationally traded commodity. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recently met with the International Organization for Standardization to develop standards that would ensure the quality and safe handling of solid and pelletized biofuels, according to a news release ASABE issued this week.

Scott Cedarquist, ASABE director of standards, says the work is being spurred by the needs of a rapidly expanding industry. “In 2007 the ISO organized a technical committee to develop standards for solid biofuels,” Cedarquist says. “At the fifth and most recent meeting of the committee, it was reported that international participation had grown to 36 countries from five continents.”

A summary of the standard can be found here.

Cedarquist says the standards are being pursued to facilitate international trade. “The main interest in the U.S. has been from the wood pellet industry, but the standards cover woody and non-woody solid biofuels as well,” Cedarquist says in an interview yesterday with Farm Industry News. “This would be pellets and briquettes as well as wood chips and firewood. In the U.S. the main focus is on home heating appliances. In Europe it is also commercial and industrial users.”

The standards will lay the groundwork for other types of biomass as well, Cedarquist adds. “This may not directly have a link to Midwest farmers presently,” he says. “But energy crops are an opportunity for growers – whether the crop is for liquid or solid biofuel at the end of the day.”

Wood Master, Red Lake Falls, MN, is one company recently in the news for its manufacture of biomass furnaces. The furnaces, showcased this month on a tour organized by Clean Energy Resource Teams, use cord wood and biomass pellets to produce heat.

For more information about Wood Master natural energy products, visit

For more information about the Clean Energy Resource Teams, visit

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