Wood chip quality workshop

Part of: Agri-Environmental Technologies


AFBI and CAFRE held a Wood Chip Quality Workshop at AFBI Hillsborough (8th September 2015) which received an excellent turnout from participants in the biomass energy sector including biomass installers, willow growers, foresters, researchers, wood processers, machinery retailers, agricultural contractors, DETI energy, DFP, Biomass Energy NI, the cross border “Irish Bio-energy association” and new entrants into the biomass sector in several categories. The high turnout at the event demonstrated that the future of biomass energy in Northern Ireland is clearly a future driver for economic growth as well as a method by which Northern Ireland can play its part in mitigating climate change, reducing fuel poverty and improving fuel security.

Wood Fuel Quality Scheme

Around 70 people attended the wood chip quality workshop at AFBI Hillsborough. IrBEA Executive Noel Gavigan provided a detailed insight into how the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance scheme (WFQA) works, including standards, audits, compliance requirements and costs as well as providing a vivid demonstration of how to determine chip size when sampling. WFQA member Kenny McCauley (McCauley Wood Fuels) gave a suppliers view including numerous illustrations and tips on how to maximise benefits from the scheme. There is strong interest in NI in the WFQA as an industry standard and this was clear from a presentation by DETI official Seamus Hughes. DETI's intention is to examine the practicalities of introducing a similar scheme possibly including recognition of quality schemes such as the WFQA alongside the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) - a sustainability standard used for assessing fuel eligibility for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments in Great Britain.

Chris Johnston(AFBI) presented findings on wood fuel characteristics and performance used at the institute - of interest to developers – and Cathal Ellis outlined requirements for supply, by competitive tender, of wood chip to CAFRE Greenmount. At the end of the event Chris Johnston conducted a well attended tour of the AFBI Environment and Renewable Energy Centre where efficient biomass heat generation and distribution is demonstrated as a practical model for enterprises in Northern Ireland and beyond.

….”The AFBI/CAFRE wood chip quality event had a good balance between theoretical and practical information on quality standards, the views of policy makers and chip buyers and analysis of fuel characteristics and performance.
Irish Bioenergy Association - an all-Island association promoting and developing the important bioenergy sector.

Woodchip quality workshop presentations