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IS YOUR WOOD FUEL READY TO BURN?

With energy prices rising at an alarming rate, UK wood suppliers have reported an unprecedented surge in demand for logs, briquettes and other biomass products, as households and businesses rush to minimise the impact of their bills.

Whilst wood furnaces and boilers can provide a cheaper alternative to the more common energy sources such as gas and electricity, burning low-quality wood could impact health, the environment, energy output and the lifespan of your equipment.

Therefore, where possible, it is in the best interests of everyone involved to ensure that wood fuel is ready to burn, following the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) ‘Ready to Burn’ fuel certification scheme.

WHAT IS ‘READY TO BURN’?

As part of the Government’s continued approach to reduce emissions from solid fuel heating appliances they introduced the ‘Ready to Burn’ scheme which assures the fuel you are using meets the required Air Quality Standards that outlaw the sale of wet wood and house coal.

Under the Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020, all wood fuel sold in volumes under 2m3 must be certified as Ready to Burn, including logs, kindling and wood briquettes. These regulations also cover MSF (Manufactured Solid Fuels), which is any solid fuel made from coal, wood, plant-derived materials, waxes or petroleum products, mixed with other ingredients.

MSFs must meet the following emission limits in order to be certified for use in domestic premises in England:

  • Contain less than 2% sulphur (by dry ash weight with a 95% confidence limit)
  • Have an average smoke emission rate of fewer than 5 grams per hour when tested to the standard testing method of BS 3841

All other wood-based fuels must be proven to have a moisture content of less than 20% and wood briquettes require a chemical analysis to verify the origin of the raw materials is equivalent to 100% clean chemically untreated wood or virgin wood.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Whether you use, make or supply these fuels, you must be able to prove that they meet the requirements of the ‘Ready to Burn’ scheme through certification, and as part of this suitable test methods need to be adopted from an accredited test house.

By proving that your fuel is ‘Ready to Burn’, you can prevent costly damage to your equipment and ensure that you maximise your fuel output, saving you money in the long run. Most importantly, you can avoid causing further damage to the environment, or impacting yours and others’ health.

It should be noted that the ‘Ready to Burn’ certification should be renewed on an annual basis and lasts 12 months from the date it was approved and fuels will need to be tested at regular intervals, as part of the ongoing fuel certification.

HOW CAN ALFRED H KNIGHT HELP?

Whether you are a producer of wood fuels or you are buying wood to burn in a boiler, ensuring that your wood is Ready to Burn is essential to prevent harmful damage to the environment and your health.

Alfred H Knight supports both users and suppliers of fuel with a full suite of analytical services which can help to determine total moisture content, calorific value, sulphur content and biomass/wood content, which is key to determining overall performance.

Alfred H Knight is trusted by professionals throughout the Solid Fuels sector and with strategically located UKAS accredited laboratories, our highly-trained experts can ensure a swift, accurate and reliable service.

Visit our Biomass and RHI pages to learn more about the services we can provide, or get in touch with an AHK expert today via our contact page.