Wood briquettes and the importance of chemical analysis

12 December 2022

Why is chemical analysis of wood briquettes important?

As more people look for alternative ways to heat their homes, whilst remaining cost-saving and climate-conscious, fuel like wood briquettes is increasing in popularity, especially due to the production of briquettes reducing waste in the wood industry. Wood briquettes are a great way of utilising and recycling by-products that may otherwise end up in landfill, such as sawmill offcuts. However, some briquettes can come to contain chemicals that are not suitable for domestic burning.

At Woodsure we want to ensure that the best products are used by your customers so they can rest assured that their impact on the environment from particulate emissions is kept at a minimum. We check all analyses against the EN ISO 17225, which highlights a permitted range of chemicals including heavy metals to ensure the briquettes are suitable for domestic burning. This assures consumers that their particulate emissions will be minimal whilst using your fuel, as well as reducing any adverse effects chemicals can have on their boilers or stoves.

How can chemicals get in wood briquettes?

There are several reasons why certain chemicals end up in your wood briquettes. The main cause of high chemical contents is usually in the treatment process used to create briquettes. Various types of glue and binding agents may be used for briquettes to fuel certain boilers but would be unsuitable for your typical domestic boiler or stove.

We have also seen high bark contents causing certain chemicals to increase due to the bark being exposed to the elements. A good amount of bark in a briquette can assist in it burning for longer so it is good to ensure you hit the right balance of bark mixed in with your offcuts or similar.

Our last example is caused by cleaning products. Residue from cleaning fluids can be absorbed by the offcuts and wood if they come into contact with a surface that has recently been cleaned. Though the wood may dry out, the chemicals can remain and be picked up on through the analysis.

The above cases are why we ask for confirmation of the feedstock chain of your wood briquettes and back this up with a chemical analysis. As a result, you can ensure that your accredited briquettes are safe to burn and have been verified to not contain harmful levels of heavy metals and other chemicals.

If you have any questions regarding chemical analysis please contact the Woodsure team.


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