Friday, June 7, 2013

IEA Bioenergy Health and Safety review published

The rapid increase in the production and use of various types of biomass as energy carrier also leads to an increase in handling and storage activities throughout the supply chain. The properties of a biomass material and the intended use determine how the material should be safely transported and stored.

Self-heating, off-gassing and dust explosions are significant challenges for the industry that have already resulted in significant losses of capital investments and even tragic loss of life. Likewise, exposure to biologically active material, such as moulds and spores may form a serious hazard for the health of workers involved. With the growth of the bioenergy sector, it is important not only that opportunities for bioenergy are implemented in an efficient and economic manner, but also safely.

IEA Bioenergy recognises the importance of safe production, trade and utilisation of a growing amount of biomass fuels. This publication focuses on the health and safety issues of the supply chain of solid biofuels with the objective to highlight commonly used mitigation methodologies to promote a better working environment when dealing with solid biofuels. It has been compiled as a joint effort by experts active in Task 32, 36, 37 and 40 of the IEA Bioenergy Agreement, with their own specific fields of expertise.

Although this publication does provide the reader with significant understanding of the relevant safety issue as well as several guidelines for handling, storage and transportation, it is important to realize that differences in material also lead to differences in risks and needs for safety measures, and every individual situation needs to be carefully assessed. The topic also remains important as new biofuels enter the market.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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