News at the University of New Brunswick

Biomass energy testing lab opens

Author: Communications

Posted on Feb 23, 2011

Category: In the Media

The only biomass energy testing laboratory in Canada certified by the Pellet Fuels Institute was officially opened in Fredericton on Tuesday.
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Minister Keith Ashfield, New Brunswick Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup and various officials from the University of New Brunswick cut the ribbon to open the Canadian BioEnergy Centre, which is located near the Hugh John Flemming Forestry Complex. "It feels great to finally have it officially open," said Michael Albright of the Canadian BioEnergy Centre. "The funding was much, much needed to support this new, growing bioenergy sector." The lab has high-tech equipment such as an isoperibol oxygen bomb calorimeter that can quickly test the amount of energy given off by burning various wood pellets and wood chips. There is also an N-Micro pellet mill that can create pellets of fuel out of various raw materials, standard test sieves with a wide variety of screen sizes to create uniform particles for pellets, a pellet-durability tester that tumbles pellets to see how much dust they give off and an ash fusion test furnace with digital imaging to test residue after burning for hard glassy slag called clinker, which can damage a stove or furnace. The lab also has a portable grinder that can grind a variety of wood and agricultural residue used to make pellets and briquettes on site rather than transport large samples to the lab. The facility is equipped to do testing of stoves and furnaces. "These new testing capabilities we have at our centre will allow us to ... build the best appliances, make the best fuel," said Albright. Read the full story at the New Brunswick Business Journal.