WPAC releases Belt Dryer Safety Final Report, Shares Key Recommendations

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s belt driver working group (BDWG) has released its final report on belt dryer safety, after more than 50 meetings in 2021 and a symposium that was held in 2020.

The BDWG was composed of 25 members with representatives from Wood Pellet Association of Canada, BC Forest Safety Council, dryer manufacturers (Stela and Prodesa), pellet producers, safety equipment suppliers, consultants, academia, and technology providers.

The BDWG, compromised of four sub-groups, reviewed the current equipment for contamination removal, dryer safety controls related to fires, fire warnings, and fire suppression devices. Their findings and recommendations can be read in a brief report here.

Key recommendations include:

  • Removing infeed contaminants and resisting the urge to ensure clean feedstock enters dryers;
  • Using indirect-heated belt dryers instead of direct-heated belt dryers;
  • Applying additional controls besides the ones provided by the dryer manufacturers, such as spark detection and suppression in the burner channel, below belt internal deluge, Infra-Red (IR) thermal detection above and below belts, and controlling contaminants from entering the burner; and
  • Employing the bow tie analysis approach to review and update safety procedures looking for any missing steps.
Prodesa indirect-heated belt dryer. Photo: Prodesa.

This article is part of Dust Safety Week 2022. To read more articles on dust safety, click here.

This article was originally published by Canadian Biomass, a national media brand providing coverage of the emerging biomass, bioenergy and bio-products markets. See CanadianBiomassMagazine.ca for more information.