Safety Initiatives

Deflagration Isolation

WPAC, BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), and Dalhousie University partnered on an initiative to improve pellet industry practices regarding equipment isolation with an eye on minimizing the impact of potential combustible dust fires, explosions and deflagrations within wood pellet plants.

Process safety and hazard analysis expert Kayleigh Rayner Brown, P.Eng., M.A.Sc., director of Obex Risk Ltd. was commissioned to lead a project on analyzing deflagration isolation for safer operations and conducted the work alongside BCFSC safety advisor Bill Laturnus. Funding for the project was provided by Dalhousie University, arranged by Dr. Paul Amyotte.

The project focused on best practices aimed at isolating the potential for this kind of event and involved speaking with subject matter experts from wood pellet plants across Canada, engineering consultants with expertise in combustible dust, as well as experts in deflagration isolation equipment supply.

According to Rayner Brown, incorporating deflagration isolation follows a four-step roadmap:

  1. Conduct Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA).
  2. Purchase equipment for recommended deflagration isolation points.
  3. Install deflagration isolation equipment.
  4. Maintain deflagration isolation equipment.


Read report, fact sheet, and action sheet for operators: Analysis of Deflagration Isolation in Wood Pellet Production for Safer Operation

Watch webinar: Focus on Deflagration Isolation Can Lead to Safer Operations

Watch BCFSC webinar: Analysis of Deflagration Isolation in Wood Pellet Production for Safer Operation

Read Canadian Biomass Magazine article: Making Pellet Operations Safer by Isolating the Problem