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Coming into Focus: The Pellet Fuels Institute Standards Program Assures Consistent Pellet Quality
Monitoring Pellet Quality: Learn all about the PFI standards program for wood pellets.
By Lisa Monroe
Date Posted: 7/1/2016
Monitoring Pellet Quality
Learn all about the PFI standards program for wood pellets.
Pretty much everyone these days knows that wood pellets can be used for heating fuel, and that these pellets are often produced using leftover wood particles that might otherwise be discarded. But did you know that there is a mark that alerts retail and commercial wood pellet consumers that wood pellets adhere to a set standard of quality?
That mark is the quality mark issued through the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) Standards Program, a third-party accreditation program providing specifications for residential and commercial-grade pellet fuel. The mark is displayed on bags of pellet fuel sold to consumers at retail outlets. And for pellets shipped for commercial use in large quantities that are not bagged, it appears on the commercial shipping papers such as the invoice or bill of lading.
It is the most common standard used by American pellet manufacturers, but buyers outside the United States may still look for it, according to the PFI.
“The PFI Standards Program has grown at a remarkable pace over the past year. We now have 13 pellet manufacturers with a total of 22 facilities qualified for the program, with many more in the process of earning their qualifications,” said Stephen Faehner, PFI chairman. The program is open to all pellet manufacturers regardless of membership status with PFI; however, members receive discounted rates.
“It’s important for consumers and retailers to be able to identify the quality mark when they are purchasing pellet fuels. This mark indicates that the product in the bag comes from a facility that consistently meets high industry standards. The quality mark on a product says that the consumer can rely on the fuel to burn longer and cleaner, extending the life of their pellet stove,” he said.
Qualifying facilities must submit their product to regular third-party audits by an independent accredited auditing agency and testing laboratory. Wood pellets are tested according to program specifications on a monthly basis, and they must meet grade requirements, based on criteria like moisture and ash content, for example. To learn more, visit the PFI website at www.pelletheat.org.