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Forests 2018, 9(9), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090538

Recent Health and Safety Incident Trends Related to the Storage of Woody Biomass: A Need for Improved Monitoring Strategies

1
Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks St., Toronto, ON M5S 3B3, Canada
2
Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (Natural Resources Canada), 580 Booth St., Ottawa, ON K1A 0E4, Canada
3
CanmetENERGY (Natural Resources Canada), 1 Haanel Dr., Ottawa, ON K1A 1M1, Canada
4
Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI), 2215 8th Avenue, Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0, Canada
5
FPInnovations, 570 Saint-Jean Blvd, Pointe-Claire, QC H9R 3J9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 26 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4339 KB, uploaded 1 September 2018]   |  

Abstract

Self-heating fires, dust explosions and off-gassing during biomass storage are serious hazards which can have devastating consequences, resulting in worker fatalities and health impacts, as well as bioenergy plant destruction and complete loss of production. A compilation of incident reports involving biomass storage from 2000–2018 has revealed that these potential hazards continue to be a major concern in the bioenergy sector. Higher occurrence rates were found for incidents categorized as self-heating fires and fires of uncertain causes in recent years through our study of online reports. This paper highlights a critical need for improved safety protocols for bioenergy plant workers, detailed incident documentation and enhanced biomass monitoring strategies to drastically reduce the occurrence of threats associated with the storage of woody biomass. In order to manage the high risks associated with self-heating, a system for real-time monitoring of internal pile temperature was investigated. A monitoring system supplied by Braingrid Corporation was verified using embedded Tinytag thermologgers indicating that this methodology shows potential for preventing spontaneous combustion events by providing real time temperature data for superior pile management. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass storage; woody biomass; incident trends; accident reports; safety; bioenergy; self-heating; fires; pile monitoring biomass storage; woody biomass; incident trends; accident reports; safety; bioenergy; self-heating; fires; pile monitoring
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Krigstin, S.; Wetzel, S.; Jayabala, N.; Helmeste, C.; Madrali, S.; Agnew, J.; Volpe, S. Recent Health and Safety Incident Trends Related to the Storage of Woody Biomass: A Need for Improved Monitoring Strategies. Forests 2018, 9, 538.

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