Auditing agencies now accredited for PFI standards program

By Luke Geiver | January 31, 2012

The Pellet Fuels Institute’s densified biomass fuel standards program may not be fully unveiled for several months, but PFI has completed accreditation of ten auditing agencies and two laboratories. 

The accredited testing facilities will now provide services to qualify biomass fuel production facilities with appropriate labeling for pellets based on PFI’s standard parameters that include ash content levels, durability, fines, size, moisture content and others. The standards include three grades: premium, standard and utility. 

PFI worked with the American Lumber Standard Committee to accredit the facilities. In addition to the laboratories run by Timber Products Inspection and the University of Maine, accredited facilities include: Carolina Inspection Service Inc.; Conway & Robison LLC; Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association; PFS Corp.; Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau; Package Research Laboratory; Southern Pine Inspection Bureau; West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau; and Western Wood Products Association.

The three-step fuel certification process will begin at the mills, followed by an on-site inspection once per month from an accredited auditor. Last is verification of the product quality from the accreditation body, the ALSC. PFI will require a documentation management program that includes raw materials receiving, production, quality verification of the finished product, periodic inspections and customer complaints, all of which must be documented and kept for five years.

Jennifer Hedrick, PFI executive director, said early support from the industry indicates that many fuel manufacturers will enroll in the PFI standards program early. Once the program is implemented, a new labeling system marking the quality of fuel will replace PFI’s manufacturer’s guaranteed analysis mark.

“We’re incredibly excited that this first enrollment phase of the PFI Standards Program is underway,” said Scott Jacobs, PFI president. “We have an impressive list of companies that have achieved accreditation and are eager to begin enrolling densified fuel producers into this program.”

Enrollment information is available on the PFI website.