September 08th 2020

Investigation of measures to reduce the biological degradation of wood chips during storage

Research project successfully finished in the field of Energy & Process Technologies

Together with the project partners University of Innsbruck, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam and the companies Fernwärme Güssing GmbH, Syneco-tec GmbH and Syncraft Engineering GmbH, the use of additives for the quality-preserving storage of wood chips were examined under the leadership of the MCI – The Entrepreneurial School®. The project was funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

During the storage of wood chips for energetic use, the biomass is biodegraded by bacteria and wood-destroying fungi. Depending on the quality of the wood chips and external weather conditions, 10 to 40 percent of the dry matter is degraded per year, which leads to considerable economic losses for the heating (power) plant operators. In addition to the degradation of biomass and an increased risk of self-ignition of the piles, pathogenic fungal spores represent a health hazard for operators and employees.

In the course of this project, countermeasures were successfully investigated that counteract the loss of substance during the storage of wood chips. The additives investigated were able to lower the biological activity and reduce the loss of dry matter. In particular, the inactivation of fungi that are pathogenic to humans was also demonstrated.

For further information, please get in touch with:

Angela Hofmann
Senior Lecturer Department Environmental, Process & Energy Engineering
+43 512 2070 – 3228