• Impacts


AshMelT aims to contribute to the following impacts:

I) development of new European norms, standards and quality labels
The growing market of biofuels in Europe poses increasing quality assurance challenges along the whole supply chain. One approach is to define product standards as has been successfully initiated with the ÖNORM M7135 and the corresponding DIN standard and the DINplus quality label. Recently, the German Pellets Association has developed and presented a new quality label the ENplus® whose product quality definitions are widely based on the proposed EN TS 14961-2. The latter does not include a normative (only an informative) reference for the ash melting characteristics of wood pellets, which is heavily criticized by pellets boiler manufacturing industry. The ENplus® includes a reference for ash melting characteristics, but the applied method (EN/TS 15370) is neither widely accepted, nor practically relevant.
It is therefore the explicit aim of the AshMelT project to develop fuel specifications and classes regarding ash melting properties, to screen potentially available methods for ash melting tests, to assess the most feasible ones, to select the best suited and most reliable one, to further develop and optimize it, to prove its practical relevance, to confirm its suitability in a Round-robin test, and to finally propose the AshMelT test to the responsible standardization bodies in Europe and also beyond on ISO level.

II) meeting policy objectives in the area of energy and climate change
As residential heating with biomass is economically competitive with fossil based heating technologies as well as the most economic way to reduce CO2, residential heating with biomass is the silver bullet for achieving the EU targets in 2020. Estimating the European pellets market potential based on European policies, the market will Tremendously grow until 2020.Estimates from the participating SME AGs indicate potential sales of (small scale) wood pellets boilers between 500.000 and 1 million in 2020. These are tremendous market opportunities, which require maximum security related to technical and legal framework in order to be optimally exploited. Any drawback could cause fatal disturbances to these bright expectations.
Today, pellets boiler customer complaints due to operational problems caused by slags occur at around 0,2% of the pellets boiler stock in established, well developed markets. In new or less developed markets this figure may reach almost 10% causing severe drawbacks in customer satisfaction, public perception, and therefore in the market development. Therefore the establishment of the AshMelT test to provide reliable heat and hot water with pellets to private, domestic scale customer is absolutely necessary to contribute to achieving the ambitious goals of EU climate and energy policies.
The establishment of the AshMelT test, including provisions to apply the test reliably to different fuel classes will allow for the integration of non wood biomass as well as mixed biomass pellets into the value chain and will give the opportunity to decide for appropriate technology and scale of the utilization of more difficult fuels.

III) contribution to solving technological problems
Lessons learnt from establishing standards, eg. for biomass fuels (eg. the Austrian pellets standard ÖNORM M7135) and for boiler testing (EN 303-5) and the setting of strict efficiency and emission requirements (eg. Austrias Art. 15a-BVG), clearly show that these framework conditions enhance and enforce technology development tremendously. It may therefore be expected, that the establishment of a reference method for the testing of the ash melting characteristics of fuels will have similar effects:
(1) significant improvement of fuel quality
(2) increased competition between boiler manufacturers regarding allowed fuel qualities