Biomass Fuel Testing

LECO instrumentsBiomass Energy Testing Services

McCreath Laboratories offers biomass composition analysis services from our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited lab. Our technicians use the most effective testing procedures to produce accurate results. We will test your biomass sample according to the parameters you demand and deliver an impartial analysis.

Understanding the precise chemical composition of a biomass sample is crucial when supplying biomass fuel to customers. The sample’s chemical composition indicates the batch’s energy potential, combustion behavior, efficiency and safety. Your organization can validate claims about your biomass fuel by verifying its contents through laboratory testing and analysis

At McCreath, we offer biomass laboratory testing and analysis services to both domestic and international customers. Our biomass fuel testing services unveil accurate information regarding a sample’s elemental components, energy potential, combustion behavior and more. We use numerous precise testing measures that follow ASTM and ISO standards to provide accurate findings. Submit your biomass fuel sample to verify the fuel’s quality, efficiency and safety.

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Biomass Composition Analysis From McCreath

McCreath offers a seamless biomass composition testing experience that yields accurate, impartial results. Our testing methods determine how your biomass fuel compares to industry-relevant parameters for heat generation, efficiency, emissions output, storage safety and more. 

Analyses are either presented in the form of a proximate analysis (moisture, ash volatile matter and fixed carbon) or as an ultimate analysis (ash, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur). Gross and net calorific values are also important for biomasses used as fuels. We offer numerous other types of biomass analysis and can test according to your required specifications.

Here is how it works:

  •       You submit a sample of your biomass fuel or schedule a time for our experts to collect a sample from your stockpile.
  •       We analyze the biomass fuel sample against relevant testing methods in our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory.
  •       We deliver a comprehensive report explaining the findings from our testing and analysis processes. 

Biomass Testing Methods

McCreath laboratory technicians test biomass samples to determine energy output, combustion qualities, moisture levels, elemental components and more. The main elemental components of biomass are carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen and nitrogen. The typical analyses requested of biomass, depending upon the material and its intended use, are similar to that of thermal or steam coal. 

We offer the following testing methods from our accredited laboratories: 

  •       Proximate analysis: Proximate analysis tests a sample’s percentage of moisture, volatile matter, fixed carbons and ash. We follow ASTM testing standards for each aspect of the proximate analysis. 
  •       Ultimate analysis: Ultimate analysis quantifies a biomass sample’s elemental composition by determining levels of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur. Our ultimate analysis methods provide information about the sample’s application-specific performance.
  •       Calorific value determination: Determining a sample’s calorific value specifies the amount of heat it can produce. We measure combustion heat using a bomb calorimeter according to ASTM standards. 
  •       Particle size analysis: Particle size analysis is the process of measuring the size of the particles that make up the biomass sample. This assessment provides insight into combustion efficiency, application-specific suitability and handling properties.

What Is Biomass?

Biomass is renewable organic material from plants or animals that can be used to produce energy in the form of heat. Biomass materials include wood and wood processing wastes (pellets, chips, sawdust, and residue from pulp and paper mills), along with agricultural crops (corn, soybeans, sugarcane, switchgrass) and solid wastes from municipal recycling (paper, cotton, yard clippings).

The energy produced from biomass is the result of releasing the stored chemical energy produced by the photosynthesis of the plant. This energy can be released by direct combustion of the material or can be converted to a refined liquid or gas fuel by additional chemical processes. Combustion is the most common method for using the energy from biomass. All biomass can be burned to generate electricity or to produce heat required for industrial applications. 

Biomass Applications 

One of the main uses of biomass is as a substitute for fossil fuels for the production of electricity. The materials are combusted in large industrial boilers, releasing heat which is used to convert water into steam, which in turn drive large turbines to produce electric current. The use of biomass, such as wood pellets, to generate electricity is increasing as a method of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions produced from the combustion of traditional fossil fuels.

Approximately 5% of the total energy use in the United States is provided by biomass materials, approximately 50% of which is wood and wood-derived biomass.

Experts In Biomass Fuel Testing

McCreath Laboratories will employ both ASTM and ISO standard methods in the analysis of biomass. The methods are continually verified through the use of certified reference materials. Typical biomass analysis performed are as follows:

For more information on the analysis of biomass contact us.

TestInstrumentReference Method
Total MoistureOvenASTM E871
Ash Content Furnace ASTM E1534
Volatile Matter ContentFurnace ASTM E872
Sulfur ContentLECO SC832ASTM D4239
Calorific ValueLECO AC500ASTM D5865
Carbon, Hydrogen, NitrogenLECO CHN828ASTM D5373
ChlorineISEASTM D4208
FluorineISEASTM D3761
MercuryLECO AMA254ASTM D6722
Minerals in AshThermo ICAPASTM D6349
Trace ElementsThermo ICP-MSASTM D6357
Bulk DensityPhysicalISO 17828
Sieve AnalysisPhysicalISO 17830
DurabilityTumblerISO 17831-1
Pellet Length & DiameterPhysical17829

Speak With Biomass Experts

McCreath is biomass sample testing company offering accurate, impartial services from our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited lab in Harrisburg, PA.  As a mid-sized organization, we offer a high level of personalization in all testing services and customer interactions. We will provide accurate assessments that measure the precise qualities you request. Our experienced technicians work efficiently to provide repaid turnaround times.

For more information on the analysis of biomass contact us.