Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Testing Combustion Performance of Wood(ST10673-1)

SUNY Canton


Pellet fuel can be produced from a variety of feedstock. Nearly all pellets on the market today are produced using sawdust from wood cutting operations. Pellets can also be produced, however, from chopped grass products that are grown on farms. Grass-based pellets can have nearly the same heating value as wood-based pellets, but typically exhibit higher ash content and also frequently require supplemental binding substances to ensure the structural integrity necessary for handling and storage. High ash contents will usually lead to increased emissions of PM 2.5 fine particulate matter. Ash contents of grass-based pellets can be reduced through water leaching of grass feedstock prior to pellet manufacturing. Only limited research has been conducted on grass-based pellets. There is insufficient technical knowledge and experience with grass-based pellets.

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Project Description

The project will test a representative sample of domestic and European-style, grass pellet-fired boilers. The project will also test a domestic, grass pellet-fired warm air furnace and a domestic, grass pellet-fired stove. The project will evaluate both low and high ash grass-based pellets as well as mixtures of grass and wood pellets. The project will test the functionality of grass pellet-fired boilers, furnaces, and stoves in managing and removing ash residue from the burn chamber over extended periods of time. Emissions testing for PM2.5, PM2.5, NOx, SOx, CO, and VOCs will be performed on test systems that show satisfactory operating reliability.


Benefits include increased availability of renewable fuel for residential and commercial heating, and improved materials handling, combustion, and ash management of grass-based pellets.

Project Results


SUNY Canton
34 Cornell Dr SUNY Canton, French Hall
Canton, NY 13617

Principle Investigator

Michael Newtown

Universities Involved

SUNY Canton


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning

NYSERDA Contact Information

Megan Bulman


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 10/27/2009
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10673-1

Last Updated: 11/13/2013