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Biomass Content Determination for SRF

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CEN 15747 was developed specifically for solid recovered fuels. This European standard is only applicable to solid fuels, not their combustion emissions. Beta Analytic provides CEN 15747 testing throughout Europe.

The CEN/TS 15747:2008 is a published standard that outlines carbon 14-based methods for the determination of the biomass content of solid recovered fuels.

Solid recovered fuels or refuse-derived fuels are solid fuels processed from non-hazardous waste used for energy recovery in incineration or co-incineration plants. They can be household wastes or those from commercial or industrial plants.

The European Commission's 2002 mandate to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) describes SRFs as 'may be composed of a variety of materials of which some, although recyclable, may have been made available in such a form that recycling is not environmentally sound. On the one hand materials collected and/or sorted and prepared into a recyclable form should not be considered as SRFs. On the other hand recyclable materials should not be excluded from SRFs because such an exclusion could lead to disposal of these materials and wastage of the resources embedded in them.'

The 2002 mandate led to the development of CEN/TS 15440, which outlined the methods for the determination of biomass content of SRF through selective dissolution method, the manual sorting method, and the reductionistic method.

EN 15440 acknowledged that the SDM is not applicable to some materials usually or possibly present in SRF, and its limitations have to be considered. In recognition of these shortcomings, CEN developed a technical report for the determination of biomass content in SRF based on the radiocarbon dating method, and CEN 15591 was born. The CEN 15591 was approved in January 2007, and this technical report became a standard in 2008 in the form of CEN/TS 15747 as developed by the European CEN 343 Working Group.

Today, CEN 15747 is the standard being used by the European Union Emission Trading Scheme to monitor refuse-derived fuels.

Radiocarbon dating, although more accurate than the manual sorting method and the selective dissolution method in determining the biomass fraction of RDF, cannot directly measure the biomass calorific value. This calorific value is important for green certificate programs like the Renewable Obligation Certificate program in the United Kingdom.

The prevailing sampling protocols within an industry can be used when obtaining samples for CEN 15747 testing. There are also CEN standards available specific for solid recovered fuel sampling:

  • CEN/TS 15442 and CEN/TS 15443 for sampling, transport, storage of SRF
  • CEN/TS 15413 for the preparation of test SRF samples

Source: CEN Website

These standards are available for a fee from CEN affiliates and national standard organizations in your country (list available in CEN website).

Miami, Florida-based Beta Analytic has extensive experience in CEN 15747 testing of waste fuels. The ISO 17025-accredited lab accepts samples in Miami but highly recommends sending the samples to its facility in London, UK. Not only is it more convenient, sample submissions to London is also a cheaper option and provides a faster service. For details on Beta Analytic’s sample size requirements.

CEN, or Comite Europeen de Normalisation (European Committee for Standardization), aims to promote not only Europe's economy in global trading but also the welfare of its citizens and environment by removing trade barriers for industry and consumers in the continent. The private, non-profit organization has more than 60,000 technical experts and reaches more than 480 million people.

CEN develops standards and other technical specifications that become the national standards in each of the organization’s 30 members—the National Standards Bodies of the 27 countries of the European Union and the National Standards Bodies of the three European Free Trade Area countries.

As of December 2008, the 30 CEN members are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

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