Status of PM emission measurement methods and new developments

Sep 2018

Particulate matter emissions (PME) from biomass combustion have always been in the focus of air pollution control. And attention is still rising while regional or international emission limits tighten and requirements defined in international product standards become stricter. Many different methods have historically been used to measure PME from the flue gas of residential appliances and boilers for biomass (mostly wood). Confusion has arisen in the market as different and conflicting results are quoted in literature and test reports. Several national measurement standards are living side by side, and compatibility of reported PME levels is not given. But even where there is an agreement about using a specific test standard, there is usually still quite some room for its interpretation.

This report, prepared by IEA Bioenergy Task 32, aims to stimulate an international approach towards one (or few) method(s) for determining particle emissions from biomass based combustion. It contains three parts:

  • overview of the diversity of existing PME measurement methods;
  • influence of method variations (e.g. equipment, test rig design, operational parameters, materials used, deposits, etc.) on measured PME results;
  • description of the recently developed EN-PME method which was suggested as common European measurement strategy.