February 23, 2018

In This Week's Pellet Wire:

Next Stop Nashville

Earlier this week PFI Chairman Stan Elliot reminded me that in just over two weeks our board would gather in Nashville-and my first public appearance as the Executive Director of the PFI, and our collective appearance at an important industry event, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, would all be in the rearview mirror. I couldn't be more excited. 

It's become more and more clear to me that those three days in Nashville are going to be an opportunity for incredible momentum for our organization and we're at work to make sure we make the very most of the opportunity for the PFI. 


Don't forget to send us photos of your product, mills and people so we can feature them at Breakfast & Biomass! Submit photos for a free t-shirt. Thanks to Lori Hamer of Hamer Pellets for the above photo of Hamer's Elkin, WV pellet mill. 

Specifically, here are some reasons I'm excited about our time in Nashville:

  • Our Breakfast & Biomass session is going to be a good one. By the time you read this, we'll have had our first conference call as a panel to discuss our objectives, our presentations, and how they will all work together to drive the message home that the PFI is committed to more aggressively and more strategically marketing our product.
  • It will be my first time meeting some of our members and board members. I thrive on personal connections. I'm energized by the work others are doing to run their businesses and prosper as business owners. While I'll return home from Nashville exhausted, I'll be refreshed and energized in a way that only interacting with industry colleagues face-to-face can deliver.
  • Networking with our marketplace partners. I know already that I'm not going to speak to everyone I'd like to in Nashville. There's just not enough time. I want to talk to appliance makers (heating and grilling). I want to talk to hearth retailers. I'm curious about the presence of larger, broader retailers (farm and ranch stores, home improvement chains). See what I mean?
  • Along those same lines I'm really excited that Jack Goldman, the President & CEO of the HPBA, and I are going to get a chance to meet. Jack and I have spoken already since I've taken over as Executive Director here at the PFI and I really like Jack's passion for the sector. I'm looking forward to meeting him personally and sharing my passion for our industry with him.
  • I'm looking forward to expanding on the relationships I've begun to build in the hearth and home media community. As a guy with roots in trade media, I know the value of having strong relationships there.

I need to wrap and you all need to get back to your Friday. I'd be remiss if I didn't share with you all that I began my week at a member facility, Snow Timber Pellets in Hurley, Wisconsin. Hurley is the last town in northern Wisconsin before crossing over into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is a wonderfully unique part of the Upper Midwest I personally became acquainted with just a few years ago. Brady Francois welcomed me to see the facility as I was on my way back from a short family ski weekend. I'll have more on our visit next week, but suffice it to say that Brady has only stoked my belief that rural manufacturing jobs are absolutely vital for our rural places and people.

Have a terrific weekend. 


Two Weeks Until Breakfast & Biomass: Playing Some Offense-A Discussion about the Practical Means of Promoting the Pellet Option

** NOTE: We need photos of PFI members, along with their product and facilities, to feature at Breakfast & Biomass! Don't get left out-email your photos to Carrie Annand. ** 

In the coming year, the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) will embark upon a strategic initiative to take the message of the values and benefits of using wood pellets for home-heating to consumers. To appreciably grow the market opportunity for its members, the PFI recognizes that it must do more to promote pellet heating.

This year's Breakfast & Biomass panel will offer attendees an opportunity to hear the early thinking on the approaches and strategic partners the PFI must successfully deploy and engage to be successful. The panel will explore the PFI's plans to use social media, a revamped brand and online presence and increased engagement with our hearth and home customers, and the potential for all of those channels to make consumers more aware of wood pellet heat. Additionally, progress toward a check-off program for wood pellet producers will be discussed. 

Moderator: Stan Elliot, Chairman, Pellet Fuels Institute

  • Tim Portz, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute
  • Bruce Lisle, President & CEO, Energex Corporation
  • Adam Martin, Martin's Sales, and Service

For those who have already registered for the HPBExpo, here are the instructions to update your registration and sign up for the PFI Breakfast and Biomass:

  1. Go through the "Already Registered for a Badge" link: (orange box on the right).  
  2. You will need to have the email and password you used when badge name(s) were registered. 
  3. Then go to Registration Tools/List of Attendees/Edit Education. 
  4. Sign up and pay for the PFI Breakfast scheduled for Friday, March 9th
  5. You can also call Rachel Pratt at HPBA at 703-522-0086 ext.114 or email [email protected], and she can add it to your registration.

Become a 2018 PFI Sponsor in February and Register for Breakfast & Biomass

Don't miss the opportunity to sponsor PFI in 2018! Sponsorship at all levels brings many perks, along with exposure for your company to the pellet fuels industry. By signing up to sponsor the association early in 2018, you will reap the benefits throughout the coming year.

The 2018 sponsorship packages include benefits such as:

  • PFI Annual Conference registrations
  • Breakfast & Biomass registrations
  • Company logo listed on the PFI website
  • 10x10 booth at the PFI Annual Conference
  • Weekly newsletter advertising
  • Website advertising
  • And more!

PFI's membership list includes more than 100 companies, and the Pellet Wire, our electronic newsletter, is sent to close to 2,000 subscribers every week. Now is the time to become a sponsor of this organization. Visit our website to explore how you can become involved.

We Need Your Input for PFI's 2018 Events

Are there any topics that you'd like to see addressed at Breakfast & Biomass or at PFI's Annual Conference? We'd like to hear from you. Nominate speakers and suggest panels, experts, themes, and ideas. The Conference Committee wants to be sure to reflect the preferences and needs of PFI membership as much as possible. 

Be sure to check our updated online calendar with information on many events happening during 2018, and mark your calendars!

Breakfast & Biomass at the HPB Expo in Nashville, TN - March 8-10, 2018

PFI Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC - June 24-26, 2018 

If our calendar is missing any events that you're planning to attend, please email Carrie Annand

Follow PFI on Twitter, Friend Us on Facebook, and Connect with Us on LinkedIn 

We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Carrie Annand news or other ideas to post on LinkedIn.

Do You Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information. 

Upcoming Industry Events

March 8, 2018: HPB Expo

March 9, 2018: 2018 PFI Breakfast & Biomass

March 20, 2018: International Mass Timber Conference

April 16, 2018: International Biomass Conference & Expo

May 1, 2018: Heating the Midwest

Connect with PFI

Join PFI

Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Industry News

Process Could Allow Treated Wood to Be Used in Pellet Production
Biomass Magazine

Every year, several thousand tons of treated wood waste is buried, incinerated, or mixed with untreated wood waste. The management of this waste is problematic because treated wood contains preservatives such as arsenic, chromium, and copper to slow its deterioration. To remedy this, INRS researchers have found a simple, effective, and environmentally friendly solution. They have developed a process that successfully removed more than 90 percent of the contaminants present in treated wood waste in experiments conducted on a small scale in the laboratory. Thanks to an Idea to Innovation Grant from the National Science and Engineering Research Council, professors Jean-François Blais and Guy Mercier and their team will be able to assess the performance of this process on a larger scale in order to determine its technical and economic feasibility.

"The hydrometallurgical process allows for the simultaneous solubilization of contaminants present in wood waste," said Professor Blais. "It stands out from existing technologies for its ease of operation, its metal solubilization capacity, and its low greenhouse gas emissions."

Once decontaminated, the wood waste can be reused as a raw material for the manufacture of value-added products such as particleboard or heating pellets. In addition, recovered metals could potentially be used to manufacture by-products, such as chromium oxide and copper sulphate.

Read Full Article

Cookinpellets' Recipe: Pure Hardwood 
Racine Journal Times, Wisconsin

"Power to the pellet." That's what they say at Racine-based Cookinpellets, a small but growing company whose owners now also run a north-side business incubator and commercial-tenancy building.

Cookinpellets is coming into its 12th year since it was founded by co-owners Chris Becker and his wife, Julie. During that entire run, the company has averaged 65 percent growth per year, Chris said.

The Beckers also own Trademark Graphics, which Chris says is the oldest U.S. fleet graphics company for police and sheriff departments.

Cookinpellets manufactures and ships premium wooden pellets for pellet grills, grills that can serve as both grills and smokers. Besides meats, Chris said he's used his pellets to bake pizzas, pies and chocolate chip cookies.

He said Cookinpellets are made from sustainable forests in Michigan, where the company also manufactures them. Then they're trucked to Racine for packing and shipping.

Read Full Article

Dangers of Using Co2 to Quench Wood Pellet Silo Fires  
Canadian Biomass

On July 5, 2010, a wood pellet silo in Norway exploded when firefighters released inert carbon dioxide into the headspace to lower the oxygen content and suppress a smoldering fire. The lesson from this incident is that the use of carbon dioxide to suppress silo fires is unsafe.

Smoldering fires produce flammable pyrolysis gasses. The gasses can travel and accumulate, for example in the headspace of the silo. The release of carbon dioxide from high-pressure cylinders can generate static electricity with sufficient energy to ignite the pyrolysis gases.

Smouldering fires
Smouldering fires in wood pellets storages can occur for a number of reasons. There are plenty of examples in industry where pellets self-heat deep inside an undisturbed pile. Another known cause is mechanical friction heat in, for example, a roller bearing, which can ignite dust particles. Embers can be difficult to detect and they can travel in conveyor systems and start fires in storage areas.

Read Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute

[email protected] | 206.209.5277 | www.pelletheat.org