Abstract Nieves Fernandez

Fire and explosion risks associated with biomass: what we know and what comes next

Solid biomass is one of the main substitutes of fossil fuels worldwide. Their energetic advantages have been studied and improved for the last decade, showing their possibility to be a replacement for the current solid energy sources. However, with these new material, new scenarios arise, together with the need to ensure safety. As a general approach, the well-known safety procedures long developed for coal where implemented, considering the knowledge transferable from one material to another. Nevertheless, as the technology advanced, differences were noticed not only between coal and biomass, but among the different types of biomasses, increasing the concern and showing the need of specific research focused on solid biofuels.

If we speak in terms of fire, smouldering fires, flaming fires, self-heating and explosions are common risks associated to these processes, and need to be understood. The first step to do so is to characterise the materials and fully study the influence of certain parameters in the fire behaviour, i.e. particle size, moisture content, volatiles content. Additionally, the study of new procedures to reduce the number of events and the consequences of them is also essential.