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March/April 2011
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Solid Fuel Burning Appliances

New ASTM standard E2779 covers particulate matter emissions from pellet heaters.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently revising its New Source Performance Standards for wood burning heaters. Two new ASTM International standards on particulate matter emissions have been developed by Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings with the goal that they be referenced in the revised NSPS.

E2779, Test Method for Determining Particulate Matter Emissions from Pellet Heaters, and E2780, Test Method for Determining Particulate Matter Emissions from Wood Heaters, are under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E06.54 on Solid Fuel Burning Appliances.

While there are EPA test methods embedded in the current NSPS, they have not been revised in the last 20 years because doing so would have involved reopening the entire rule to revision, a complex process. Now that the EPA is revising the NSPS, the time is right.

“With a revised NSPS on the horizon and the willingness of EPA technical staff to work to develop improved, consensus-based test methods for use going forward, it simply made sense to develop improved methods within the ASTM venue,” says Robert Ferguson, president, Ferguson, Andors and Co., and an E06 member.

According to Ferguson, E2779 and E2780 prescribe fueling and operating protocols for use when measuring particulate emissions from pellet burning and hand-fueled wood heaters, respectively, in conjunction with E2515, Test Method for Determination of Particulate Matter Emissions Collected by a Dilution Tunnel.

“These are laboratory-based procedures that specify the fuel type, configuration, moisture content range and other parameters needed to standardize testing with pellet or wood fuel,” says Ferguson, who notes that users, primarily wood and pellet heater manufacturers conducting testing during new product development and third party testing laboratories that will provide official emission performance data for tested products as part of the EPA certification program, should find E2779 and E2780 easy to use.

Ferguson encourages all interested parties to participate in the standards developing activities of E06.54.

Rick Curkeet, Intertek Testing Services, and E06.54 chairman, says, “Our subcommittee has done a tremendous job in creating a suite of solid fuel appliance particulate emissions standards in a very short time frame.” In addition to E2515, E2779 and E2780, these standards include E2558, Test Method for Determining Particulate Matter Emissions from Fires in Low Mass Wood-Burning Fireplaces, and E2618, Test Method for Measurement of Particulate Emissions and Heating Efficiency of Outdoor Solid Fuel-Fired Hydronic Heating Appliances.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Robert Ferguson, Ferguson, Andors and Co., South Royalton, Vt.

Phone: 802-763-2339

ASTM Staff: Stephen Mawn

Phone: 610-832-9726