A key issue to pellet development and promotion is to collate, and disseminate important research findings. The ALTENER/Pellets for Europe project addressed this issue in a questionnaire survey on past and current R&D (Research & Development) activities in Europe. The information was compiled to form a European R&D register for pellets. The present status of pellet R&D was analysed, including identification of demand for new research areas. To reach small and medium sized enterprises, the project worked to establish forums for increased dialogue between R&D institutions and the commercial actors on a regional level, especially concerning technology development issues. These forums also ensure that a continuous dialogue is kept within the R&D community.
Different centres for pellet R&D exist in most European countries, but frequently they work in isolation. There are currently more than 110 research groups actively dealing with pellet related issues. The total number of scientists involved is about 200 and the total number of current and past pellet related projects goes beyond 300. The research performed covers different aspects of pellets, ranging from raw materials and production to combustion and emissions. Research institutions represented are e.g., universities, institutes, private companies and university hospitals. The number of research performers has increased considerably during the last 5 years. A Swedish research network, that now comprises more than 60 scientists, was initiated in 2001 as a part of the regional pellet project EnergyCentre.Info. This European R&D project has developed the bases for a similar network on a European level. The network will ensure that research results are disseminated and put to use by industry, making pellets even better adapted to customer needs. The R&D register is integrated in the database on market actors but can also be downloaded as a separate spreadsheet file here (download R&D register).
The full R&D report was presented at the European Pellet Conference in Wels 2005, and can be downloaded here (R&D Report). Please press "ctrl"-button the same time, as you click on download the link.