Research & development in the field of pelletizing, mobilization of biomass resources    
DI Wilfried Pichler (DW -16, Email)

Testing, inspection and certification of wood pellets, fuel testing    
DI Andreas Haider (DW -66, Email)  

Standardisation, quality of wood chips    
DI Monika Steiner (DW -912, Email)

Different biofuels
Ring die pelletpress
Wood chips produced on the basis of biomass from forestry
Example of raw material
Probe für Wassergehaltsanalyse
Receipt and acceptance of energy wood: Sampling with modified chain saw
Device for testing the mechanical durability of pellets (Tumbler)
Sieve stack
Determination of water content in drying oven
Flat die pelletpress / pan grinder mill
Belt dryer
Refining station



The specialized division “Bioenergy” focuses on the production, the properties, the logistics and the market of solid biofuels, in particular wood-based biofuels. This encompasses wood pellets, wood briquettes as well as certain assortments of round wood, wood chips and hog fuel which are suitable for energetic utilisation. Partners are producers and traders of biofuels, technology providers in the field of biomass-based fuel processing and suppliers of additives or measuring instruments.

Research and Development

Process optimisation and product quality improvement in biomass processing and utilisation

Since spring 2013 Holzforschung Austria runs a state of the art biomass pilot plant at its site “Arsenal” in Vienna in which R&D questions regarding processing and optimized utilisation of solid biomass are examined. This biomass pilot plant was built up together with two other R&D partners, using funds of a COIN program and is now run within the research association “BioUp”. Different technologies for separation of impurities, comminution and pelletizing are at place for R&D as well as industrial scale tests and are connected to modern measuring instruments. We aim for an international top-ranking position in the field of biomass research. Further information you can find at

For already 10 years we have been working amongst others in several research projects in the field of optimization of wood pellets ("Pro-Pellet 1 - Optimization of wood pellets and combustion systems"), the energy- and cost-effectiveness of the pelletizing process ("K-Ind ‑ Improving the efficiency in the pelletizing process"), the drying of wood fuel (study conducted at the request of the cooperative platform Forest-Wood-based Panels-Paper - FHP) as well as the development of pellet production in European markets (“Pellets@las"). These preliminary studies are the basis for the current activities in our biomass pilot plant with extended opportunities for R&D.

Know-how in the field of wood chips and hog fuel for energetic use

The development of the OENORM C 4005 standard for wood chips and hog fuel for energetic use was actively supported and practically promoted by Holzforschung Austria in the last years. These activities were supported by an Austria-wide screening of wood chip samples in the course of the project "ChipClass" which was initiated by cooperative platform Forest-Wood-based Panels-Paper - FHP and accomplished by Holzforschung Austria. Based on the results of almost 100 tested samples, suggestions for raw material classes were elaborated, then discussed in expert workshops and finally proposed in the standardisation committee. Supported by the successful implementation of series of tests with industry partners in the field of wood chip quality a sound competence was established for Austria that is one-of-a-kind all over Europe. Through the project “Solid Standards”, which aims at enhancing the uptake of standards within the industry by providing training on standards, this competence is placed on an international level and is widely acknowledged. Further activities in this special field of competence of Holzforschung Austria are currently on their way. Results of our comprehensive studies are exemplarily summed up in the booklet "Wood chips & hog fuel" that was published both in English and in German .

Inspection, certification and testing of biofuels

Holzforschung Austria is accredited for inspection, certification and testing of biofuels. This includes wood pellets, wood briquettes, wood chips and hog fuel as well as other solid biofuels. The following certification schemes and testing methods are within our scope:

Inspection of wood pellets and wood briquettes

  • ENplus®: European Pellet Council: Handbook for the Certification of Wood Pellets for Heating Purposes (based on EN 14961-2)
  • DINplus: Certification Scheme for Wood pellets for use in small furnaces (based on EN 14961-2)
  • OENORM C 4006: Wood briquettes for non-industrial use

For the programs stated above the specialized division “Bioenergy” performs both the inspection audits of the production sites and the obligatory fuel testing and analysis.

ENplus®-certification of wood pellets

  • ENplus®: European Pellet Council: Handbook for the Certification of Wood Pellets for Heating Purposes (based on EN 14961-2)

For this internationally established certification scheme Holzforschung Austria is working as accredited certification body. With the combined inspection and certification by Holzforschung Austria our customers realize advantages, both regarding competent consulting on their way to obtain the ENplus® certificate and also regarding a cost-effective certification process. This makes Holzforschung Austria the top choice for the ENplus certification of wood pellets.

>>> List of ENplus® certificate holders

Inspection of receipt and acceptance of energy wood

  • Regular inspection of the receipt and acceptance of energy wood  for operators of heating plants and CHP plants

Holzforschung Austria controls the process of receipt and acceptance of wood fuel, which contributes to transparency between buyer and seller of wood fuel assortments. Currently the inspection is carried out for single sites but due to the dynamic market growth in the fuel wood sector we are working on a multi-site certification. This multi-site certification is especially addressed to companies that run a higher number of biomass plants.

Large scale biomass plant operators like EVN, Linz Strom and the Österreichische Bundesforste (CHP plant in Simmering, Vienna) already use this service of Holzforschung Austria.

Accredited fuel testing

All quality parameters of OENORM EN 14961-2 for wood pellets as well as OENORM EN 14961-3 for wood briquettes are analysed by Holzforschung Austria and our accredited partner laboratories. Based on these analyses Holzforschung Austria issues accredited test reports for the quality of pellets and briquettes. Several fuel quality parameters can of course be analyzed for wood chips and hog fuel as well, additionally for these fuels a particle size classification (sieving analysis) is possible. The following analyses are carried out within our fuel quality tests:


OENORM CEN/TS 15370-1:

Determination of ash melting behaviour

OENORM EN 14774-2:

Determination of water content

OENORM EN 14775:

Determination of ash content (at 550°C)

OENORM EN 14918:

Determination of net calorific value

OENORM EN 15103:

Determination of bulk density

OENORM EN 15104:

Determination of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen

OENORM EN 15149-1:

Determination of content of fines (e.g. in pellet samples)

OENORM EN 15149-1:

Particle size classification (sieving analysis of wood chips and hog fuel)

OENORM EN 15150:

Determination of particle density of briquettes

OENORM EN 15210-1:

Determination of mechanical durability of pellets

OENORM EN 15289:

Determination of sulphur and chlorine

OENORM EN 15297:

Determination of arsenic, lead, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, zinc and nickel

OENORM EN 16127:

Determination of the dimensions of pellets and briquettes

Upon request, together with the specialized division "Analytical Chemistry / Measurement of emissions" we can carry out special analyses like content of starch, content of volatile organic matter (VOC), content of volatile matter or content of ash producing elements (Ca, Mg, K, Fe, Na, Al).

By carrying out these analyses on a regular basis the comprehensive knowledge of Holzforschung Austria regarding biofuel quality widens constantly which provides our customers advantages in the field of consultation and support. 

Further services

The specialized division “Bioenergy” offers training courses for the correct receipt and acceptance of energy wood for the staff of heating pants and CHP plants.

Expert’s reports can be provided upon request and cover the areas fuel quality, fuel logistics and fuel receipt and acceptance. Special requests are examined in cooperation with other specialized divisions of Holzforschung Austria.

Holzforschung Austria is very much involved in the process of standardisation and places the interests of industry and trade in the relevant discussion processes. In national and international standardisation projects for the development of standards for solid biofuels Holzforschung Austria participates actively. As the introduction of the new European standards for solid biofuels is more or less completed we now have a focus on supporting Austrian companies regarding the implementation of these standards. This is realized on the one hand by participation in the national standardisation committee where existing gaps of the European standards shall be closed by additional national standards. On the other hand Holzforschung Austria is active in the European project “Solid Standards” which focuses on the implementation of the European standards for product quality and quality assurance for solid biofuels.

Special facilities

Biomass pilot plant

Holzforschung Austria runs a comprehensively equipped biomass pilot plant where test runs for biomass utilisation and upgrading can be performed. The following machines can be used for this purpose separately, but also in various combinations to examine whole process chains:




Ring die pelletpress, industrial scale

Salmatec Anlagenbau GmbH

Pelletizing of biomass raw materials for huge test quantities

Ring die pelletpress, laboratory scale

CPM (California Pellet Mill)

Pelletizing of biomass raw materials for exploratory analyses

Flat die pelletpress / Pan Grinder Mill

Amandus Kahl GmbH & Co. KG

Preparation and pelletizing of biomass raw materials

Refining station

Albert Knoblinger GesmbH / ACO

Testing of additives and raw material blends

Belt dryer

Andritz / Heiza

Setting up a defined water content of biomass raw materials, technical dehydration

Four-shaft shredder

Untha shredding technology

Rough comminution of biomass raw materials

Hammer mill

Tietjen Verfahrenstechnik GmbH

Comminution of biomass raw materials to produce material suitable for pelletizing

Impurity separator

Teccon, Mesutronic

Separation of stones and other impurities from biomass raw materials

Sieve and washing station


Dry and wet sieving and washing of biomass raw materials


Biomass laboratory

Holzforschung Austria has an own, state of the art biomass laboratory for the accredited analysis of all the relevant fuel quality parameters stated above. A special feature is the sieve stack which is used for the particle size classification of wood chips and hog fuel. Additionally, we can determine the amount of stones and other non-combustible heavy impurities. For this, we use an innovative heavy-media separation / elutriation procedure in a water container that was especially developed for this purpose at Holzforschung Austria.