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Production and handling technology for biomass fuels


The research on production technology of biomass fuels at VTT is focusing on fuel procurement, supply and handling technologies. The goal is to develop new more efficient machines and methods for solid biomass fuels.

The following biomass fuels are researched:

  • Woody biomass fuels from forest, plantations and wood processing industry to be used for residential heating and production of district heat and power
  • Fuel peat
  • Herbaceous biomass fuels like reed canary grass and straw

Production and handling technology development covers the following working phases:

  • fuel production at fields, forests and peatlands
  • fuel storage and delivery to plant
  • fuel receiving and storage at plant and feeding to boiler

R&D work is carried out in cooperation with fuel producers and suppliers, equipment manufacturers, DH and power plants and other research organisations. We are working at VTT`s laboratory facilities and in practice, in biomass production areas and DH and power plants. We work close in close cooperation with VTT`s combustion research, therefore research covers the whole biomass utilisation chain from forest or field or peatland to DH or power plant. We have also a large international cooperation network.

Our challenge is to develop technologies to increasing demand of biomass fuels taking also environmental aspects into account, as well as to develop cost-efficient production methods, to secure employment of the sector and to develop cost-efficient ash recycling in order to reduce dumping costs of ash.


  • integrated forest fuel procurement technologies
  • new year round and environmentally sound fuel peat production technologies
  • more efficient pellet and herbaceous biomass production technologies
  • new measurement technologies for biomass quality control
  • new transport technologies and ash recycling


  • fuel production efficiency and quality will increase and costs will decrease
  • fuel supplies will be enhanced
  • environmental effects of biomass fuel production will decrease and ash dumping will decrease
  • supply of biomass fuels to plants will become more efficient and secure
  • export of Finnish biomass fuels machines will increase


  • Reed canary grass production and combustion technology developed together with fuel producers and users during 2006 – 2008
  • Forest fuel production technology will be developed together with Forest Centre of Central Finland during 2008 – 2010
  • New and environmentally sound fuel peat production technology has been developed in cooperation with Vapo Oy during 2004 – 2008
  • International project coordinated by VTT (Quality wood, ( and AFO (under contract negoation) and partners in several EU projects
  • Fuel production and utilisation assessment studies in Poland, Russia, France, Uruguary and Ukraine during 2004 – 2009
  • Assessment study of bush chip production and use for electricity production in Namibia during 2006 – 2008

Additional information

Dr. Arvo Leinonen
Chief Research Scientist
+358 20 722 2677

Additional information

Dr. Arvo Leinonen
Chief Research Scientist
+358 20 722 2677