General Project description:

The UltraLowDust project aims at the demonstration of an European approach for ultra-low emission small-scale biomass combustion based on three novel technologies which cover the whole range of residential biomass heating applications.

For pellet and woodchips combustion a new ultra-low emission boiler technology (UleWIN) operating at almost zero CO, OGC and PM emissions is demonstrated. Moreover, a new stove technology (APS) based on optimised air staging and an automated control system which shows significantly decreased PM, CO and OGC emissions compared with present stoves is introduced. For PM emission reduction in old and new logwood boilers, old stoves as well as boilers for non-wood biomass fuels, a new ESP system (RuFF ESP) is demonstrated.

These three technologies shall after successful demonstration define a new state-of-the-art regarding ultra-low emission biomass combustion covering an intelligent combination of primary and secondary measures. The technologies are demonstrated within field tests over two heating seasons. Moreover, the project aims at the development of market introduction plans for the new technologies which are supported by a market study as well as techno-economic analyses and overall impact assessments based on the results of the field tests. Additionally, the project aims at the development of recommendations for future emission limits under consideration of the results achieved, which shall then be discussed with national and EU authorities active in legislation making.

To reach these aims a consortium of partners from 3 EU-countries consisting of the manufacturers of the three key technologies, research institutions which support the industrial partners with their expertise in biomass combustion, one partner who is active in the field of international networking and policy making as well as, as coordinator, an internationally recognised engineering company, experienced in market studies and technology assessments has been formed.

Project Partners


Main objectives of the project:

Against the background of the European situation concerning emissions from residential biomass combustion and based on the underlying strategic approach, the objectives of the project are defined as follows.

1.      Demonstration of new technologies and products in the residential biomass heating sector with ultra-low emissions, especially PM emissions, which should after successful demonstration be able to define a new state-of-the-art regarding low emission residential biomass combustion. Therefore, the following technologies should be demonstrated:

  • completely new developed ultra-low emission pellet boiler technology (UleWIN),
  • completely new developed low-emission logwood stove technology (APS),
  • newly developed small-scale ESP to enable ultra-low PM emission operation for modern logwood boilers, boilers operated with non-wood fuels and low PM emission operation for old logwood boilers and old logwood stoves.

In this respects the consortium defines the following target values regarding low- and ultra-low PM emissions.

  • ultra low PM emissions for new boilers: <1 mg/MJNCV (reduction by a factor of 10-25)
  • ultra-low PM emissions for stoves: <5 mg/MJNCV (reduction by a factor of 10)
  • low emission for retrofitted old boilers/stoves: <20 mg/MJNCV (reduction by a factor of 5-10)

2.  The technologies to be demonstrated have already passed the proof of concept. Therefore, the main objective of the project is to perform extensive field tests (two periods lasting over one heating season each) in order to

  • overcome the gap between successfully passed lab-tests and market introduction,
  • make the systems ready for the market (elimination of weak points),
  • demonstrate the benefits in terms of emission reduction, energy production efficiency and cost efficiency gained from these new technologies and
  • provide a good data basis for the subsequent Europe-wide marketing of the technologies.

3.  Development of market introduction strategies for the new technologies to enable a quick and efficient market penetration.

4.  The performance of techno-economic analyses and environmental impact assessments of the technologies demonstrated to support the market introduction strategies.

5.   The formulation of recommendations regarding new legislative regulations for emission limits based on the results of the field tests should be worked out and communicated to

  • national and EU stakeholders
  • political opinion makers and
  • authorities responsible for the definition of respective legislative measures

6.   Efficient dissemination of project results to a dedicated group of experts as well as to the broad public.

  • Organisation of an international project conference
  • Preparation and distribution of information leaflets concerning the new technologies
  • Participation in trade fairs, conferences and IEA workshops.



Expected final results of the project and their potential impact and use:

Among the different fields of applications small-scale residential biomass combustion for space heating and warm water production holds a considerable share on the total energy production from biomass. Due to the EU and national greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives an enforced trend towards the utilisation of renewable energies is needed and therefore also a considerable increase of thermal biomass utilisation for energy production is expected.

However, this aspired increase of biomass utilisation in residential heating must be achieved without an increase of harmful emissions. Thereby it has to be taken into account that, even if through the last decades a steep further technological development towards lower emissions of small-scale biomass combustion took place, compared with heating oil and natural gas fired systems still some disadvantages regarding emissions exist.

Within this project the methodologies and experimental plans as well as evaluation strategies and tools are defined and harmonised in order to demonstrate three selected ultra-low emission technologies and to improve the present state-of-the-art regarding PM measurement for biomass boiler, stoves and precipitators. After completion of test stand tests with each technology and final adjustments the technologies are demonstrated at field testing sites for two heating seasons. During this demonstration phase weak points of the units should be eliminated by accompanying RTD work and a further optimisation will take place.

Based on a comprehensive market study regarding residential small-scale biomass combustion systems for Europe and a broad dissemination of results, market introduction strategies for the three technologies should be developed. In parallel the project results will be communicated to authorities in order to define recommendations for future legislation regarding emission limits.

With the mentioned strategy an efficient market introduction of the new ultra-low mission technologies demonstrated within this project should be achieved.

By reaching the aims mentioned above, the successful implementation of the project will have a considerable number of significant impacts on the European energy system which are related to

  • Climate protection by eliminating the disadvantages of small-scale biomass combustion systems in comparison to oil and gas fired units.
  • Market evolution to define a new “state-of-the-art” for small-scale biomass combustion regarding ultra-low emissions.
  • Improved air quality by a significant reduction of PM towards “zero” emission.
  • Social impacts regarding decentralised, sustainable and clean energy supply and substantial reduction of health risks caused by PM emissions
  • Economic impacts regarding the creation of green jobs and technological leadership aspects.
  • Legislation towards new and stricter emission limits within the EU.