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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Develop thermal verification guidelines for firewood heat treatment

Commercial dry kiln is used to heat treat freshly cut hardwood firewood for interstate commerce. Forest Service
Commercial dry kiln is used to heat treat freshly cut hardwood firewood for interstate commerce. Forest Service
Snapshot: To stop further spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has enforced a heat treatment process for the U.S. firewood industry to heat sterilize all hardwood firewood before it can be shipped out of infested areas. Yet, many firewood producers have had challenges implementing the heat treatment process in firewood operations due to a lack of sufficient heating facilities and a reliable temperature monitoring system. Significant operator errors were also found to occur in the current monitoring process. These new issues could potentially compromise the effectiveness of the heat treatment process and increase the risk of failure to kill EAB in infested ash firewood.

With the support from the US Forest Service Wood Education and Resources Center, Forest Products Laboratory researchers and cooperators at the University of Minnesota-Duluth have initiated a study to improve the current heat treatment process by developing generic thermal verification guidelines. These guidelines are primarily based on kiln conditions, eliminating most operator errors in current heat treatment practices. This project is being conducted by a multidisciplinary team that includes university and federal laboratory researchers, state wood products specialists, USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) officers, and field regulatory staff from several states. Completion of this project will help the firewood industry reduce costs and increase efficiency of heat treatment in commercial firewood operations.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Wang, Xiping

External Partners:
  • University of Minnesota - DuluthUSDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Fiscal Year: 2011
Highlight ID: 279
Related Research Emphasis Areas: