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Under CEN, a 'Task Force"(number 143) has been established to work at the topic "Measurement of Organic Contaminants –'tar'- in Biomass Producer Gases'. The TF is opened to representatives of each country affiliated to CEN, and each representative (or each national committee, if there is more than 1 representative per country) has the right of vote. The Experts of the "Tar Measurement Standard project" act as national representatives in the TF after that CEN issues a formal call for participation to the work. Other external experts or people in the field are contacted to know if they are interested to join the TF activities.

CEN had issued a formal call for participation to all the states that are members of CEN through the corresponding national institutes. So far, apart from the countries to which the project partners belong (Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Switzerland), Germany,Portugal, France, Italy and Greece has nominated official delegates to join the work of the Task Force.

The first version of the draft Standard has been prepared and discussed in the first official CEN/TF 143 meeting held in June 2003. Meanwhile, the group has produced a second draft standard (version 1.1) that has been discussed in the second official meeting of the CEN BT TF 143, held in Amsterdam in November 2003. Two national meetings (between the chairman of the TF, Novem, and the secretary of the CEN TF 143, NEN, as well as the co-ordinator of the project, ECN) have been held in preparation of the official meetings of the CEN TF. In one of these meetings it has been decided to establish soon a national mirror committee, since 4 participants come from the same country (the Netherlands)

The CEN TF 143 has established official liaisons with other CEN Task Forces or Task Force like the CEN Task Force of standardisation of solid Biofuels, (CEN BT 335), as well as with ASTM (the American Standardisation Institute), and ISO, as to initiate activities aiming at the later internationalisation of the Standard and acceptance as a measurement method at a broad international level. Currently, at international level there are no other similar activities on tar measurement like the current European initiative. In the US, contacts have been established with NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratories) that is going to initiate a similar standardisation procedure in the US, as soon as the European standardisation activity will be about to deliver its final results. To download the latest version of the Standard click here

Co-ordination of R&D activities
A Round Robin test has been carried out in order to assess the accuracy and reproducibility of the analytical procedures. The participation of several institutes/laboratories was required in order to collect adequate amount of data. In addition to the project partners also other institutes/laboratories active in tar measurement have been invited to participate.

Round Robin of gas chromatographic method was divided into two phases, synthetic samples and real samples, in order to simplify the determination/tracing of possible problems, errors and uncertainty sources. In the first round synthetic samples with about 10 tar compounds representing updraft and downdraft or fluidised bed gasifiers shall be analysed gas chromatographically by the participating laboratories. On the basis of the results of round 01, real samples from updraft and downdraft or fluidised bed gasifiers have been analysed gas chromatographically and gravimetric (residue of evaporation) in round 02. The samples represent both types of tar at typical concentration levels in the Round Robin test (RRT)and parallel measurement. For the GC analysis a selection of compounds was made that could be most representative for the composition spectrum respectively of fluidised bed gasifier and updraft gasifier. Round Robin tests are reported according to ISO 5952.The RRT was performed in the period March 2003- November 2003. The results can be downloaded here.

Parallel measurement campaign
The parallel measurement campaign is a continuation of the RRT because information of the accuracy and reproducibility of the sampling method can be gathered. For the parallel measurement campaigns extensive preparation and planning was also performed in 2003. The preparation concerned the choice of the gasifier, how many institutions should be involved, and what to compare and analyse. An invitation to join the parallel measurement campaign had been sent around to technical experts and institutions working in the field and there have been many positive replies.

Meanwhile two parallel measurement campaigns have been performed one at Umsicht, Oberhausen (on a scale fludised bed gasifier) in November 2004; the second one in Harbøore (Denmark) at a commercial-scale updraft gasifier, in April 2004.