The Process

Wood Chips > Bulk Loading > Heat Treating > Certification > Shipping


Biomass production will be produced from mixed conifer bolewood to meet the specific requirements of the European Union standing Committee on Plant Health. Bolewood production is processed from the delimbed, bark-on, whole tree stem. The resulting biomass chips are of a high quality, relatively uniform and with a white appearance. Procurement from the Eastern Maine U.S.A. and Southwestern New Brunswick, CA. with in-woods and port production facilities.


The Port of Eastport USA is deepest draft marine terminal in North America and is the closest bulk-loading facility in the United States to European markets. The forest products bulkyard was engineered to receive and piledown in excess of 60,000 tons of woodchips on a 7-acre paved pad. The new bulk loading system operates at a nominal rate of 1000 tons per hour and will accommodate chip class vessels stowing bulk in excess of 40,000 gmt within its holds.


Export of wood fiber into the European Union has not been possible until the development by Phyto-Charter and verification by the US Department of Agriculture (APHIS) of a viable heat treating system which comports with the phytosanitary controls of the European Union. Phyto- Charter developed the Shipboard Heat Treating System under a commission with the Forest Biomass Research Institute (University of Maine, Orono) together with its retained engineers at Nyle Systems of Brewer, Maine and design builder Player Design, of Presque Isle, Maine.

The Method
The Phyto-Charter shipboard Heat Treating System utilizes the moisture contained within the wood fiber to infuse the air to 100 percent moisture saturation as the medium to bring the woodchip cargo temperature to above 56°C which is maintained for a period of 30 minutes.

The heating units are set on the deck with ship’s gear. Fuel tankers and power generators remain on the quay and connect to the heating apparatus with ex pipe and cables.

Flexduct connects the heating apparatus to “duct towers” which pass through to the holds through “hatch panel” penetrations. Air infusers are arrayed on the tank tops of the hold and are supplied with saturated air by the multiple ducts passing through the duct towers. The air infusers are controlled by electric actuated dampers at duct tower air splitter. Temperature and air velocity sensors feed data back to a PLC which control the dampers to adjust the air velocity and temperature. The infusion controls ensure the efficient distribution of heat throughout the chamber.

After the entire cargo has been heat treated, the heating apparatus and duct towers are removed back to the quay. The cargo holds will be aspirated, dissipating the moisture.


Protocols entered into with USDA, APHIS, PPQ will ensure that the wood fiber has been fully heat treated and rendered sanitized.

USDA, APHIS, PPQ will monitor the system and have access to all equipment and to the vessel being treated and receive process data in real me. USDA, APHIS, PPQ will provide inspection and third party certification of the bolewood chipping process to certify that the process eliminates all green, live, plant material from the bole prior to chipping. USDA, APHIS, PPQ will certify that the consignment complies with Annex IV.I A, point 1.2 op on (a) of EC Plant Health Directive 2000/29/EC.


Phyto Charter is shipping Heat treated wood ships around the world.

Phyto-Charter will serve the growing biomass energy markets, mdf panel board mills and the pulp and paper industry through our shipping and trading partners.