Quality certification investing in technological innovation to obtain environmentally friendly heating.

  • An extraordinary initiative, especially considering that the development of the certification scheme has been strongly supported and promoted by the producers of biomass domestic heat generators themselves. For these and many other reasons, I am satisfied and proud of having participated in the project, initially assisting in the development of certification standards and, later, within the Technical Committee which conducts verifications on the received certification applications. Matteo Favero (ETIFOR)

The problem
The use of renewable energy sources and the adoption of efficient technologies are some of the solutions that contribute to the fight against climate change. In Italy, wood biomass is already the main source of renewable energy today, but its use is not without complications. Notwithstanding recent information distortion, it is undeniable that the use of inadequate quality fuels, associated with the use of poor-performance combustion systems, can actually contribute to the increase of certain atmospheric pollutants, mainly the primary particulate (PM10).

The solution
The Aria Pulita (Clean Air) project is the first Italian experience that defines a quality standard that allows for the measurement, evaluation and communication of the environmental performance of domestic heating appliances that utilize biomass. It is an important and transparent tool, that benefits consumers, the general public and operators. Aria Pulita started from the experience of AIEL,, the leading national organization for the agroforestry biomass sector, with the technical-scientific support of Etifor and the participation of many partners such as ENAMA, ENEA and Legambiente. There are over thirty brands of manufacturers and distributors of stoves, fireplaces and inserts that have joined the initiative.

The certification
Being the first experience of its kind in Italy, the Aria Pulita  certification classifies wood-based biomass-powered civilian heat generators, applying from 2 to 4 stars (in the future, up to 5) depending on increasing levels of environmental performance in terms of productivity and emissions of:

  • Primary particulate (PP);
  • Nitrogen oxides (Nox);
  • Total organic compounds (COTs);
  • Carbon monoxide (CO).

With the aim of promoting the continuous increase in the quality of the appliances, the system does not certify single-star products, even though they meet the requirements that permit it to be placed on the market.

The initiative takes its inspiration from Art. 290 of Legislative Decree n. 152 of April 3rd 2006, and is consistent with the classification of heat generators defined in the recent DGR 5656/2016 of the Lombardy Region, which aims to counteract the recent exceeding of the fine dust law limits.

Designed as a second-party system, Clean Air contributes to the transparency of the market, informing the consumer and providing guarantees during the purchase. Industries can join voluntarily, on the will to invest in increasingly performing appliances with less environmental impact.

Our contribution
For this project, we have provided technical support during the design, development and upgrading as well as in the promotion of the Aria Pulita standard. This system consists of three main elements:

  • guidelines and general requirements of the certification scheme;
  • requirements for certification of heat generators and for organizations;
  • requirements for proper use of the Aria Pulita

Our team also participated in the consultation and preliminary test phase with the producers of appliances involved in the implementation of the standard. We are also responsible for screening the certification applications and our team is a member and co-ordinator of the Certification System Technical Committee, which also includes the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA).