Food and drink supply chains have significant environmental impacts due to their use of resources, emissions, and waste production. An efficient method to reduce this impact is the valorisation of biomass waste through energy recovery by using it as a source of heat. The European energy system faces several fundamental challenges being currently the largest emitter of greenhouse gases due to its large dependence on fossil fuels (mostly natural gas). Therefore, the energy sector's decarbonization will play a central role in achieving a climate-neutral economy in Europe. Identifying the suitable material for biofuel is basically focused on the amount of energy that the material stores, availability, and logistic considerations. Sawdust and wood chips have been extensively used as biofuel in recent years, but other promising raw and waste materials could be adopted (with the positive effect of reducing the impact on forestry soil and the food chain). Novel materials bring consequently novel challenges, also regarding their safe use. As an example, a relevant waste flow is produced from wine manufacturing. A solid with high moisture content is obtained from grapes pressing, and it could be reused to produce distillates. The obtained exhausted pomace could be considered among the materials potentially involved in energy recovery. It is also carrying dust explosion hazard, as solid residues could be present in the form of coarse and fine powders.
In this work, grape pomace is examined: its explosion safety-related properties are evaluated to define the severity of events in which this material could be ignited. Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE), explosion pressure peak (Pmax), deflagration severity index (KSt), autoignition temperature (MIT), and Volatile Point (VP) are measured according to standard procedures. This material's thermal susceptibility and ignition sensitivity are studied and compared with biomasses from different sources (ligneo-cellulosic and herbaceous).