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Pollution from woodburners
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dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 05 7:08 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
.... I've always been taught that the roots of a tree are the same size as the top.
One rule of thumb is to expect the roots to spread as wide as the crown - but it does vary dramatically with the species.
Seeing trees toppled by the "great hurricane" showed that the roots represent a pretty tiny fraction of the biomass...

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 05 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

One thing that could be done to reduce a huge amount of pollution from burning stuff is to stop the vast amounts of bonfires people have. People round here seem to cut their hedges, trim trees and remove overgrown plants and just light a huge smoking bonfire the same day. Not a thought about drying the material off, composting some of it or even seasoning some of the wood for a bbq or inside fire.

In theory the council tells people not to have bonfires but in reality they do absolutely nothing about them.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 05 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
trim trees and remove overgrown plants and just light a huge smoking bonfire the same day....Not a thought about...seasoning some of the wood for a bbq or inside fire


Perhaps its because when you do that, even offer to take spare wood from them rather than have them drive it to the tip, and keep it to season and burn, you wind up with the desert-loving neighbours either side having conversations across your garden over the musical tones of the weed sprayer while they say "I like a nice easy maintenance garden I do". I'll give you an easy maintenance garden - the council runs scores of them on your behalf. Go and get a flat and let someone else actually appreciate and maybe even GARDEN in your garden. Grrr.

Sorry, were we talking about something else?

NL's point about the other good stuff from wood as well as just the fuel rings bells with me. I don't know that it is perfect, but I am happier with it than any other fuel, I would love to have an efficient burner rather than a gas boiler.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 05 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
One thing that could be done to reduce a huge amount of pollution from burning stuff is to stop the vast amounts of bonfires people have.

I remember hearing that *barbecue* smoke (and grease!) is a significant contributor to Los Angeles' smog...
Environmental impact?
Sling on another burger, y'all!

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41968
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 05 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dougal wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:
One thing that could be done to reduce a huge amount of pollution from burning stuff is to stop the vast amounts of bonfires people have.

I remember hearing that *barbecue* smoke (and grease!) is a significant contributor to Los Angeles' smog...
Environmental impact?
Sling on another burger, y'all!


Hmm, that sounds a bit of a: "It's all right for me to drive a Hummer, it's those pesky barbecuers causing all the problems." type argument.
Doesn't everyone in LA only eat raw food nowadays anyway?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 05 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

July 12th & 13th celebrations coming up here, there'll be a fair few bonfires going on .....luckily I'm out of the country for it all

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 05 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Smog and barbecues.
There's two stories at least. Which I may have minced together. Made a burger of actually.

1/ "Take Houston, Texas, where 'cuing is practically a way of life. Researchers at Rice University have found that fatty acids in the meat smoke wafting up from the city's grills (including those at restaurants) contribute a small but signiflcant amount of lung-harming particles to Houston's already hazy skies."
http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200507/hearth.asp

2/ Home chemicals including Barbecue Lighters as a major source of smog in LA.
"Ordinary household products such as cleansers, cosmetics and paints are now the Los Angeles region's second-leading source of air pollution, after auto tailpipe emissions, air quality officials say."
...
"A backlash against some of California's existing regulations is fresh in the minds of officials too. No pollution control measure in the Los Angeles region has drawn more litigation than rules requiring low-solvent paints. A 1990 measure requiring low-polluting charcoal lighter fluid infuriated political conservatives, who rallied around the slogan "use a barbecue, go to jail" and charged that air-quality officials were engaged in social engineering.
Home pollutants:
Consumer products now rank as a major source of air pollution in the Southland. All figures are in tons of hydrocarbons emitted daily:
178 -- cars and light trucks
108 -- consumer products
48 -- industrial paints and coatings
43 -- off-road equipment
36 -- recreational boats
28 -- commercial paints and coatings
22 -- petroleum marketing "
http://www.ecolivingcenter.com/articles/chemicalsinthehome.html

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 05 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have a woodburner (Clearview) in the parlour which we put in last autumn when the oil burner conked out. It's wonderful, and the fuel could hardly be more local: all from our own land. We could use bottled gas, but we'd ahve to collect it or have it depivered. Sadly, the old chap uses a petrol chain saw to hoarvest the wood, but I don't think he's strong enough to do it by hand! (Don't tell him I said that!)

We do still use coal in the Rayburn though: I'm not sure if it would stay in over night on wood. Has anyone tried? If it's possible, I'd like to change over after cleaning the chimneys. Anyone got a set of chimney brushes?

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41968
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 05 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Finally found the site I was looking for:
http://www.woodheat.org/index.htm

oldhibberd



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 05 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Am intending to Install a Clearview Stove in the lounge in a few weeks.

Should be fairly self sufficient in wood.

I do wonder however what effect on the whole 'Carbon Neutral Cycle' thing chopping it all up with a gas guzzling chain saw would have.

Just as I decided against the strimmer in favour of a decent scythe, I'm chopping most of my wood with a bow saw. But then I'm still youngish and fitish. Can't guarantee I'll still be able to in thirty years time!

Incidentally the old Rayburn in the kitchen which leaks like a Sieve spewed coal dust all over Kitchen (And presumably likewise straight up the Chimney) last winter. Burning on wood did seem to be a lot cleaner. Seemed to me to create only a fraction of the dust. I Just need to get round to having a really good go at sealing up all the cracks so am able to control the temperature properly.

farmwoody



Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 05 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My OH Martin is a chimney engineer. He installs woodburners, lines chinmeys, replaces flues and runs a consultancy advising historical (& new!) buildings.
I'm NOT an expert but he would say several things about woodburners.
1. The burner is only as efficient as the flue. On 99% of occasions a chimney needs to be lined.
2. Clearview stoves are in his experience the most efficient stove manufactured in the UK. (He is self employed, so no bias. We have two clearviews here at upperwood)
3. Something to consider if you install your own stove or have a builder install for you. Unless the installer is HETAS certified your garauntees and house insurances are invalid should something go wrong or when you come to sell your house.
About 30 % of Martins consultancy work is taken with cases where builders have incorrectly installed stoves and flues and litigation proceeds .
4. Your stove needs to be correctly installed. Burning wood causes carbon monoxide just the same as coal. If a stove or flue is 'leaky' due to sloppy installation, it CAN kill.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 05 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sean, shall I add that link to your article on installing a woodburner or do you want to develop it yourself?

http://www.downsizer.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 05 8:14 am    Post subject: woodburners Reply with quote    

the only problem we had with our woodburner was that in a house our size, it was too efficient and in the end we removed it and went back to open log fires because we couldn't actually sit in the front room while it was running, it was too hot and using up all the oxygen in the room..

i think they are marvelous things but in a 12 ft square room with low ceilings just too big

we had to have the window open so far that it was just a nonsense using it at all

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