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The One Big Point

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jebatty, Feb 12, 2008.

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  1. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I greatly would appreciate One Big Point which any of you think should be made in favor of wood gasification boiler technology. Our local community development corporation has asked me to make a presentation on wood gasification boilers. If a few or many of you can distill the One Big Point you think needs to be made, the combination of Big Points should help greatly in making a positive presentation. The One Big Point may be critical as well as complimentary.

    I may be the only person in this area who has a wood gasification boiler in operation. I sure have let lots of people know of my positive experiences. Mine is the Tarm, and I don't want to favor one brand over another comparable brand. Yet Tarm is where my experience is. So your comments will be especially helpful.

    Thanks to all willing to help.

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  2. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Je, IMO only. When speaking you always have to consider your audience. These are people who don't understand, possibly don't care. Why should they it likely doesn't effect them. But, you have to givem a reason to break from the ordinary. So make it good.


    If I am pitching it to the community. Keep it simple

    1. It has no visible exaust

    Maybe because its:
    2. It is used to burn wastewood.
    3. Reduces demand on their NG making cheaper for them to have NG furnaces/boilers (don't do this one)


    GL Bill
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I second that.

    No pollution & more fossil fuel left for them.
  4. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

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    Our local area here was considering banning all indoor wood burning devices due to a rash of chimney fires. A properly used gassifier has almost zero chance of creating a chimney fire.
  5. Rick Stanley

    Rick Stanley Feeling the Heat

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    I think I'll go ahead and suggest that possibly money is the One Big Point. :shut: Alternative energy always gets lip service when prices of commonly used energy rise. Look at the contributors to this news group. Many are here because they are in the heating service and installation business. Many others are here because of their affiliation, past and present, with heating equipment sales and manufacturing companies. This site is a billboard for a few companies. I don't know of course, as this is only a suggestion, but maybe the owner of this site and the guys who run it are getting paid. Probably the majority of the rest of us, including me, are here because of the potential money savings wood gasification offers. I bet your audience will hear you clearly if you make money the One Big Point. I would talk that up big time.
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    It depends on who you're talking to and what you're trying to accomplish. A group of people thinking about getting into wood burning is one thing; a potentially hostile crowd thinking about banning the practice, is quite another matter.

    I think money is the One Big Point for most of us as users (sure is for me). But when trying to convince my neighbors that it's OK for me to burn wood in our community, I don't think it helps to point out that they're paying through the nose for gas or fuel oil....and I'm not. They're generally not as enthusiastic about my savings and relative comfort as I am.
  7. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

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    Also, I recently heard the definition of "carbon neutral" as not burning "fossilized" carbon. Coal, oil, NG, and LP are all considered fossilized carbon. Wood is not.

    I'd get more opinions on this before you use it. I see the argument. But I'm not sure I buy it. Granted, as wood burners we are recirculating carbon already in the environment. We are not pulling carbon from the earth. But we are really speading up the process compared to a log decomposing in the forest. But, if your community is big on these efforts, it may be a convincing argument.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The other, oft-overlooked factor in the carbon sequestration argument is that when you cut a tree down, new trees start growing in its place, and they tend to absorb even more carbon during vigorous young growth than the tree you removed. If you cut the tree down and turn it into firewood that you burn two years later, you're not accelerating the release of that carbon a whole lot more than if the tree had fallen down and started to rot. In about three years' time, most downed trees are pretty well decayed anyway.

    It's a very good argument in favor of wood heat, IMO. It's an even better argument for using wood in place of things like steel and plastic.
  9. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    How about the fact that gassifiers use about half the wood of regular wood burning techniques not to mention a million BTU's of wood cost less than half than comparable fossil fuel heating?
  10. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    I would introduce a caveat to the definition. It doesn't account for the removal of large amounts of forest or "clearing" If you never replace the wood you cut it isn't carbon neutral. Or even if you replace it with crops it may be carbon positive or negative.

    I know it's not related, but I couldn't help myself.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's an important distinction. Forestland needs to remain forestland for the equation to make sense. Even converting to switchgrass or some other crop is bad, from a carbon sequstration point of view. Cropland maintenance requires a great deal of fossil fuel, chemicals and soil disturbance--all of which adversely affect the carbon balance. Note that there's a huge difference between forest "management" and forest "clearning" or "conversion." We need more forestland, but it needs to be maintained as productive forestland, at least "productive" from a human-needs point of view.
  12. Rick Stanley

    Rick Stanley Feeling the Heat

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    Yup, you're right. Better to skip the money talk if you're not trying to convince potential users.
  13. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    For me the One Big Point is that there's much less negative effects on my neighbors - virtually no smoke / fumes / odors.

    It's not the cost savings - wood is free for me except the effort in harvesting it. I could save as much money with a smoke dragon. I wouldn't do that to my neighbors, though, just as I wouldn't want them to do it to me.
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