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Which is more polluting... A car or a wood stove?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by FyreBug, Jan 26, 2011.

?

Which do you think is more polluting (Co2) a car or a wood stove?

  1. Car fer sure!

    82.7%
  2. No way! Wood stoves pollute more

    17.3%
  3. Me after eating Martha's five beans special chili recipe!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Kitchener, Ontario
    And now for some slightly useless information. Someone has actually been able to do the hard data & calculations. Before we give the answer i'd be nice to see in a poll what you think. Bonus points if you tell us by what margins. Not to get all scientific on you but its assuming we are comparing the same amount of energy expended. (pollution = CO2)

    So go ahead, let us know what you think and the answer after the break...

    Back from the break... First of all there were some mention as to CO2 is a pollutant or not. It depends on how you define a 'pollutant'. Just about anything can become toxic in high enough a concentration. Let us just say to assuage some sensibilities the terminology should have been "higher rate of CO2 emmission" although it's a mouthful. And please do not take this too seriously, this is just a fun exercise. There's too many variables but at least it provides a bit of a picture. All numbers are metric it's easier to calculate. So here we go...

    1L of gas gives off 2.88kg CO2 after combustion.
    Or volumetric mass of gasoline = 0.75
    Where 750g of gas = 2.88kg of CO2

    in addition 1g of gas generate 13.35 Wh

    Therfore 1lbl gas generate 6008W
    But a 1lbl of wood generate 8500BTU = 2428W

    It means that if it takes 15 Litres (4 US Gallons) of gas to travel 300 Kms (185 miles) it would take you 28.12kg (62 lbs) of wood to develop the same energy.

    15L of gasoline will emit : 43,2kg of CO2
    28.12kg of wood : 4.22kg of CO2

    Which means a car emits about 10 times more CO2! Yah baby, my Ferrari does 150 miles per face cord!

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  2. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    just CO2?
  3. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Yup CO2. But it would be nice to do energy comparison, particulate etc...
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I'll bite. But not sure it's apple to apples.

    If I didn't burn wood, I'd be using nat. gas, fuel oil or elect.

    If I ran my car in my house to keep it warm ;
    we'd die if I didn't run a pipe out the garage door for the exhaust. (I'd weather seal around the pipe somehow)

    I say the car, it is not near as efficient to heat my house as my wood stove. Not sure it would keep me above freezing, may have to sleep in the car to stay warm.

    I think, even my oven would do a better job heating my house than a car.

    so I voted "car fer sure" I'd need about 20+ of them with the heater blaring to heat the house.
    Then the energy to build a bigger garage, & heat it, maybe even more.
  5. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Too many variables....what kind of car/exhaust/fuel??..what type of wood/moisture content etc...?
    Only being on my third year with burning wood, I am pleased to say that on my way to work I see at least 10-15 chimneys that loo bad...lots of white smoke and some gray......mine only smokes when on reload for about 5 minutes.
    My vore would be the car gives off more, that is when you are burning 20% less in an EPA stove
  6. KevinACrider

    KevinACrider New Member

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    There's no way to compare apples to apples. The same car will perform differently in different areas. Not to mention different models of the same car wouldn't have the same results. On the contrary, the same stove will perform differently in different households with different wood, etc.
  7. ControlFreak

    ControlFreak Feeling the Heat

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    CO2 is not a pollutant.
  8. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    By what standard, per mile compared to per 1000 BTUs? I'm not getting in my stove to drive to the airport tomorrow, nor am I heating my house with my car.
  9. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Maybe not, but I DARE anyone of you to crawl under the covers with me after a big bowl of 5 bean chile, and swear you'd rather be there than sucking on an exhaust pipe! or shoving your face in a chimney for that matter. :sick:
  10. phatfarmerbob

    phatfarmerbob New Member

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    cars for sure, burning wood is carbon nutral if you didnt burn the wood it would eventually die and release the stored carbon anyhow. a car is releasing carbon that would have been trapped underground presumably forever.... even an electric car would be more polluting unless it was charged with 75% or more "green energy"...seeing that some 50% of our power comes from coal and most the rest from oil. anyhow theres my 2 cents someone correct me if im wrong, cause i could well be
  11. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Is the car burning? Then definitely the car.
  12. RedGuy

    RedGuy New Member

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    X2

    As far as simply CO2 output I belive a stove would certainly put out more CO2. However as stated above the Co2 produced by a wood stove is offset by the oxygen the trees produced growing the fuel for the stove. As far as actuall pollutants a car definately produces more poluttants (other than CO2) than a wood stove.
  13. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    As folks say, you can't drive anyplace in your stove, so what is the point of this comparison? Anyway, I picked the stove as the answer, just because my car is a Honda Insight, a super ultra low emission and very light two seater car that gets 60 MPG in the summer and 45-50 in the winter. My stove is supposedly quite efficient, and we are careful what we burn. The other issue is you burn more often than you drive, at least most people, so pretty hard to compare. But nevertheless, an interesting question.

    P.S. I love Curious George, I mean the animated monkey, not the previous poster.
  14. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

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    Ahhh, I'd hold off on not calling CO2 a pollutant, At least two US agencies are getting ready to call it a toxic gas :ahhh: :-S :coolgrin:

    But I can tell you this the stove and the car are nothing compared to a biometrically driven methane machine.... Five beans onions and a little extra Cajun salsa, and I can turn the air foggy.
  15. Jutt77

    Jutt77 Feeling the Heat

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    CO2 is now a pollutant...welcome to the new world of "green science" folks. Anyways, the answer is dependent on too many variables as others have mentioned but I'll bite and say the answer is car.
  16. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Can I change my vote to methane?
  17. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    I agree with you, but the EPA, MA DEP and others seem to think it is.....
  18. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Just because two us agencies are going to call it a toxic gas does not mean they are right- there is a whole other agenda behind that designation.
  19. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    The people saying that you don't drive a woodstove have the real right answer I think. A straight per-year comparison would make more sense. CO2 is arguably a pollutant, but there's far worse that comes out of a car or woodstove as far as health effects go so i don't care for that being the basis of comparison.
  20. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Six billion people exhaling CO2 every day. Sounds far, far more polluting to me. Better hope the world governments don't do the math on that one, or we might be facing some sort of population control. Oh, wait...
  21. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Not only will they hafta regulate exhaling, they'll hafta regulate the amount of trees that die & rot in the forests, as well...
  22. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

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    This is a no brainer since cars do not just appear in nature. The most noticeable variable is the amount of energy, waste, and pollution involved in a car's making at the manufacturing plant. Then take into consideration the energy and pollution caused to actually get rid of an old car even if parts have been stripped. These two things alone cause more pollution than burning just wood, nevermind actually running the car during its driving lifetime.
  23. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Back from the break... First of all there were some mention as to CO2 is a pollutant or not. It depends on how you define a 'pollutant'. Just about anything can become toxic in high enough a concentration. Let us just say to assuage some sensibilities the terminology should have been "higher rate of CO2 emmission" although it's a mouthful. And please do not take this too seriously, this is just a fun exercise. There's too many variables but at least it provides a bit of a picture. All numbers are metric it's easier to calculate. So here we go...

    1L of gas gives off 2.88kg CO2 after combustion.
    Or volumetric mass of gasoline = 0.75
    Where 750g of gas = 2.88kg of CO2

    in addition 1g of gas generate 13.35 Wh

    Therfore 1lbl gas generate 6008W
    But a 1lbl of wood generate 8500BTU = 2428W

    It means that if it takes 15 Litres (4 US Gallons) of gas to travel 300 Kms (185 miles) it would take you 28.12kg (62 lbs) of wood to develop the same energy.

    15L of gasoline will emit : 43,2kg of CO2
    28.12kg of wood : 4.22kg of CO2

    Which means a car emits about 10 times more CO2! Yah baby, my Ferrari does 150 miles per face cord!
  24. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

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    Dude, Im not reading all that. Nothing fun about math to me. lol.
  25. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    1,043
    I am familiar with real polutants which cause real problems, and have been regulated/managed for some time.

    CO for example. One can drive a modern car across the entire continental US and deliver less CO into the atmosphere than mowwing the lawn with a conventional lawn mowwer. The CO levels are now low enough that running an exhaust line into and enclosed space (save a Ground Hog tunnel) will not harm the little darling. Our automotive emissions regulations are very strong, but there are other sources that are not so well managed.

    ATB,
    Mike P

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