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Wood gasification environmental data.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by tuolumne, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. tuolumne

    tuolumne Member

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    I just installed an EKO 60 for the organization I work for. Some board members wanted to know what the environmental impact of these boilers is compared to the existing oil boiler. I have only thought of these boilers in relation to OWBs with regards to the environmental impact. Does anyone have links to such studies? Thanks, Chad.

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  2. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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    I have no specific study information, but would tell them that wood is part of the current carbon cycle whereas oil is not. That is an important fact. Also, by gasifying the emissions most of the carbon comes out as ash and is not released to the air.
  3. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    No sulfur like heating oil has.

    Mike
  4. free75degrees

    free75degrees New Member

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    naturally decomposing wood gives off some methane, which is 20 times worse for the greenhouse effect than co2. Since a gasifier gladly combusts all of the methane, you could argue that a gasifier is better for the environment than letting the wood decmpose on its own. So not only is it better than fossil fuels, it may be better than if we did nothing.
  5. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

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    I believe the methane emitted during the natural wood decomp process is from termite/ant activity, not the brekdown of the cellulose itself. No methane is released during combustion of the wood, AFAIK. Someone will certainly correct me if I am wrong.

    To the original poster, be sure to point out that the TOTAL environmental impact of using oil as compared to wood as a heating source is huge. Both the net emmissions and the net energy difference is staggering. Far more energy is consumed, and emissions generated, in the exploration, drilling, extraction, refining, distribution, and combustion of fuel oil than that expended for the use of wood.
  6. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    With wood there are no unburned hydrocarbons and if a tanker of firewood, wood chips or sawdust were to spill in the ocean it wouldn't likely destroy wildlife or poison water tables though it might stimulate undesirable levels of plant and animal life or generate a minuscule increase the methane levels in the world for 10-20 years. It might slow down shipping in a river for a few days but it would not be prone to damaging gene pools of future generations of humans that use the aquifers the river feeds. Though slivers and clubs of wood have been known to cause personal injury and even death, there has never been a major concern with wood causing cancer or a rash of other fossil fuel malady's. Before the industrial revolution and the introduction of oil products into every avenue of life allergies were not as prevalent and the list goes on. Is it possible the question was asked by some well meaning soul before they thought? I hopes so!
  7. Dave T

    Dave T New Member

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    Also forestry management, by cutting and burning diseased trees the spread of these diseases will be less likley to advance into more usable wood..Ever try to plant oil and watch it grow me neither..Dave
  8. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    If they're interested in hydrocarbon and particulate emissions, I have a copy of the European test data for the EKO 80. Gasifiers are WAY better that any other woodburning appliance in this regard, but I don't know how they'd compare to an oil boiler.
  9. free75degrees

    free75degrees New Member

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    Yes, this is probably correct, although various fungi probably also fart off some methane. My point is that wood burned to provide heat reduces the amount of methane given off to the atmosphere as compared to the same amount of wood left to rot away in the woods. (i.e. we can't use the methane argument to compare gasication to non-gasification wood burning). Since many of us burn wood that would have rotted away, we are probably doing a net good for the environment.
  10. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    Not the first arguement you want to pursue, but I assume you have a right (damned if we don't have any rights anymore) to have a fire place. Any fire place burns wood less efficantly. The only real exception might be the OWB. They purposely smolder wood and give all other stoves a bad name. Present factual data. If you lose, we all lose. By way of a slow death this country starts to become more socialist every day.
  11. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Socialist? Why you wanna be so nice? It's time to clean the chimney.
  12. Tree farmer

    Tree farmer New Member

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    No mention of global warming contribution or its carbon footprint? These seem to be what most are concerned about - to hell with the economy. I figured with all these wood stoves and boilers cranking this winter global warming (oh I mean "climate change") would be on a steady rise. We sure could use some extra degrees today.
  13. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Wood burning is carbon neutral, unless you harvest your wood in such a way as to transform forest into desert.

    Per the European tests on the EKO 80, it produces about 200ppm of complex hydrocarbons and about 14mg/cubic meter of particulates in the flue gas during a full output burn. Don't know how that compares to other alternatives. For comparison, a Canadian test showed about 10mg/cubic meter of 'filterable particulates' when burning #2 fuel oil in a properly adjusted oil boiler.
  14. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    According to Hansson, in Sweden a govt. employed sweep does a mandatory cleaning annually on your chimney.
  15. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    'had a bad day dealing with the local bureaucrats....... Not wood related so I won't get into the details (hijack post). Instead of wasting so much time on each individuals installation they should post a clean air minimum (adopt epa???) and get on to more important matters.

    We do a lot of municipal work and it just boggles my mind at how much money these people can waste. If the public only knew that 25% of their tax dollars are being flushed down the drain............
  16. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    Optimist.
  17. termv

    termv Member

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    Not meaning to hijack but I think most Americans know. We just dont know what to do about it. People can't get out of the mindset of a two party system let alone demand something be done. Until you have a majority of people who lose everything and have nothing to lose by protesting or rioting nothing will change. If or should I say when I lose my home I think I'm going to pitch a tent in front of the white house.
  18. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    Careful....I don't think they will allow wood burning in Wash. DC. Might offend somebody.

    You fellas shouldn't get me going......
  19. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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    Yes thats right.
    whit my gasification boiler the chimney have to be sweep 3 times/year.
    You can do yourselves if you take a course at the fire department.

    We have a other thing to.
    Fire security check.
    Every second year one technician guy come and check your bulding.
    They film the inside of the chimney and look att the chimney from the outside in the bulding.
    Check the boiler and so on.controls that the fire-extinguisher,fire detector is alright.Its the law to have a working fire-extinguisher,fire detector

    If you clean the chimney yourselves and have take the course at the fire department you have to show a record that shows when you did clean your chimney.

    Sweden the land of laws and regulation :-(
  20. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    If you look at the efficiency report for this boiler you will see the emissions are minimal

    http://www.farm2000.co.uk/refo.htm

    Obviously assumes the use of dry woodchip but the data is comprehensive and shows how much technology has progressed.
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