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Wood: The most complex fuel

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You mean "cite?"

    Seems to me you said something to Marty in one thread to the effect that "I don't trust ANYTHING you say" at which point MoHeat felt the need to issue a warning. I can't find the thread at the moment but when I do, I'll post it.

    I would encourage you to become not only engaging, but relevant.

    That's just a piece of friendly advice. You do what you want; it's not my board.

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    300,000 acres have burned over the last few days in Texas and Oklahoma. Hmm, I'll be that put a few grams of CO2 and particulates into the atmosphere. Seems to make the point of burning wood in wood stoves seem seriously pale in comparison, even it some of it was buildings and grass.
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    See what I mean? Burning wood can be soooo complex. I'd be there just isn't this much passion about burning Natural Gas.
  4. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Dylan: You need to bone up on the carbon cycle. Greenery will die without CO2. This is what I meant by "thrive" = "live". I did not say plants thrive in an "abundance" of CO2 (despite the old saying that if you want your indoor plants to grow better - talk to them [exhaled breath has CO2]). You did. Seems to me you create your own problems.

    Willhound and roac: Nowhere (read: despite multiple references to the contrary) have I seen or heard that the rate of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere from proper woodburning is any more detrimental to anything than letting the same wood decompose naturally on the ground. All references say this. Therefore, your assumptions, without substantiation, cannot be seen as credible; just your thoughts which you are entitled to. Show me I'm mistakin', please. Also, in your list of alternative fuels, Willhound, you don't seem to have picked up on the fact that burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas) is clearly many more times harmful to the environment and greenhouse effect from excess liberated CO2 and that burning wood properly is CO2 neutral. Of course, whether you "get this", or not, matters not to me, but ignoring it in your posts seems to weaken your position.

    Just trying to be clear on a foggy day.

    Aye,
    Marty
  5. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Warren:

    Natural forest fires are ecofriendly given time.

    But, this does not fit into the current discussion about "proper woodburning" v. natural decay of same.

    This throws pears into a discussion on apples.

    Just a thought...

    Aye,
    Marty
  6. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Yep, just my thoughts. I've got more to worry about in life than whether or not anyone here agrees with my points. I'm glad to be able to make them, and enjoy the "friendly" discussion that sometimes ensues. As to the point regarding the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels, not sure that I agree totally with your assertion that "burning wood properly" is CO2 neutral. As to amount of CO2 in the wood that is released back into the environment, yes maybe, but the point I was trying to make being the rate at which it is released, and the environments ability to handle it. If industry burned as much wood as they do coal, oil or gas, I don't think you could call wood any less harmful than oil, coal or gas. At current usage rates, yes of course, coal, oil and gas burning is a harder hit to the environment. I didn't feel I needed to highlight that. And my "argument" was simply that regardless of what type of fuel one uses, there is some type of effect on the world. That is unavoidable. Whether I breath in noxious fumes, or simply feel that a wind-farm looks ugly, I am somehow affected.

    Willhound
  7. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    LOL...well, I think this discussion of CO2 production on a thread originally intended to discuss the complexities of usage of wood as a fuel source, not the ramifications of burning fuels including wood in general thows pears into a discussion on carpet texture after a frat party. Trees liking CO2 or not seems a bit out of scope, but hey, I made my intended original point by starting the thread. :)
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The salient point (can I say that again?) is that wood is renewable. You can cut and grow trees till the cows come home and IMO you will have no real impact on the environment, negative or positive. Trees take up carbon when they're growing and disburse it back into the atmosphere when they die. But the thing about coal, oil and nat gas is they are carbon sources that are locked up in the earth's crust. If we didn't extract and burn them, that carbon would not be part of the picture. Even though they both release carbon when burned, fossil fuels and wood are completely different resources. Burning wood on top of fossil fuels may aggravate environmental problems temporarily and even regionally, but they're not part of the fundamental problem. To the extent that they replace carbon-releasing fossil fuels, they are a small part of the solution.

    Dylan: I never said (nor meant to imply) that you're not smart. After all, you've got an engineering degree from Notre Dame while I'm a lowly Journalism major from the University of Wisconsin. So you're probably smarter than me. What I said was that you seem to enjoy pretending to be smarter than you are. That's all.
  9. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Willhound:

    Point taken. I got off the exact subject a bit. Sorry.

    However, you said "If industry burned as much wood as they do coal, oil or gas, I don’t think you could call wood any less harmful ...."

    Sorry here too. It simply is not the same to take issue with "what is" by countering with "what if". Hypotheticals simply don't add much substance to a discussion and encourage getting "off course".

    Think clean. Burn clean. Stay warm.

    Aye,
    Marty
    ____________________
    Grandma used to say: "Clean desk, messy mind".
  10. roac

    roac New Member

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    Marty,

    My original intent with my question to you was one of curiosity. I had heard that statement several times but I was wondering where I could find the data. I don't doubt you or Eric, but just like reading that educational stuff. The drivel from the websites are nothing more than pr usually. I agree that wood burning is better in a lot of ways than other energy sources. Lets not forget we humans are far less responsible for CO2 emissions than mother nature, no not trees!! Volcanos release far more CO2 than everything else combined...

    Eric,

    The forest management aspect you mentioned is right on. That's how I harvest my wood.

    Willhound,

    Totally agree, but you forgot the #1 drawback of dams and hydro, salmon runs are depleted. Those fish just can't seem to get around those dam@ dams!! :lol: With that said though I do enjoy 5 cent KWH rates.
  11. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    13: What is the Draft?

    Coal stoves need a pretty good draft, yet noone ever seems to be able to answer that question.....Uh...."sir, whats your draft like?"...........they are all GREAT!....especially the coal stove we had to look at which had a problem where the stove kept smoking up.....hmmmm.....pull the pipe off......check out the dead DUCK stuck in the stovepipe......oh yeah...did I say he said he had a good draft as well?
  12. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Mmmmmm....salmon (insert Homer Simpson impression here)

    Aye Marty, absolutely correct, can't really argue a "what if". But it's fun anyway.

    Just to take this way WAY off the apples and pears scale, this reminded me of a story my Grandfather told me about the old country during the Second World War. There wasn't enough fuel or gasoline for trucks etc., so local enterprising souls converted some of them to steam power and burned wood as the fuel source. He remembers not a lot of power, hard to see because of smoke and the odd unfortunate incident with an overfired boiler.

    Hmmm....I wonder? :)

    Willhound
  13. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Draft...blows or sucks...depending on which end of the chimney your on. :)
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