Question: Hi, Can a cat. conv. be removed from a wood burning stove and the stove still operate safely and efficiently ? I'm thinking of a Vermont castings Encore. Answer: First from a "legal" & "listing" standpoint, no. Second, the efficiency will be extremely poor, and let me explain why. The whole design of a catalytic stove is focused toward directing gases to an area where they pass through a combustor. The catalytic combustor lowers the ignition point of gases so that they will burn properly when mixed with secondary air. This allows the stove to operate at lower temperatures yet still have an effective and efficient operation. If you remove the combustor, then you will not have the temperatures you need to burn gases, unless the stove is burned at a high rate. Burning the stove at a high rate will give a poor burn time, and lost heat up the flue.A non-catalytic stove is designed to keep gases hot enough (fire brick lining & insulation) so that they will burn when mixed with secondary air. The location & size holes of secondary air is also specifically designed for this purpose. This way you can burn the stove at a lower rate, yet the interior design lends itself toward keeping gases hot and being efficient at the same time. Bottom line: If you have a catalytic stove, you must operate it as designed. If you want non-cat technology, buy a non-cat stove.