London mayor seeks ban on woodstoves, coal and wet wood banned

To what extent will biofuels be part of our energy future?

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adam2
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London mayor seeks ban on woodstoves, coal and wet wood banned

Post by adam2 »

Only in certain "very small areas" though knowing how these things work, I would expect the controls to steadily become more onerous.

A cynic like me suspects that this more a dislike of the type of people who favour stoves, rather than concern for air quality.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-41439268
Last edited by adam2 on Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited title to keep it relevant as we had diverged from actual stoves, onto fuels for same.
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Post by PS_RalphW »

My house has two wood burners, a traditional one we don't use and a modern 'clean burning' one with pre-heated air that is intended to raise the burn temperature and reduce emissions.

I would say that it works well under ideal conditions

1. The wood is well seasoned
2. The wood is stacked correctly and brought up to temperature quickly when lit
3. The stove is operated correctly - put small amounts of wood on frequently and burnt fast.

Wood stoves are not a light and forget technology like central heating, and taking shortcuts will increase particulate emissions.
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Post by adam2 »

It has now been announced that sales of the most polluting fuels for stoves, open fires, and similar purposes is to be banned.

Wet wood in small quantities, of less than 2 cubic meters is to be banned. Larger volumes are still allowed so as to permit of bulk buying of freshly cut wood for drying on the customers premises.

House coal is to be banned if pre packed.

Anthracite and most patent or processed smokeless fuels will be permitted.

I expect objections to the prohibition of pre-packed house coal, since this is arguably the cheapest domestic heating fuel in many areas, especially in the north of the UK.
Bulk or loose house coal is still to be permitted, the intention is to discourage pre pack sales from supermarkets and petrol filling stations.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51581817
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Post by vtsnowedin »

Why not just specify that all prepacked coal be anthracite?
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Post by adam2 »

Because anthracite is not suitable for all types of appliance, neither is it very suitable for open fires.
Therefore prepacked solid fuel needs to be EITHER anthracite, OR an approved smokeless patent fuel.

Apart from damp wood, the main concern is housecoal, a cheap grade of fuel that tends to emit considerable smoke.

Decades ago, the burning of housecoal was prohibited in most urban areas under the clean air act. Enforcement was always patchy and seems non existent these days.

Housecoal is still popular on open fires especially in poorer households. It is not suitable for closed stoves, though sometimes misused thus.
It appeals to those who purchase solid fuel one bag at a time from the petrol station, and who tend to select the cheapest type.

I keep a reserve of anthracite, but burn logs normally.
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Coal and wet wood - come in your time is up.

Post by eatyourveg »

From next year, the UK will phase out sales of the most polluting domestic fuels: coal and wet wood. What will this mean for households, the environment and the traditional roaring open fire?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tions-work

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Post by vtsnowedin »

I have very little experience with coal as I'm sitting on a hundred acres of trees. All the coal I have encountered was anthracite from Pennsylvania being the closest source with the soft coal of the west being used by power plants. I have a kitchen wood stove that has a set of coal grates and a top draft which allows the burning off of the coal gas after new coal is added to the firebox. The grates are heavy and fitted to a shaker handle to allow shaking down the ash to let the coal fire breath. I've never tried it. Back in my school days the school was heated by a coal fired furnace and I remember the coal truck filling the bin from a conveyor. Very interesting for an eight year old. Years later they converted to oil and made the coal bin into a classroom trying to handle the surge of baby boom students. My home room in seventh grade.
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Post by adam2 »

Already being discussed here

http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/forum/vie ... highlight=

So I have locked this thread so as to keep the discussion in one place.
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Post by Vortex2 »

We used to have a wood burner ... dusty, carbon monoxide alarm tripping over-hot horror.

In our new eco house we have a silent air source heat pump keeping the whole place at 20 degrees at all times. No work, low bills, clean.

Luvverly!
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Post by adam2 »

A new eco home will have a very low heating demand, too small to be sensibly met from a stove.
The main use of solid fuel stoves is for existing homes with a greater heating demand.

I would be inclined to install a small stove even in an eco house, as a long term prep in case the heat pump or other high technology systems fail and cant be fixed in an uncertain future.
There is no need to light the stove whilst times are normal, except for perhaps once a year so as to ensure it remains in good working order and everyone knows how to use it.

An open fireplace is likewise worth considering as an emergency/standby facility in an eco home. Make certain that the chimney is blocked up during winter, in some readily reversed way.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Vortex2 wrote:We used to have a wood burner ... dusty, carbon monoxide alarm tripping over-hot horror.

In our new eco house we have a silent air source heat pump keeping the whole place at 20 degrees at all times. No work, low bills, clean.

Luvverly!
Until you get a power cut!! And you can guarantee that that will be on the coldest night for years.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

adam2 wrote:A new eco home will have a very low heating demand, too small to be sensibly met from a stove.
The main use of solid fuel stoves is for existing homes with a greater heating demand.

I would be inclined to install a small stove even in an eco house, as a long term prep in case the heat pump or other high technology systems fail and cant be fixed in an uncertain future.
There is no need to light the stove whilst times are normal, except for perhaps once a year so as to ensure it remains in good working order and everyone knows how to use it.

An open fireplace is likewise worth considering as an emergency/standby facility in an eco home. Make certain that the chimney is blocked up during winter, in some readily reversed way.
If the eco home is built as a high thermal mass house an over sized wood burning stove can be lit for a couple of hours to heat the structure which will then keep the house warm for several more hours. One of the disadvantages of light weight homes is that the temperature can fluctuate wildly compared to a heavy weight house.

I am inclined to install/specify one of the smaller wood burning cookers without a boiler in the living room of a house so that the owners have the benefit of occasional wood heating when electricity is available but have the certainty of heat and cooking when it is not. Either that of a flat topped stove so that cooking can be done on the top of that. There is a huge range of prices there so take your pick. Unfortunately the British ones are the most expensive but I'm not sure whether that is build quality or something else.
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Post by woodburner »

Those wood burning cookers can be made a lot more useful by stacking a layer of heavy, frogless bricks up the sides. That provides a heat store and reduces the output fluctuations, so it’s possible to have a lower heat output while storing the excess. One of the problems with wood stoves on many days is keeping the output low enough so as not to have to open windows. They still have to burn hot enough to give correct and efficient combustion. People often stuff them full of logs and turn the air down so the logs smoulder. Recipe for future chimney fire.

As far as the government’s profession of wanting to get rid of polluting fuels, I might believe that if they banned bonfires.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

I agree with what you say woodburner but this is often achieved by placing the stove in a chimney alcove so that the 225 solid brickwork of the alcove is close to the stove and absorb heat from the body of the stove and coming off the hot plate and flue. In a well insulated high thermal house the heat from the stove can be absorbed and reradiated later and it's not necessary to keep the stove lit at all times. With good, dry wood it is easy to light the fire and if the stove still has any residual heat it will warm up quite quickly.

If the last logs that you put on the stove are hard wood logs they can be allowed to burn right down to a few embers. These embers can be collected together and some kindling put on which will very soon get the fire going again. Using soft wood to get the fire going will heat things up very quickly. This sort of use will not over heat a high thermal mass house. during the summer an outdoor kitchen can be used using rocket fire heaters and small twigs.

Regarding bonfires, this sort of waste should be collected by crusher trucks and sent for pyrolysis to produce biochar and syngas to sequester carbon and produce a useful fuel. The syngas can be used as a fuel gas or turned into biodiesel.
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