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Ty Gwyn

Gove,coal and wood

You`ve got to give him his due`s,he`s consistent in getting peoples backs up.

What is missing there and in other articles I have scanned, is any trace of numbers.
How does burning wood compare to diesel pollution or any other form of pollution?

What is missing there and in other articles I have scanned, is any trace of numbers.
How does burning wood compare to diesel pollution or any other form of pollution?

The Article wrote:
Wood-burning stoves give off SIX times as much cancer-causing pollution as diesel trucks and they could be making you ill

A fairly meaningless statement when you actually look at it though.
The video might be more informative, but is too loud here just now.
Mistress Rose

I have been looking into this in some detail, as it affects us and quite a lot of people we know. There was a survey issued last autumn asking for peoples opinions, and the gist of the survey was that the aim is to get rid of all 'high carbon' burning of fuel in the home (except gas).

In the interim, they want to ban house coal, restrict types of fire, register (at a cost of several hundred pounds) all wood sellers including corner shops who sell log sacks, producers etc., tell us what we can sell and insist that we keep it dry from forest to point of sale, and generally try to put small wood sellers out of business. Of course after that, the purchaser is quite at liberty to leave the wood out in the rain!

So far I have been unable to find the paper in which the figures that claim '36% of particulate pollution in London comes from burning wood'. I believe that someone from KIngs College London, who just happens to have recently published a book, has got the ear of Gove.

At present, wood, coal and farming are being demonised for producing particulates, and are now I believe being followed by scented candles and a few other things. I am afraid I wasn't able to get your link Ty, but think it is probably about that lot.

Sorry there is a lot, but I feel very strongly about this, especially as it is a load of rubbish. I do know that people suffer because of poor air quality, but am sure it is not just that. Asthma has increased dramatically in my lifetime. When I was a child I knew one child with it; now it seems it is quite common. Perhaps finding why would be part of the answer, and not demonising all particulates when each individual has their own trigger, often things like feathers or animal fur.
Ty Gwyn

Chris,that is what the jist of the link was stating,

This started last year when Gove came into his new job,we`ve had the who are about methane from cattle and there was mention of the increase in wood being burned in London.
Since the 1954 clean air act that made central London a smokeless zone,London has expanded,like other large towns and city`s across the UK,so these zones have extended outwards,that initially was outlawing bituminous coal use,
due to the 50`s smog that killed numerous people,i don`t believe wood was banned at the time,i could be wrong,but with the increase of wood burning in a built up area its clearly becoming a problem,but this new legislation Gove wants to bring in regarding new stoves in 2021? will only effect the new stoves,existing stoves are fine,it only effects the fuel they burn,its surprising how many burn bituminous coal in their multifuel stoves because its cheaper.
Mistress Rose

Sorry Ty, I couldn't get the link up. Strangely one of our coppice group members sent me a copy of the report yesterday, which contains most of the information I have been looking for.

Yes, it seems a lot of people are burning bituminous coal, but that is only part of it. Some people want to get rid of all particulate matter in the air, which of course is impossible, although I am aware that some people do have real problems with breathing, partly because of air quality.

I don't think that a lot of younger people, and probably some of my age who ought to know better, are even aware of the Clean Air Acts, and don't see why they shouldn't burn what they like. Informing people who live in towns would be a first step, followed by a certain amount of enforcement.

It is impossible to do more than bring in legislation on new stoves as many people are still using the open fire place installed in their houses, perhaps in the 19th century, and I even came across one a few years ago built with no throat, so possibly even early 17th century. To stop people using a fire at any time would be impossible, and many have turned to them because of the price of gas and electricity, as a secondary form of heating for various reasons, because man has a need for a fire occasionally as it is a built in need, or in case there is a power cut.

In the meantime, it might become rather difficult to buy logs for your fire if this legislation is enacted, as we are considering leaving firewood producing, and nobody just selling a few loads a year will be able to afford the certification. This either means very high costs or making very respectable people criminals again. Similarly the proposals are to limit the sale of bituminous coal, which is expected, even by the government, to put small coal merchants out of business.

Burning wood in built up areas smacks of country house wannabees having a pretty wood burning stove to light at dinner parties...
maybe people are buying wood from the petrol station and lighting up long since extinct fireplaces to keep warm?
the images i saw on the news seemed to imply farmers who had wood burning fires in Cumbria were basically chocking Londons inner city kids?
it seems to me it is the latest in a long list of ballderdash...

we heat the whole house with wood fired central heating in the winter.
it is carbon neutral and local.

It is mostly trendies in London that have a wood fired stove for the "effect" that will be affected. I think the biggest issue (urban or rural) is particulates pollution which just can't be controlled very well in a domestic environment.
Mistress Rose

This is mostly about particulates. I am now reading the government plans, which are chock full of poor science and appalling maths, as well as several major errors of fact, and the aim seems to be to meet WHO aspirations, and they are aspirations, about particulate matter. I have to check it, but one thing seems to be that with a combination of pollution from other countries and sea salt, even banning all wood burning and transport in London, they would never make it. Particulate matter has fallen dramatically over the last 20 year anyway, so it is mainly other things that are really causing the trouble, like too many vehicle on London roads.

As for 'trendies' burning wood; yes, in some cases, but a lot burn it to supplement other forms of heating, perhaps to keep one room warm enough to sit in, or keep the central heating off. We have both central heating and a closed fire, and it certainly keeps the house warm at night when the heating is off, makes that room more comfortable for sitting, and is also usable for cooking. We have always made a point of not being reliant on mains electricity if necessary, as we went through the rolling power cuts of the three day week, and know what going without heating and lighting is like. Luckily my parents were equally prepared, so Tilly light and heater came out.

We have oil central heating (no mains gas) and honestly, it's too expensive to run. We use it to heat water and it runs for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening to ensure we don't have damp issues. Our main source of heating is the woodburner but because our house is a bit quirky, the woodburner is on the middle level, which means the kitchen and study are mostly bloody cold. 12 deg C in the kitchen is quite normal over Winter. Our bedroom which is on the top level is quite toasty overnight. We have to put the central heating on when we have guests as the guest bedroom has no insulation and doesn't benefit at all from the fire and there are no other logical spots to install further woodburners.... such fun. Laughing

Although I haven't got either of my wood burners going yet, I have no qualms about burning wood that I have grown from small plants and as it matures I will fell it and will re-plant. Sort of self sufficiency, and carbon neutral, apart from the chain saw fuel.

Not everyone here is happy about the rules, but can you not regulate that new wood stoves and boilers be high efficiency and low particulate matter producing, the way the EPA has rules for over here?
(Or do you already have rules about that side of it?)

I'm considering a wood cookstove that meets EPA guidelines, and therefore has re-burn tubes in the top with a dedicated air-intake to combust (and toss up the flue) outdoor air.
Less than 2 g/hr of smoke
Ty Gwyn

Them regs are already here,this is regs on even cleaner stoves after 2021.

stoves or fuel?
Ty Gwyn

Stoves,there are what they call over here Defra stoves,they are the cleanest at present and they were the ones allowed in smokeless zones,the new regs will be on even cleaner stoves.

The only regs over here with fuel is in smokeless zones,where bituminous coal is banned,but to be honest,one has only to look on local websites to see logs being sold as seasoned to see photos of them still Green on the bark.
Mistress Rose

The aim of the government (if we still have one) is that anywhere that is on the gas grid should not use wood or coal as it is regarded as a 'lifestyle' choice. Well we couldn't afford to heat our house to a comfortable temperature without the fire, and some people live in one room with a fire in winter to avoid the cost of the gas. The other advantage with coal or wood is that you pay up front, so you know how much it costs, rather than an ongoing bill or large amount when you have used it, with gas or electricity. Add to that that gas is, although Gove may not have noticed, a fossil fuel, and about 50% of electricity is still made with gas.

As Ty says, we do have clean burn stoves, and new ones will have to be to at least that, if not higher standard, but most houses here were built in an era when an open fire was normal, so have chimneys and fireplaces without stoves. There is nothing to stop someone using one of those when it is cold, when they fancy a fire, or in emergency.

Ty, the problem will come I think when the respectable people like us are prevented from selling logs. If ours are not fully seasoned, we tell people, and explain how they should be stored etc. The remainder will be the big boys who sell sacks of kiln dried birch or softwood that go up in a puff of smoke, or the wide boys who swear blues black that the logs they are selling are well seasoned hardwood logs when they are either green and dripping sap, or very obviously old fences, or other rubbish, sometimes painted or treated.
Ty Gwyn

There has been a big panic on a farming forum I look at about this,but to be honest it is only the towns and city`s this is affecting where air pollution is a big deal.

We all know what papers are for twisting the truth,Ban Logs and Coal,when its only inferior logs and bituminous coal that is wanting banning.

Nothing stopping anyone burn Anthracite in these fires or seasoned logs.

They can bring in stoves to the highest standard possible,but its down to the fuel one uses.

Your mention of Birch logs,there was a post last night on a farming forum from a company near Cirencester,i thought the same,and they weren't cheap either.
Mistress Rose

The ones on sale around here come from a company that specialises in petroleum based fuels; in fact we get our red diesel from them. They are slightly cheaper than our log sacks, but smaller, and the logs are smaller. Ours are 10" and the sack is full, rather than a smaller number of 6" or so logs tumbled into a net. They are kiln dried birch, so very dry and will burn up in no time. Ours are mainly ash and beech, so even when fully seasoned will last a lot longer. On our fire, which is very efficient, I would expect one of our sacks to last at least 2 evenings, possibly 3, whereas one of the birch ones would barely last an evening.

Storage is another factor. Log suppliers I know get fed up with people insisting only on fully seasoned logs, only to leave them out in the rain and wonder why they don't burn.
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