Burning wood.

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Lance Kennedy
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Burning wood.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:21 am

Reference, New Scientist, 2 June 2018, page 23

The use of wood burning stoves to heat homes is not good. People often believe that sophisticated stoves are not terribly polluting. Wrong.

If you have a wood burning stove at home, you are exposing yourself and your family to much more air pollution, inside your house, than industry ever does. Harmful particulates, including carcinogens, are released. The people harmed second worst are neighbours, from the harmful material spewing from the chimney. This makes wood burning stoves a violation of neighbourliness.

Even the cleanest stove produces 8 times as much harmful pollution as a diesel truck with its engine idling. Imagine 8 such trucks with their engines idling all night, parked next to your house. That is the harm it is doing.

The only way around this is to stop burning wood. Or any other fuel. Coal is worse. What I have in my home is a heat pump, which is clean, very efficient, and does not require buying or chopping wood.

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by Gord » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:51 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:If you have a wood burning stove at home, you are exposing yourself and your family to much more air pollution, inside your house, than industry ever does.
You're triggering my pedantic side again!

1. If I have a wood burning stove but don't use it, then industry is exposing me to much more air pollution than the stove is.

2. If I'm living right next door to a masssively polluting factory, even the output of my wood-burning stove in full use might dwindle next to those potential smokestacks.

3. Wood smoke does not contain every possible pollutant in appreciable doses. My neighbouring chemical plant might put out a lot more methyl isocyanate than the sticks I burn in my stove: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

But other than that, I agree that wood burning stoves are unacceptably ineffecient and produce more pollution than would be allowed from any other form of heating a home.
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Re: Burning wood.

Post by TJrandom » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:33 am

Does that heat pump warm you when you are outside – cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking wood? Does it build muscle mass? Does it provide for interaction with others in the wood supply chain? Is it nice to look at on a cold morning? Would you make love to a nubile sweetie in front of it?

No, I thought not!

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Lance Kennedy
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Re: Burning wood.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:58 pm

The W.H.O. recognises the burning of wood and other fuels as one of the big killers in third world nations, where there is no choice but to use inefficient fires for cooking. Estimates vary, but average around 10 million unnecessary human deaths each year.

A modern home does not need to expose people to such harm. Yet we do. Not smart.

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by TJrandom » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:10 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:The W.H.O. recognises the burning of wood and other fuels as one of the big killers in third world nations, where there is no choice but to use inefficient fires for cooking. Estimates vary, but average around 10 million unnecessary human deaths each year.

A modern home does not need to expose people to such harm. Yet we do. Not smart.
So that is why third world nations have so many kiddies - curled up in front of the fire...

I don`t buy the 8-diesel trucks spewing exhaust into your home comparison to an efficient (catalectic converter incorporated and external air supplied) wood stove with exhaust vented to above the roof line. Ya got a link or can quote the data from your source?

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:00 am

I gave the link. The latest New Scientist. Not an internet link, of course, but usually New Scientist posts its stories on the internet within a week or three.

The reason why the third world "has so many kiddies " is the same reason that they have to use crude stoves for cooking. Poverty.

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by TJrandom » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:24 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:I gave the link. The latest New Scientist. Not an internet link, of course, but usually New Scientist posts its stories on the internet within a week or three.

The reason why the third world "has so many kiddies " is the same reason that they have to use crude stoves for cooking. Poverty.
Yes - but I was most interesting in the comparison between 8 diesel trucks parked adjacent to a home and the exhaust of an efficient wood burning stove with flue above the roofline. I suspect that this is a gross exaggeration in terms of the effect on the home dwelling human.

We also have fuel oil space heaters which are unvented – thus leaving all exhaust within the room. And there is still in Japan as well as in other Asian countries, compressed coal bricks which are burned in a depression below the floor. I suspect that both of these would provide the residents with greater pollution than wood stoves.

I`ll try to watch for the article...

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:55 pm

I felt the same, to tell the truth. Ie, 8 diesel trucks versus one wood burner. But the difference is that the wood burner is inside your home. Normally, New Scientist is pretty much correct, so I am not going to query it too strongly.

As I said before, my home has a heat pump. Clean, easy, and not too expensive to run. I feel that it is no longer acceptable to pollute the air just to keep warm.

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:56 pm

My fireplace is wood-burning, but it has a sealed glass front and two (very quiet) fans: one that blows a small amount of air from the room into the fireplace to supply oxygen, and other that blows air from the room around the backside of the exterior of the fireplace and back out into the room to spread the heat out. The chimney vents outdoors, above the roof. It does emit some pollution into the atmosphere but not into my house.
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Re: Burning wood.

Post by landrew » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:30 pm

Austin Harper wrote:My fireplace is wood-burning, but it has a sealed glass front and two (very quiet) fans: one that blows a small amount of air from the room into the fireplace to supply oxygen, and other that blows air from the room around the backside of the exterior of the fireplace and back out into the room to spread the heat out. The chimney vents outdoors, above the roof. It does emit some pollution into the atmosphere but not into my house.
So what are the pollutants? The smoke? It tends to nucleate rain drops and falls back to earth as nutrients. CO2? Whether wood burns or rots, the CO2 makes it's way back to the atmosphere. From there it's reincorporated into plants to start the cycle again.
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Re: Burning wood.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:39 pm

The problem, landrew, is the carcinogenic particles that cause lung cancer and other ills. Even in a situation like Austin's, many of those particles re-enter the home and pollute the inside of your lungs. Not to mention the general nastiness of polluting your neighbours air supply.

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:18 am

Lance - since it has been a while, could you please look to see if that original article is now available? I looked a few days back, but didn`t find anything that seemed to fit.

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by landrew » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:17 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The problem, landrew, is the carcinogenic particles that cause lung cancer and other ills. Even in a situation like Austin's, many of those particles re-enter the home and pollute the inside of your lungs. Not to mention the general nastiness of polluting your neighbours air supply.
That's a bit much. Our ancestors lived in constant smoke from fires all the time, yet lung cancers are mostly a recent phenomenon. Many of them lived good long lives, even without the benefit of medical wonders.
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Re: Burning wood.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:48 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The problem, landrew, is the carcinogenic particles that cause lung cancer and other ills. Even in a situation like Austin's, many of those particles re-enter the home and pollute the inside of your lungs. Not to mention the general nastiness of polluting your neighbours air supply.
Tit for tat with my neighbours - they open burn the weeds they have cut and residual agricultural stems, etc. I even have one who open burns plastics and anything else - never recycling and never putting stuff out for city trash pickup. He also burns the insulation off of scrap copper wire so that he can sell it. A few times a year we need to re-wash the clothes we had hung out to dry.

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Re: Burning wood.

Post by landrew » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:17 pm

"Save a tree, save a tree," but nature has been burning the forests and grasslands for as long as they have existed. It's a carbon-neutral process, unlike the release of fossil fuels, but I have no doubt that nature could put the excess carbon back into equilibrium within a few generations, given a chance.

Higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere causes more carbon-fixing to occur. No need to panic; just calmly change to a more sustainable energy model, and nature will do the rest.

The Arctic did not become ice-free in 2013 the way Al Gore predicted, and the exaggeration didn't help the cause a whole lot. It caused large portions of the population to become much more skeptical of dire claims about the climate.
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Re: Burning wood.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:53 am

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 7918309746

TJ
The reference above.

TO landrew.

The fact that people have been burning wood for a long time does not make it healthy. The W.H.O. estimates up to 10 million deaths a year globally due to breathing smoke. Admittedly that is mostly third world countries with cooking fires indoors. But all smoke contains carcinogens, and wood smoke is not really much better than tobacco smoke or diesel smoke. Even marijuana smoke contains carcinogens, despite unreal claims by pot smokers. There is a recorded higher than average rate of lung cancer among Buddhist monks in Thailand, apparently due to the substantial amounts of incense they burn.

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