Open fire vs log burner

  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 91
    @geoffers

    My 17 year old diesel doesn't have any of this (dubious) emission control gubbins, but at the last MOT still tested cleaner and produced lower emissions than needed to pass the ULEZ requirements. And yet driving around the M25 yesterday and sitting in the jam between J9 and J12, I saw visible crud coming out of the tailpipes of cars only two or three years old. It amazes me that VW and the 'dieselgate' scandal involved cheat software to lower emissions for diesels fitted with new emissions control devices whereas many of their older engines pre-DPF and other modern 'clean technologies' were just cleaner in the first place.

    DEFRA imposed regulations for wood burning stoves designed to increase their efficiency and reduce their emissions but these are often completely negated by folk who think they can burn any old rubbish. At least they banned petrol stations from selling wet logs that had been sat out in the rain on the forecourt for weeks on end.

    But diesels are simply more efficient than petrol both in terms of energy density of the fuel and the amount of CO2 produced per mile, or at least they used to be before Euro 5 and 6 requirements hobbled the engines in the name of trying to clean up the particulate emissions.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • geoffers's Avatar
    Level 26
    @geoffers
    But diesels are simply more efficient than petrol both in terms of energy density of the fuel and the amount of CO2 produced per mile,
    .
    trouble is that when diesels were "sold" to the general public based on reduced CO²(stands to reason that twice the range fuel wise produces ½ the carbon emissions) that the NOx emissions and particulates were never part of that equation.

    So it's swings and roundabouts - you can have less CO² but get more NOx (can't avoid that due to vastly higher temperatures in compression ignition engines) and the additional particulate emissions are another big downside to diesels ☹️
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 91
    @geoffers

    Yes, swings and roundabouts. But my diesel has already paid back it's embedded CO2 twice over. So it makes far more environmental and economic sense for me to keep it than to change it for a petrol or EV car. YMMV.

  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 90
    Personally, I think Log burners, irrespective of how well the fuel is seasoned, are very environmentally unfriendly. But while they remain legal I would defend the right of households to use them without adverse criticism from members of the public or politicians. The same with cars or vans, or boilers. I have no current intention of getting an electric heat pump, but will make my decision on how to replace my 35 year old gas boiler in due course in the light of the legal framework of the time.

    The masses don't make the rules but do have to abide by them, or face the penalties. Even a democracy doesn't mean that we agree with all the laws of the land, but generally we do abide by them.
    Current Eon Next and EDF customer, ex Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 91
    @meldrewreborn

    But they are net carbon neutral. They will (or should) only be burning biomass which means that they only release CO2 into the atmosphere that has already been captured by growing the fuel in the first place.

    And if you grow your own firewood as I do using short rotation willow coppicing, then your firewood warms you twice. Once when you fettle it, and again when you burn it. You can't say that for fossil fuels. And every kilo of firewood I burn is one less litre of kerosene I need to burn in the boiler.
  • Beki's Avatar
    @retrotecchie I'd love to know more about the willow coppicing!

    It's a tough world we live in, where every thing has a massive impact on the planet. I try my best to do small things that are within my power. Surely having a wood burner would be better than me firing up my gas boiler therefore adding to the oil and gas consumption, resulting in drilling into more of the sea bed for these fossil fuels?






  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 91
    I'm surprised that house designers have not brought out a tested and accredited method to get more heat out of the ascending stovepipe on its way up. The maximum heat transfer which I'd want would need a new metal shutter to allow (or not) living room air to ascend up the old rectangular brick chimney outside of the new round stovepipe as far as an openable louvre or air flap at the upstairs room immediately above. Such would be prohibited in 1980's chimney regulations. Carbon monoxide (CO) detection alarms have been invented since then, so I reckon that it is time to sponsor someone with a home heater test department to look at convection designs to extract more of the heat from the stovepipe whilst being sure that it isn't piping bad smoke into the bedroom.

    Firstly, I know first hand of people who have lost their homes and, in two cases, their lives trying to implement that sort of system.

    Secondly, the building regulations completely disallow it without fitting of specially certified and approved products to allow warm air to move between floors around a solid fuel heating appliance. They have to have firestop properties, and completely close off and seal in the event of a fire.

    Thirdly, a stove flue needs to operate in quite a narrow temperature range. Too cold and the stove will not run efficiently and will have issues with creosoting, combustion by-products not being properly oxidised and condensation issues. Too hot and that means the stove is overdriven and certainly not running efficiently. Most HETAS registered installers will tune a stove's primary and secondary air flow (and tertiary in the case of a DEFRA approved appliance) to ensure the flue is operated within this temperature range as far as possible. Trying to use the air surrounding the flue as a way of directing heat to another area of the house is a no-no.

    Any stove can have the cleanest credentials possible, but if you mess with the operating parameters or run it outside of specification, use unsuitable fuel or (worst of all) attempt to fiddle with the flue in any way, including venting air around it outside of a closed system, then you are asking for trouble.

    I'm sorry, but the reason what you suggest hasn't been tried is because it's against all the rules, against building regs and downright dangerous.

    I've been to the funerals and comforted the relatives of idiots that have tried.
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 18-09-23 at 01:24.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 90
    @Beki_EONNext

    The log burners, as @retrotecchie points out, can be regarded carbon neutral in that the material is grown, then burned, allowing the carbon to be resequestered into newly grown wood. The same argument goes for biomass wood pellets burned by the Drax power station, with the pellets imported from the USA. Not all agree on the green credentials of doing this..

    But there are other pollutants produced in Log burners which many campaigners think serious enough to call for outright bans. The thing is personal reputations take a long time to be established, but are easily lost.

    We may have to make do with a recycled flame effect fire from the 60's and 70's instead. 🤣
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 91
    @meldrewreborn

    Good old 'Magicoal'. I have a modern electric 'lookalike' woodburner for emergencies that takes me right back to that era 🤣🤣🤣
  • Tommysgirl's Avatar
    Guest
    @meldrewreborn

    Good old 'Magicoal'. I have a modern electric 'lookalike' woodburner for emergencies that takes me right back to that era 🤣🤣🤣

    Magicoals were very popular back in the 60s and 70s, my mum and dad had them. I have a modern electric lookalike log burner for emergencies too, but it's not much good in a power cut though.🤣🤣🤣