Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)

Categories



Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!


powered by Surfing Waves




Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.




    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2010
     
    What have I missed? I thought Brian's issue was with Biomass particulates being the most harmful of the genus soot soot problemus, not that it was the most prolific. So relative. My mate's .357 is a gun, as is my .22 air rifle. Both guns, but the .357 will blow your head off whether you're lucky or not, whereas my .22 will cause you grief only if you're stupid enough to duck when I'm aiming at your ass.

    Like I said, what have I missed?
  1.  
    owlman- Brianwilson would appear is against ALL woodburning, not true our woodburner went to a happy home in the countryside where it's emissions can roam free. My point is application of due diligence required in choice of combustion system and siting in order to minimise air pollution impact. Particulates are confirmed to be the most hazardous air pollutant so surely creation should be of concern to all. Reduction of SO2 is a priority due to health impact, I raised concern due to noting a waste wood burning energy plant details SO2 burden per unit of power 250 times higher than equivalent gas. Should you feel I have skewed data please detail in order that it can be clarified.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    So our woodburner gets a reprieve then. Phew. With no immediate neighbours and "just" a mix of parkland and woodland on the one side, with a golf course upwind on the other and 50-foot chimney stacks, only the golfers are affected when the wind shifts to an easterly - and they deserve everything they get with those silly shoes and Pringle sweaters.:bigsmile:

    But am I right to be so relaxed, Brian?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Oh god, ST! No wonder suicide rates have increased. Given access to sites like that the rate would go through the roof.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Have they, oh another rich source of data to do some statistical tests on, thats my weekend sorted
  2.  
    joiner- sorry to suggest that you cannot relax, the pollution created can easily travel 200km. Our woodburner went to the fens near the East coast so pollution should drift out to sea, that is my excuse for not writing it off anyway. It is difficult to put my head above the parapet on this without being possibly labelled a cross between antichrist and luddite but here I go again. A good reference illustating concerns is "Air Pollution: Action in a Changing Climate published by www,defra.gov.uk March 2010". Clause 1.3 Air pollution damages human health.
    Statement "Current evidence suggests that there is no "safe" limit for exposure to fine particle matter (PM 2.5)". Annual cost £18 billion. My understanding is fine particles produced by biomass combustion are 80% PM2.5 or smaller.Further into report it details hazardous air pollutants and recommends a move away from biomass residential heating and another controversial suggestion move from diesel to petrol for transport. I would suggest vehicle suggestion needs to be evaluated against advantages of burning diesel and future EU directive on tailpipe emissions limits.
    Above report can be googled under "air pollution action in a changing climate". Hoping I am not adding to woes but do feel this is time for rethink on biomass use.
    • CommentAuthoradwindrum
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Brian. Isnt SOx worse than NOx for acid rain? If so it highlights my concern about cherry picking evidence. The actual point being made was about the other toxic pollutants such as heavy metals coming from car exhausts.
    Also wouldnt the new straw biomass burner have scrubbers in its chimney to remove most SOxs?

    We will all scour the internet for a few minutes and pull up some sort of data. Steamy Teas latest page is a typical example....lots of articles about how air pollution damages health. Which pollutants? from where? and in what quantity? in which climate? affecting young? old? etc etc. How are these related to my wood burning stove?

    Again we need to select our arguement here regards biomass burning as I cant tell you anything about mass burning on a plant scale whereas you can.

    I want to defend my wood burning in the sticks using spare wood from well managed woodland as opposed to burning oil which I cant afford and which causes hundreds of thousands of deaths due to war alone (before we get into pollutant related deaths.....). I believe that grants should be made available labelled green energy for such use (I got a grant for a log boiler based on the fact that I was managing ancient SSSI woodland for fuel).

    Sure smoke free zones should be extended in towns and probably any built up areas and personally I think that the DEFRA rated stoves are a joke. Modern woodburners are designed to have nice clean glass. I am fairly sure nearly all the DEFRA rated ones for smoke free zones actually compromise their efficiency for the clean glass that modern home owners demand.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    No Brian, and thanks for coming back on it.

    My wife has COPD which has in fact worsened in recent years, although blaming that on the wood-burner is probably a bit unfair, given that we do have an approved stove (well, it was, but now vanished off the catalogues - Auckland, still one of that name but with a single rather than double doors), but the thought that we could be causing it in someone else downwind of us is disturbing enough. Thank god we're upwind of the Severn Valley Railway and its steam trains.

    Trouble with old huses like this (1848 and built originally as the offices of the old colliery) is supplying them with a ready source of green heat. I think we'll just have to stick with smokeless coal and drop the logs. Pity, 'cos I've just found a place that sells five nets of dried softwood logs for £10.95. Double-glazing 25 very large sash windows will probably cost an arm and a leg!
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Posted By: Brianwilson.
    Should you feel I have skewed data please detail in order that it can be clarified.

    Just a bit selective Brian. I think most would agree that domestic biomass is not right for all situations and there are probably good arguments for banning wood stoves in heavily populated areas. Obviously too the siting of industrial biomass plants should also only be suitably sited, but the regulatory framework for all that exists. When I last looked, generally, the biggest single anthropogenic polluter is transport, (NOx, CO, particulate matter, benzene ) with coal burning the biggest source of SO2. Yes, wood burning contains pollutants no one is denying that, we humans are mucky bu--ers, but that needs to be recognised in the wider context of pollution in general, not just in isolation. It also needs to be viewed in tandem with the overall beneficial effects that tree production has. Unlike fossil fuels which appear to be negative on either side of the coin, both useage and production. If you're able, light that stove, pull up a chair, and enjoy. Life's too short.

    :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Posted By: adwindrumWe will all scour the internet for a few minutes and pull up some sort of data


    I may just go out in the sun and watch waves.
    Actually I may print a few off and see what I can glean from them, or conversely write a slightly less than simplistic article about statistics.

    What we really need to do is as Adeindrum suggests, start pulling the data together so that Keith can write is piece or this will become something akinned to the UN, and we know how effective they are.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    I think the message might be something like "don't let the best be the enemy of the good". In fact no solution is perfect, but with the right emissions controls and low lifecycle energy (growing, transporting, disposal of residue), etc, etc, I'd *far* rather we were burning wood for heat or even electricity than coal (Thorium, Sulphur, Uranium, Mercury) and indeed eventually any fossil fuel just on CO2 grounds.

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Damon

    Would that be Kaisen -1 :confused:
  3.  
    adwindrum- The data I have used for straw combustion is exit from fluestack as detailed in approvals applications i.e. after any mitigation. Ref SO2 pollution it is particularly bad for waste wood combustion where operational data illustrates fluestack pollution emissions 250 times higher than equivalent gas per MWh produced.
    I am accused of being selective in highlighting pollution produced by biomass combustion, can anyone provide details of where biomass combustion is superior to gas in minimising hazardous pollution (please note CO2 is benign and reqd to support plant life)The Gov detail future need to phase out domestic biomass burning in order to reduce hazardous air pollution, they detail any increase in the pollution will have serious health/financial impact.
    My argument is we need to step back from the rush into biomass combustion, carry out full in depth scrutiny of all aspects and impacts to ensure the actions we take will not degrade air quality for the next generation.
    joiner- I too suffer respiratory problems and therefore very sensitive to air pollution which brings personal bias in trying to protect air quality. I have found spending time away from polluted air makes considerable difference but sadly the area we visit is due to have massive biomass plants to the west and south so I am doomed anyway. About to head off and enjoy while I can, keep smiling .
    • CommentAuthoradwindrum
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Biomass isnt superior to gas burning, I dont think anyone is saying that, but its a much bigger picture - my option is oil not gas, usually plants burn coal not gas or wood so we should be comparing them surely?
    I dont see a major rush into biomass burning but then I am not up on industrial plant plans. What i am experiencing and discussing is small one off grnats for householders to use wood burners for domestic heating which is what I believe started this thread....an attack from one AECB report on wood as opposed to gas...I repeat my choice isnt gas......
    Done my walk by the river in the sun with kids this morning....back now to put an order in for a new woodburner believe it or not...looing at Morso Owl....6.5 kW of lush.....
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Light the stove?

    Owlman says yes.

    Brian says no.

    Steamy Tea says make up your own mind according to the evidence.

    Sounds exactly like the UN already to me, ST, complete with interest groups on the Supreme Council who say nothing because they know theirs is the only vote that counts.

    You're right, time to put it to bed. Unless...
  4.  
    My only concern is that there appears to be a certain amount of romanticism surrounding wood.

    I dont like to see greenies knee jerk reject some one elses research or argument just because wood doesnt come out top. Despite the good intentions.

    And I say that as someone who is a BIG fan of wood.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Yes, let's try to avoid the romanticism, I agree.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthorbrig001
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Is the big problem GBP-Keith's comment a couple of pages back?

    5. Some of us just like burning stuff!
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Well, I've tried to give up the pyromania these days...

    I can give it up any time I want.

    I really can.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010 edited
     
    DamonHD Well, I've tried to give up the pyromania these days...
    I can give it up any time I want.
    I really can

    Except in the quiet wee hours, when you reach for the Macallan and you long for that primeval flicker of a real flame to muse over. Go on, give in, don't fight it, you know you want to :wink:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    Good old Month Python did this a while back, last 4 lines

    Linkman ...what makes certain men want to be mice?
    Kargol Well, we psychiatrist have found that over 8% of the population will always be mice, I mean, after all, there's something of the mouse in all of us. I mean, how many of us can honestly say that at one time or another he hasn't felt sexually attracted to mice. (linkman looks puzzeld) I know I have. I mean, most normal adolescents go through a stage of squeaking two or three times a day. Some youngsters on the other hand, are attracted to it by its very illegality. It's like murder - make a thing illegal and it acquires a mystique. (linkman looks increasingly embarrassed) Look at arson - I mean, how many of us can honestly say that at one time or another he hasn't set fire to some great public building. I know I have. (phone on desk rings; the linkman picks it up but does not answer it) The only way to bring the crime figures down is to reduce the number of offences - get it out in the open - I know I have.

    :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2010
     
    My lawyer has asked me to state for the record and for the avoidance of doubt (and what is he doing reading GBF at this time of night anyway) that no part of the biomass that I have burnt has been incorporated in a great public building at the time.

    Not even a little public building. Oh no.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2010
     
    Yup, definitely getting more like the UN.
  5.  
    Returning to subject- can we agree burning biomass contributes to deaths,causes serious illness bringing heavy financial on NHS. In doubt read Gov reports plus each new piece of health research but do not be "selective". Official recommendation is biomass combustion should not be used where gas is available and only remote from sensitive receptors. What consenting adults do in the countryside is up to them providing they do not upset the animals.
    It is a strang quirk of human nature that we are happy to spend £1000-£2000 on chimney lining to prevent known hazards in biomass emissions damaging our building fabric but totally ignore impact once it exits our property.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2010 edited
     
    Burning coal, drilling for oil, and indeed any sort of large-scale energy use in our modern society does all the things you attribute to burning biomass.

    A critical issue is "how much" as in "how many excess deaths per TWh" and in which situations.

    And note that wood has been burning since long before man was even around, so nature has been dealing with those flue-gas 'hazards' one way or another for that long.

    Rgds

    Damon
  6.  
    Damon HD- Interesting comments, I have raised concerns based on emissions data for biomass combustion compared with gas alternative. Gas is shown to produce far cleaner emissions especially with regard to most hazardous air pollutants. With regard to deaths I understand standard figure for NOx pollution is 1 death per 50 tonnes released. My scrutiny of biomass/ energy combustion systems details typical NOx production 11 times higher than gas alternative per MWh of useful power out. Minimum increase in fine particle pollution correlates directly to deaths and serious health problems so priority is reduction. I note NHS estimate of financial impact is £750 million per 1 microgramme/ cubic metre change. Fine particle pollution is the major problem with biomass combustion and not with gas alternative.
    True wood burning has been with us for a long time but we have had massive changes in demography. My concern is future impact of the 50 million tonnes of biomass to be imported into UK for burning each year and the latest figure of 750,000 woodburners rapidly increasing without reference to location suitability or quality of fuel used.
    • CommentAuthorgcar90
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2010
     
    The discussion need to stay centered around burning biomass on a local level and the effects it has locally. Most of the world uses fossil fuels and so that dominates the nasty emissions globally. In very poor parts of the world biomass still dominates the energy mix and the health effects of it are well documented.
    This craze for buying stoves has emerged only in the last few years, driven in part by rising gas prices and TV/Magazines advertising them as an attractive centerpiece for a living room as well as some associated romanticism of a bygone era.
    As Brian says, it is the emissions per kwh that are important an crucially where those emissions are emitted. Ultimately though, burning wood isn't going to even scrape the surface of replacing the massive amounts of fossil fuel burnt in this country so it is all a bit academic really and burning wood for electricity is a really dumb thing to be doing when other fuels can do the job so much better with no or much lower emissions per kwh.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2010
     
    Posted By: gcar90
    it is all a bit academic really and burning wood for electricity is a really dumb thing to be doing when other fuels can do the job so much better with no or much lower emissions per kwh.

    Do you include the latest CHP plants in that statement? Emmisions aside, from what I've read biomass comes out on top in terms of net levelised cost. According to Mott Macdonald 2010 it would appear that biomass produces power at about one third the cost of gas because of a higher heat to power ratio. In the same report offshore wind is one of the more expensive assuming first generation turbines.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2010
     
    Don't ignore potential future casualties from climate change, ie excess (particulate/NOX) deaths now from each kWh of wood vs (say) gas, vs cumulative excess future deaths per kWh from having shoved the extra fossil CO2 into the atmosphere from a non-biomass source.

    A rounded view is needed.

    Rgds

    Damon
   
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   
Logout    

© Green Building Press