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    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2010 edited
    Tony didn't raise this issue Joiner, James Ingram pointed the thread to an AECB discussion paper.

    I sense that this thread has been 'hijacked' by people that have far more time than some others amongst us and the old saying goes, "nobody preaches like the recently converted."

    I would like to see some real names put to some of the posters please. If you are shy then please send me an e-mail to let me know who you are. I do not allow anonymity within the forum.

    Telling us who you are and your experience, if you wish, should also add weight to your arguments.
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2010
    Sorry Keith, do you mean me for example?


    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2010
    Now that I've retired and no longer liable to fall out with council officials if any unsavoury character passes on what I've said about our illustrious local authority, I have no problem with telling everyone that I'm Dave Tremellen, used to trade as Conservation Joinery Services in and around Shropshire.

    The whole point of maintaining the same username across the three forums I have regular exposure to is so that no one can accuse me of saying one thing on one forum and another on another (!). I'm a regular contributor to ebuild, Ask The Trades, and an occasional contributor to this one if there's anything worth commenting on.

    Sorry for annoying you Keith, but it's still happening that hitting the page 1 link on the current page still keeps taking me back to page 6 and Tony's post. That's all I'd done to jog my memory on who the OP was. Hitting the page 1 link from page 6 takes me to page 1 and James as the OP. My apologies James.

    I didn't realise that one needed formal qualifications, if not scientific then at least "time-served", to participate. I'll remember my place in future!

    As to the preaching of the recently converted - I'm an atheist with regard to anyone's god, an agnostic with regard to ANYTHING else and so open to a well-constructed argument and always willing to change my mind if that argument is compelling enough. Never really accepted denegration as a valid debating point. Must look into some day; I believe it's quite popular nowadays.
    .GPB-Keith Keith my name as detailed Brian Wilson. Retired- early years power engineer with electricity authority. Quickly learned no place for intuition Keith when called to give professional advice at inquest where men thought equipment was dead, it wasn't they are. Was interesting work but 24/7 in supply industry so took complete change into design and research on domestic appliances then industrial electrical design and installation with new town corporation, pollution control systems, plant automation. SCADA systems etc with water authority and consultants. Ended when tried skiing and failed with serious mobility reduction.
    Ref bio oil from wood I understand latest proposal is use of enzymes to convert cellulosic material into oil but not aware of characteristics.
    I understand potency of particulates depends on association with contaminants. Any contact with carcinogenic material even on travel between chimney and lungs is very bad news. The information that cancer is a relatively new problem possibly caused by pollution should flag up need to scrutinise pollution sources especially smoke after our experience with tobacco.
    gcar90 I have problem with internet explorer deciding to drop link and dump comment( thought I was being sabotaged) Now telling me of problem with authenticating post will try again.
    • CommentAuthoradwindrum
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2010
    Adam Windrum - Small holder and science teacher (so no technical skills to contribute!). I get loads of time on forum when I am exam marking online or in school (I do supply teaching at the school I taught at).

    I have grown up all my life on parents smallholding being more or less self sufficient. Probably best case scenario where woodburning is concerned (in my opinion) and so have defended it on this forum.

    Current house is temporary accom - 1950s, single pane glazing, no insulation, cedar shingles and plasterboard is all I have above my head. Got funds to build new house in the next few years and been waiting 6 years, so will be following Tonys top mantra of air tightness and insulation and probably wont have any woodburning then. Meantime I have installed a log boiler and am installing a more efficient wood burner for heat, my alternative is burning loads of oil.

    I live in the sticks so no neighbours sucking in these particulates.

    So surely in these situations biomass burning has its place and should be encouraged? Many many families must be in similar accom but unable to afford to rebuild or properly insulate.

    Scientific evidence is easy to get hold of, but air quality of large canadian towns situated in deep valleys with poor air movements where every house has a poor efficiency wood burner chugging away is not relevant to my situation (and the rest of the evidence runs on a sliding scale from that point!).

    Pulling up stats and saying burn gas instead because it wont kill as many people seems a little short sighted. Gas simply kills less people (through particulate pollution), plus its only a short term solution as it is running out. I also feel that the benefits of wood burning have been completly ignored as people are concentrating on the science pointing to human health. Personally I care more for the well being of the rest of the biomass on this planet than humans. To this point, the 6 acres of field i have planted as wood and the 17 of woodland that my dad and I have managed for 30 years (11acres of ancient degrading woodland turned into improving woodland on Natural Englands scale) plus all the hedges I have worked with local farmers to prevent their destruction and proper management must be taken into account. Very little of it would have happened if I hadnt been burning wood.

    I think that the last identical debate we had on wood burning had me accepting that tighter restrictions needed to be made in built up areas where I can completly understand how polluting a poor wood burner would be. Large industrial scale burning of biomass seems nuts to me seeing the info on this debate but I cant comment on it as I know squat about it. But there is still a large part to be played by small scale wood burning.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2010 edited
    Nobody need formal qualifications, i am just trying to get in my head around who is pulling this thread along Some of the users are pre 'formal registration' so I don't know who they/you are. This thread may well form part of an upcoming feature in the winter edition of GBM. Thank you to those of you that have divulged so far.
    GBP-Keith- Just to confirm have devoted considerable time over recent years researching energy systems and trying to increase awareness of combustion process impact on air quality but sadly have failed to articulate concerns. Just hoping common sense and duty of care will prevail to minimise impact.

    gcar ref EFW- Concerned that justification for incineration fails scrutiny. It is based on prediction of increasing waste creation with financial penalties for above quota biodegradable waste to landfill . Audited data shows substantial waste reduction over recent years and the preferred route for biodegradable waste is anearobic digestion because it produces far lower hazardous pollution.
    A typical 150,000 tonne/yr incineration plant has capital cost £150 million plus the local authority is contracted to feed the plant for minimum 25yrs. Any shortfall means financial penalty for taxpayer. The Council response to falling waste availability is proposal to dig up existing landfill for burning. Methane capture from existing landfill is most economic method of energy from waste, EFW incineration is most expensive.
    Positioning of plants causes concern when we consider pollution, good example is Lincoln where plant is to be positioned immeditely upwind of City where topography shows ground level rising to the East topped by County hospital plus Cathedral. Sulphur dioxide pollution detailed 300 plus times higher than equivalent fossil fuel. Publicity material claims NOx pollution equal to vehicle exhaust emissions on 7km strech of road. Check against EU directive that will be applicable when plant comes onstream and it will need 85,000 cars 24/7 to produce equal pollution on 7km road.
    Plant detailed to be single furnace unit which severely curtails any possible use in any good quality CHP.
    Another example of concern is IOW gasification plant which I understand is currently closed to 800% exceedence of dioxin levels.
    There are many aspects of these plants that cause concern, the poor efficiency plus pollution created displays serious lack of due diligence by decision makers, the site choices illustrate lack of duty of care and the cost involved displays serious financal waste compared with alternative streaming of material . The plants produce thousands of tonnes of hazardous flyash requiring specialised transport and disposal in deep mine facilities. Anyway I am straying seriously from forum but hope it displays my concerns.
    I've felt for a while that Guy Fawkes Night was under severe threat and obviously this is so. In future we'll gather round municipal gas burners with carbon dioxide filters fixed to collect the effluent. Fireworks will of course be provided by laser display units and char grilled beefburgers will be banned.

    As a result we'll all live a few days longer and global warming/climate change will be postponed by a few weeks.

    And won't life be that little bit duller!
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    Keith: since we're all in confessional mode then...

    I am Damon Hart-Davis and I have no particular axe to grind though I am trying to move my business towards renewables and have been practising what I preach at home (energy footprint down from ~6tCO2e/y ~5 years ago to about 0.3t/y now even though we've had two children in the interim). I have a technology/science background (software and electronics freelance). I am one of the moderators at fieldlines.com. I have contributed to a couple of CIBSE energy-related events and am about to contribute some articles to theregister.co.uk.

    I do strongly believe that CC/AGW is a huge threat and in any case dislike waste and profligacy and I am concerned about resource/energy shortages. I read theoildrum.com.

    I have lived on a farm warmed by a mixture of coal and solar thermal and wood for a number of years and so have first-hand practical experience of biomass use!


    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    Brian, you apologise for straying from the forum, but for the life of me I can't see what you have to apologise for. Just because you choose not to ignore consequences, indeed to the point of putting your livelihood at risk, when others would prefer the 'simpler' option of concentrating on what they judge to be the main issue (anything else being a distraction and therefore irrelevent), marks you out as a man of honour and principle who doesn't, in my book anyway, have to justify himself to anyone. You established your bona fides early on. I get the impression that they're not so much being checked out as challenged. I salute your equanimity. I envy it. All I seem to do is collect formal cautions!
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    No one has yet answered the question, asked several times, which biomass are we talking about? :confused:
    • CommentAuthorjules
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    The answer is that we're talking about all biomass, and that's the problem. I see three main types of interest:
    1- large scale commercial biomass plants
    2 - widespread adoption of residential biomass ie woodburners
    3 - small numbers of individuals in rural areas not on mains gas who use woodburners.

    The third category is a bit limited, but I include it because it seems to be the category covering most contributors to this discussion! In my opinion category 3 can be justified, but it's the first two which cause the problems. I do agree that future discussion needs to make very clear which one is being discussed. The trouble is that any government policy on this subject would have difficulty distinguishing between #2 and #3.

    I do sense that a lot of contributors to this thread who are #3 are being a bit defensive because they see this discussion as an attack on their choice, which is unfortunate.

    Incidentally, my house happens to have 2 woodburners and I'm on mains gas! But they are used for a boost in cold weather and nothing more.
    • CommentAuthorevan
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010 edited
    Posted By: BrightgreenI've felt for a while that Guy Fawkes Night was under severe threat and obviously this is so.

    No kidding!
    I work with someone who is helping to organise their community's bonfire.
    He contacted some sort of waste company asking for old pallets, which is what they normally burn. What he got was four Artic loads (free) of solid timber, looks like it was from demolished buildings, old roof trusses and so on. Treated wood. Plus a removal van load of old tables and chairs, painted and varnished wood and composite board. Aiming to make it the biggest fire in Scotland!
    • CommentAuthorrhamdu
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    Posted By: evanTreated wood

    A quick aside from the main thread: is there an easy way to identify wood that is safe to burn? Some of the more modern treatments are claimed to be environmentally friendly. But I would not want to burn anything treated with chlorine compounds (which could produce dioxins) or heavy metals.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    or arsenic?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    What i find dissapointing too is an inability of some to see the issue "in the round" as someone put it. Also no mention of the fact that new commercial boimass plants can surely be fitted with particulate filtration, which presumably could be a planning approval constraint. Just a quick check produces all sorts of options here:-
    Electrostatic; cyclones; porous metal; fabric; ceramic; granular; fluidised bed; etc etc. Surely it's not beyond the wit of man to put one or more of these in place in each plant. For the rest of the commercial biomass plant emmisions CO for example they need to be balanced agaisnst other factors like tree production, leisure, sporting, and wildlife habitat. But from my research still the major polluter is transport, NOx, CO, Particulates, primary and secondary, Benzine. That is not a reason to give the green light everthing else. But again a rounded view is required, and we do need power. At least major power production is relatively concentrated so therfore is the pollutant risk, and therfore easier to neutralise, unlike the all pervasive automobile. I too am a wood burner in your #3 category and I, like others, took the time to fit an efficient system which minimises burning time. I can see the concern in urban areas of devices such as mine, but that isn't really practical, think space, think muck and ash, and most will quickly relise that. However, with a small room stove I think the risk is being overstated, and hysteria kicks in, with the usual emotive language and facts. As others have said it will only ever be a minority persuit, live and let live for goodness sake.
    Owlman- The biomass plant emissions data I have detailed in the forum are taken from planning applications or operational data published by plant operator or regulatory authority. The information is fluestack exit data, the operators generally apply abatement technology in form of filters and chemical dosing. They are supposed to utilise BAT(best available technology ) but sadly it comes down to cheapest method in order to comply with regulatory limits. As you detailed filters available but we are not using best available to minimise health impact. I am aware of serious effort being put into coming up with economic solution for domestic application but nothing to date.
    Only trying to increase awareness of ramifications from rapid increase in burning both domestic and commercial. I am very aware of financial implications involved but just ask that we consider the facts and use our little grey cells to make knowledge based judgement which will minimise air quality degradation. Pollution kills and causes serious health problems, if you consider there is not and will not be a problem caused by burning biomass then please provide evidence. I have studied this over recent years and would love to find evidence that allows us to "live and let live" but experience shows this is a problem that requires addressing now.
    The obligation is not to prove burning will impact on health and environment but to prove it will not. We are very aware of the consequences but as a Country have failed to reduce our hazardous emissions ,why? Do we just not care about the deliberate damage? Yes this is emotive but the future is in our hands we cannot just ignore pollution facts or dismiss them because they are considered inconvenient.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010
    Even with flters nearly all the carcinogens escape into the atmosphere from burning wood or biomass, this may not be considered a problem in rural areas but it definitely is in towns and cities.
    joiner- thanks for your kind words, brought wry smile and raised eyebrow from my wife. She has witnessed my threats to do unspeakable things to my laptop when it makes decision to throw wobbly and dump wot I have rit. Envy your ability to articulate, probably need to spend more time studying structure of contributionsfrom others .
    Rhamdu- Very difficult to determine history of timber e.g. pallets , any contamination from goods carried.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010 edited
    Posted By: Brianwilson
    "The operators generally apply abatement technology in form of filters and chemical dosing. They are supposed to utilise BAT(best available technology ) but sadly it comes down to cheapest"

    Then the planners reject the application because BAT isn't applied,- simple!

    "Only trying to increase awareness of ramifications from rapid increase in burning both domestic and commercial."

    The above answer, solves the commercial side, as for domestic, small fry in comparison, or you could campaign for better designed appliances. There isn't the huge burning of domestic biomass you seem to think, certainly not of the scale when coal fires produced the smogs. It never will be for everyone, and if it presents a local problem in your area then apply a local solution. Isn't that what small, government is all about.

    "Pollution kills and causes serious health problems,"

    Pollution comes in many forms Brian. I don't think anyone is arguing with you. To some extent there is pollution everywhere, take a balanced view though, and look at the overall emmisions, be they global or national. For the localised urban variety think transport and all the associated things. Campaign instead for a huge pollution levy on that for instance, its impact would be proportionally greater.

    I have studied this over recent years and would love to find evidence that allows us to "live and let live" but experience shows this is a problem that requires addressing now.

    Then step back a bit and take a wider view.

    Apologies: I don't know how to get the blue thingies around your quotes.
    Owlman- you make interesting suggestions but probably example would illustrate reality. I queried application for UK wastewood energy plant included bag filters for fine particle reduction not superior ceramic filter as used on Austrian wastewood plant when data showed ceramic filter gives 3 times greater reduction in pollution.Response that it was not considered to be economic and possible failure due to thermal shock, I had experience of ceramics and heat application plus aware plant would include two massive auxiliary diesel burners to maintain constant temperature with any variation totally controlled . I understand application of ceramic filters is widespread but they are more expensive. Sadly officialdom appear to roll over and accept any proposal providing it appears to comply with current regs because priority is renewables quota. Fabric filters did present problem for remedial work required to improve thermal boyancy in order to correct inversion problem, they can catch fire. Hope this helps understand life is not simple. You claim exhaust emissions dominate pollution but these new biomass plants guarantee to change that scenario with pollution equal to adding millions of additional cars.
    You say "live and let live" to me ignoring a known hazard means "live and let die" which sad person that I am is something I am not prepared to accept without at least trying to correct what I feel is wrong.

    You recommend stepping back to take a wider view but will this remove the pollution,if so how?
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2010 edited
    I sense that this thread has been 'hijacked' by people that have far more time than some others amongst us and the old saying goes, "nobody preaches like the recently converted."

    I would like to see some real names put to some of the posters please. If you are shy then please send me an e-mail to let me know who you are. I do not allow anonymity within the forum.

    Telling us who you are and your experience, if you wish, should also add weight to your arguments.

    It is SteamyTea that I'm really most interested in finding more about and he has gone a little bit quiet today. Send me an e-mail if you wish please ST.

    I would also like to add an apology if I am spooking anyone with my inquisition.
    Come out ST with you hands up!

    listen carefully

    You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?

    OK, your clean

    Thank you for your cooperation, now move along...
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2010
    I suspect from all the clues in "his" many posts that Steamy Tea is in fact very much all woman. The subtlety of the humour (and the speed with which that of others is picked up) is also characteristic.

    But I do hope this doesn't apply...


    (No apologies for that bit of light relief!)
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2010
    Your a sick, sick man :bigsmile:

    My own contribution to the burning debate.

    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2010
    Now you've got me into trouble for leading you astray and Keith will be pulling his hair out by the roots.

    No wonder you want to retain your anonymity Vorderman!:wink:
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2010
    I have explained to Keith about that. Interestingly there was a bit on Radio 4 about being anonymous on websites about an hour ago.
    Met Carol Vorderman at a lecture once, was a very pleasant lady, but that was before she started doing adverts for financial services.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2010
    I think I'm having problems with the page links again because the index is showing Keith as the last poster and I can't see it after ST's and I'm looking at page 8 with the > also opaque, which has always indicated the last page of the thread.
    Have been trying to locate comparitive emissions data for woodburning that could be accepted as "rounded" and is recent.
    Interesting report from Zurich 2008 "Particulate Emissions from Biomass Combustion in IEA Countries". The range of pollution is vast up to 5000mg/Mj, Norway detail 1800mg/Mj. A clean burn stove is shown to achieve 260 mg/Mj with correct operation. The best results appear to be 20mg/Mj from a pellet boiler but even this is more than 20 times dirtier than equivalent gas.
    I note incorrect loading of the stove can increase pollution by a factor of 10.
    It would appear we need education in correct operation of woodburners in order to minimise health and environmental impact.
    I note DECC detail biomass plant operators have no responsibility for ensuring imported biomass is from sustainable sources. The projected 1 million tonnes to be imported and burned each week producing billions of cubic metres of air pollution would pose question where best to live in UK to have hope of breathing clean air. I suppose we should all move to Cornwall!
    • CommentAuthoradwindrum
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2010
    No no no no no! My new woodburner arrives in cornwall next week!!!
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