Ban on sale of coal and wet wood.

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Gaudette

Full Member
Aug 24, 2012
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Cambs
Great debate on the radio about the government banning the sale of wet wood and coal in 2023. The interesting thing about it is that clearly the people discussing it are completely unaware about log burners, wood in general and frankly the countryside in. I think they are known as “metropolitan elites”. It’s been quite amusing.


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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,047
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Lancashire
Is there anything wrong with banning coal and wet wood? This applies only to commercial suppliers not individuals getting their own.

Obviously a lot of politicians are metro elites, but there have always been a few Tory farmers or ex farmers. Usually they ended up at DEFRA or whatever it was/ is called. Although they do rely on the civil service where the real expertise and knowledge that feeds the decisions come from.

Personally any commercial fuel supplier really shouldn't be supplying wet wood considering it's a major cause of particulates in suburban use.
 

Corso

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Aug 13, 2007
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From the BBC

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51581817

The changes will mean:

  • Sales of bagged traditional house coal will be phased out by February 2021, and the sale of loose coal direct to customers will end by 2023
  • Sales of wet wood in small units (less than 2m3) will be phased out from February 2021. Wet wood in volumes greater than 2m3 will also have to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning
  • Makers of solid fuels will also need to show they have a very low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke.
If you are in the country and rely on wood burners throughoput the winter wouldn't you buy it in bulk (still ok) and season it yourself (still ok) ?
Season wood burns better anyway.

No mention of BBQ's or twig stoves though?
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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459
Lancashire
Traditional users of wood with knowledge about seasoning the wood is not universal in town or country. Even in the country you will see inadequate storage of wood.

Is it not better to take any possibility for ignorance out of the equation by making dry wood only being supplied whatever the volume?
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
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I'm old enough to clearly remember dirty rain, and to remember the difference that the enormous reduction in the number of coal fires has made to the atmosphere, to the air quality, etc.,

The rash of 'woodburners' that have appeared as fashionable household decorations, and chimneas for garden ornaments, and BBQ's in Summer, is undermining that much improved air quality, especially when folks burn dirty fuel. Mostly because it's cheap....or imported charcoal from felled rainforests, etc.,

I think the keyword to all of this is 'responsible'.
Be responsible for the material you burn, and its output, whether that's poorly reduced hydrocarbons from bbq lighting or unseasoned wood in your stove.
You might not see the pollution, but if you can smell it, and you will, then it's there.

I light fires but these days I try to be careful. They're not a constant thing anymore.
Suburbia already has enough issues with pollution from roadways, etc., being environmentally conscious and aware is a good thing, especially nowadays when we know the harm it does to both our health and the eco-systems around us.

I can't help feel that it's a shame that it needs to be 'banned' though, that's an indictment on society that people are irresponsible and uncaring enough to not make changes in their behaviour. Hard on rural communities too where access to cleaned up (at least power stations have filters and the like) energy isn't always easy or reliable though.
 

srod

Forager
Feb 9, 2017
105
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argyll
How are they going to define "Dry wood?"

Most likely a specified moisture content, which probably means buying kiln dried wood.

How much energy does it take to kiln dry one tonne of wet wood?

I buy wet (green) wood, easier to cut and split. Then I stack and season until ready. Surely nobody burns wet wood?
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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How are they going to define "Dry wood?"

Most likely a specified moisture content, which probably means buying kiln dried wood.

How much energy does it take to kiln dry one tonne of wet wood?

I buy wet (green) wood, easier to cut and split. Then I stack and season until ready. Surely nobody burns wet wood?
I really can’t imagine anyone popping round to the local log merchants and their customers with a moisture probe. Kiln dried wood is an absolute farce. It requires vast amounts of energy to dry.
 
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Laurentius

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Aug 13, 2009
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I really can’t imagine anyone popping round to the local log merchants and their customers with a moisture probe. Kiln dried wood is an absolute farce. It requires vast amounts of energy to dry.
Seems to be ill thought out, more about air pollution than lowering the carbon footprint. Drying wood in a kiln heated by gas, or electricity made from gas does not seem the most economical and ecological way to go, but what would I know, I am not an MP or Civil servant.
 

TLM

Settler
Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
Artifially drying fire wood is just an absolutely bad idea.

Years ago when steam engines were used in trains I remember seeing a study on burning birch logs in engines. Apparently there is a kind of optimum moisture % for clean and efficient burning, if memory serves at all, it was around 10 %. As a guess to the reason, water reacts with hot carbon soot to burn it off, so cleaner burning.
 
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mr dazzler

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Aug 28, 2004
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uk
a properly designed and fitted stove ALONG WITH a properly designed and fitted flue, burning dry hardwood, will produce less emissions than a standard domestic gas fire.
BUT lots of people think you can get by with a piece of cheap chinese cast iron crap and pile wet pallets into it, with a leaking heath robinson cold sooty flue, and then people wonder why theres a problem with the nu wood stove trend causing unpleasant fumes
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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The quality woodburner should be fed with outside air. Quality flues have this designed in them.
Quite pointless to draw in room temperature air, which is replaced by cold outside air,
Check how much air the burner uses on average. It is a lot, even for a small one.

There is a way to burn wood efficiently, so the secondary burn occurs. We had the company that installed it show us.
 
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Toddy

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I quite fancy one of the rocket mass stove things :)
Just really a modern take on the old European idea. From huge great edifices built of the equivalent of the bricks used in storage heaters ....that's really what it is.... to the home made clay wrapped around the flues, etc., Great heat output, over time, from very little fuel burnt.
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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Seems to be ill thought out, more about air pollution than lowering the carbon footprint. Drying wood in a kiln heated by gas, or electricity made from gas does not seem the most economical and ecological way to go, but what would I know, I am not an MP or Civil servant.
Split and stacked, stored in an airy place, is the way wood has been seasoned for hundreds of years. There is a problem at the moment with the local estates felling all their Ash woodland because of the Ash Dieback. This is a thoroughly responsible reaction, but it does mean we’re buying wood that hasn’t been seasoned properly, partly because Ash burns green if necessary, and partly down to storage problems for the vast amount of timber produced all at once. It’s also a wood that rots very quickly if left out in stacks, so the only way to deal with the sheer quantity is to split and sell. What I’m buying isn’t green, but it’s heavy and cool to the touch.

A few years ago I tried some briquette type coal bought from the local garage and B&Q, the stuff that sits on pallets outside. Now that’s the stuff that should be banned. Not only was it soaking wet, but most of the ‘ash’ from the fire seemed to be sandy grit, my ash bucket weighed a ton carrying it out to empty and it sooted the burner window so badly I had to take the door off and drill brush the crud off outside.
 
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Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
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When I'm out and about in the woods, I use my wood gasifying stove. Totally smokeless once the gas of (wet) wood starts to burn. Can't remember where I've seen them, but you can get the xxl ones for your garden!!!
 

petrochemicals

Full Member
Jul 30, 2012
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Thank gooness for that, thoes round heathrow and other airports will be able to taste the kerosene properly. Kiln dried wood anyway is full of sap that does create much smoke.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I quite fancy one of the rocket mass stove things :)
Just really a modern take on the old European idea. From huge great edifices built of the equivalent of the bricks used in storage heaters ....that's really what it is.... to the home made clay wrapped around the flues, etc., Great heat output, over time, from very little fuel burnt.
The best ones are in fact a Swedish invention. Wood was running out in the part where people lived ( southern half) and what little remains was needed for the metal smelting industry.
The Roots were used to get Tar and Tar Oil.

Google 'kakelugn'.
Sometime in the 1700' I think.


Edit: Carl Johan Cronstedt, 1767.
Designed the 5 smoke canal mass oven.

The Finns designed the Soapstoven mass oven. Fantastic. But heavy and $$$$

We used to own a house in the northern Czech mountains. It had a mass oven/fireplace/baking oven/ heated double bed.

Local clay, bits of brick. Early 1800'.
Worked I would say better than Cronstedt's model!
 
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Big Si

Full Member
Dec 27, 2005
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It is I feel just a bit of a headline-grabbing policy, it will be forgotten about within the next twelve months. It's going to be impossible to police efficiently. Just read, laugh about it and move on. Climate change is caused by too many people in too smaller space either we make the space bigger or have fewer people.

Si