Counting Particles from Wood Stoves


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Tracking Down Particulates (Science Daily, Dec. 14, 2010)

For northern countries in winter and tropical countries year round, particulates released from the burning of wood as a fuel is a major pollution problem and contributes to the health impacts from particulate matter. The new probe described in the article under review today seems to provide a reliable way of monitoring particulates directly at source in the flue. This in turn suggests a potential way of regulating “low emission” wood stoves in the future.

Key Quotes:

“When pellets, logs or briquettes are burnt, fine dust particles that are hazardous to health are released into the atmosphere.”

“[in Germany]Wood use by private individuals has gone up by 60 to 80 per cent since the year 2000..fine dust particles reduce average life expectancy in Germany by approximately ten months.”

“To date there is no validated method for measuring the dust content in flue gases. The Bosch smoke count method used with oil-fired heating systems is not appropriate, as it looks primarily at soot particles, and soot is not the principal component of emissions from wood-fired combustion

“we simply place a sampling probe developed by us in the stove flue. The probe draws off some of the flue gases, which are diluted with pre-treated air at the tip of the probe and then cooled in a conditioning unit. The conditioned flue gases are subsequently fed through two optoelectronic sensors which use different measuring techniques.. An algorithm combines the electrical signals from both these sensors to produce a definitive reading”

“This innovative technology provides heating engineers with a cost-effective tool for determining the precise concentration of particulate matter.”

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