Indoor wood burners vs. OWBs- facts needed

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IWB's often have higher stacks and less pm, 1/2 as much

Postby Ernest Grolimund » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:00 am

Just learned that IWB stacks at 24' can cut pollution in half according to modelling. But my experience with wood smoke is that it sinks. Modelling seems to be developed for coal or oil combustion and not wood, so I do not trust it. A natural draft, variable damper could supply more air and better burning and less combustion but nobody really checks the emissions because of loopholes in law. After what happened to me, I don't trust any wood burning. Take the best pellet boilers. Suppose large numbers of the population used them. What would happen to the overall ambient pm in a city? In Europe, some cities are doing this and the pm is at 60 mcg/m3. Legal, but enough to kill, so obviously it should not be legal considering worst case circumstances. And pm standards are likely to drop to 25 mcg/m3 and even lower. According to constitutional statutes that must be enforced because threats to life and health exist, the pm std should be 18 mcg/m3 for three hours or so according to Dr. Brown, who studied risks for owb's in an EPA study. But we are a long way from that and law makers do not know the science like pm2.5mary or others. They only listen to force from laws. Short of expensive law suits, all we can do is go to hearings where we are allowed to speak and write letters and make phone calls to influential people with an open ear. But few have the time to do that.

The Maine DEP did modelling for an owb with a 24' stack that showed a 50% reduction in pm from the higher stack compared to modelling for an 8' stack with most owb's. I do not have a reference to it though and you would have to call them. They probably wouldn't remember this though.
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Postby Wilberforce » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:59 pm

A 50% reduction standing next to the thing, but 1/4 mile downwind,
no net change. Like you said, Ernest, smoke sinks due to the weight
of the particles, as well as down draft air currents and eddy currents
near the surface, in a town. (buildings, trees, etc.) Today we had an
exceptionally windy day, and I noticed the leaves and debris blowing
around in the turbulent eddys and vortices formed in city yards.

The only way to disperse smoke is with a 400-foot stack, up there
where the wind is steady and free of eddy currents.
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Stacks

Postby Ernest Grolimund » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:57 pm

Your right, maybe not about the 400' number, but you do need a tall stack to disperse woodsmoke, in my humble opinion. The modelling would predict 20 mcg/m3 from an indoor wood boiler for a house in calm winds, but I think it is more. I think it is higher in the eddy current or downdraft next to a house, and I don't think the modelling takes the weight of the air toxics into account, and I do not think the 50% safety factor is enough to account for that. But I can't prove it. I should have more insight in a week, if I get the modelling from the state on old stoves and fireplaces. The only way to know what you are up against is some kind of testing, and most people do not have $4,000 for a sidepak monitor. I got a sears air cleaner with two monitors and you got a dylos monitor. We need to find a way to make the various readouts match up to mcg/m3 somehow, or get the courts and EPA and DEP's to recognize the "Any Available Evidence Rule" of the EPA. That is why I like the Sears air cleaner. It says healthy, unhealthy or very unhealthy, which people can understand as well as judges. The DEP's are looking for any excuse to not enforce laws and really are working against the intent of all the laws which is protection of the people and not protection of the DEP enforcement fund. There are so many things I would like to push in court, it is not funny. But I do not have the money.

When I get the DEP modeling done, maybe I can start writing in the NY Times or some other more visible medium than BI. But BI is more widely read by the environmental intelligentsia than most people think, so maybe our back and forth is stimulating a lot of ideas. We are not authorities but brainstorm extremely well. I like to think that Hampstead knows about us and so does Montreal and the Maine DEP as well and maybe one of the Governors advisors too. The progress is slow to you and me but to legislators, the progress is stupendous. I am talking about the owb law, the offshore windpower proposal combined with electric heat pumps to heat state bldgs and the proposal for a chageout bill. We are getting them to start to recognize the problem.

It looks like it is going to be a long fight my friend.
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Re: Indoor wood burners vs. OWBs- facts needed

Postby Pleebo » Tue May 01, 2012 5:56 am

These are really the great sharing of indoor wood burners and OWB facts. Are pennsylvania facts includes these indoor wood burners and OWB facts? If the answer is yes, then i want to study about pennsylvania facts.
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