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Wet Wood & Coal

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Geoff_S

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Does anybody still burn this stuff?

I thought coal had pretty much been replaced by the smokeless manufactured stuff. But then I'm a townie who burns the manufactured stuff and dry wood that I have to buy.

Just wondering.
 

RichardG

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Well no one in their right mind would burn wet wood. It gives out no heat, clogs your chimney / flue up and blackens the front of the wood burner.

As a rural resident I try and buy/ beg/collect recently felled trees/branches, cut split and then season. It’s unclear whether it’s ok to buy a wet trunk but not ok to buy wet wood that has been cut and split ready for burning that still needs seasoning.

Sounds like another half baked poorly thought out scheme

Richard
 

Geoff_S

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RichardG":r649li5z said:
Well no one in their right mind would burn wet wood. It gives out no heat, clogs your chimney / flue up and blackens the front of the wood burner.

As a rural resident I try and buy/ beg/collect recently felled trees/branches, cut split and then season. It’s unclear whether it’s ok to buy a wet trunk but not ok to buy wet wood that has been cut and split ready for burning that still needs seasoning.

Sounds like another half baked poorly thought out scheme

Richard
My thoughts entirely.

When I do venture into London and find myself struggling to breathe, it’s not the sweet smell of burning wood or coal that I notice!
 

MikeG.

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Narrow boats still rely on coal heaters, to a large extent. This is going to cause some chaos and consternation amongst the thousands who live aboard a narrow boat permanently. Goodness knows how owners of traction engines and the like will manage.
 

Geoff_S

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MikeG.":3q3emzyz said:
Narrow boats still rely on coal heaters, to a large extent. This is going to cause some chaos and consternation amongst the thousands who live aboard a narrow boat permanently. Goodness knows how owners of traction engines and the like will manage.
Is the smokeless manufactured stuff I buy not right for them?
 

Richard_C

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My reading of it is this

From Feb 2021 you won't be able to buy bagged coal or wet wood for domestic use, from Feb 2022 or 3 you won't be able to buy bulk wet wood under 2 cu m, and if its over 2 cu m the supplier must provide advice on how to dry it. Smokeless, the sort already certified for smoke control zones, will still be OK.

Where I live it seems to be legislation to solve a non existent problem but in cities it will help. I lived in Manchester in the early 70s as smoke control orders came in and the city visibly changed in 2 or 3 years, so these things do have a real impact. Its pollution control, nothing to do with climate change.

I use very little coal, 1 bag a year and can easily switch to smokeless, only use it when the stove is being a pig to light oton rare occasions to help it stay lit overnight, but not had the need for that since our last - 10 spell years ago.

If I continue with bulk wood my supplier will have to advise me how to stack it, but since I ve been doing it for 40 years and keep at least 12 months ahead of the game I could probably teach him. No one would knowingly buy wet wood, many knowingly sell it. Some very questionable stuff in some garages and garden centres.

I've just thought of a commercial opportunity, a course to teach people how to season a 2 cu m load of mixed logs in a small inner city apartment....

I'm very rural with space, I wouldn't even think of a log fire in a city apartment but aparrently it's been a big growth business hence the pollutant concerns. Gove started it when he was env secretary, maybe he had a smelly smoky neighbour.

As far as I know its domestic heating only so you can still fire your steam locomotive on whatever you wish.
 

Richard_C

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It's likely to be enforced via sellers not buyers and users, so we can still use 'found' wood.
 

Selwyn

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You'd be surprised the people in country areas who still use coal. Agas etc. I expect they will still be able to buy it via their business.

Wood bricketts are brilliant as coal alternative in the woodburner though I have as much free wood as I need
 

Woody2Shoes

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I think that the details have been poorly reported - particularly on the BBC website. Another example of how modern journalism in the internet age is so clueless - particularly when there's anything remotely scientific of technical to be reported on.

My understanding is that "house coal" has been banned (in bags sooner than in loose form for a bunker) - this is a type of coal which produces an oily brown smoke and which, frankly, should have been banned years ago.

As I understand things, anthracite and processed "smokeless" coal/coke will still be available - which is fair enough, as long as the sulphur content is low (I think there is some reference to sulphur).

I'm very confused about the "wet" wood bit - I think that it will need to be below a certain moisture content at point of sale.

Of course, if suppliers burn gas or coal to 'dry' firewood then there's a bit of a zero sum thing going on.

I'd like to see them ban the burning of treated timber anywhere, and find ways to control bonfires (they were able to stop stubble burning at the drop of a hat because farmers rely on state subsidies). I couldget into serious trouble if I take part of a dried (tobacco) leaf and burn it in the presence of other people, but if I want to build an enormous pile of wet leaves (or old melamine furniture, or plastic trash or anything else) and burn it, so people for miles around can enjoy it, I'm quite free to do so.
 

RichardG

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The harder and more expensive the local councils make disposing of waste the more likely it is to be burnt in a bonfire. People will normally take the easiest and cheapest route to heat their houses, dispose of waste etc.

I’m sure wood burners became popular because wood was cheap and it was seen as the carbon neutral way of heating. Of course it also became trendy! Now wood is expensive, it is often sold after kiln drying which is crazy and several people I know who have a wood burner don’t know how to use it properly.
 

Richard_C

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When I read the proposals a long time ago there was talk of moisture content, I think 20% was mentioned. Haven't seen what the legislation will set it at. I guess there will be a sampling method, can't imagine any supplier sticking their metrr in every log.

My normal supplier says his biggest worry is wood pellet burners, lots being sold for space heating so pellet suppliers are buying up huge amounts of felled timber. It gets increasingly difficult for him to buy in stock.

I guess a lot of our wood pellets come from EU countries like Latvia and Lithuania, huge forests managed commercially for 200 years or so, one of them is 70% forested, wonder what will happen to prices post 2020. My stove is multifuel so if it all gets to hard will use smokeless with a log as a treat at Christmas.
 

Dee J

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Tiny net bags of logs sold in petrol stations are the worst. Only ever going to be bought as a last minute/emergency purchase, yet un-useable without a lot of drying.
 

Trevanion

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There’s a one or two joiners around here that have briquette processing plants on the end of their dust extractors to turn the shavings into something easily burnable. Apparently they don’t really sell at all and you’d struggle to break even on a bag of briquettes, maybe once this legislation comes in there might be a bit more demand for them.

The last time I saw a place with one of those processors they had hundreds of bags of briquettes stacked up in a specially made shed because they couldn’t store them anywhere else and they just couldn’t get rid of them, I guess if they’ve still got them they might be in for a nice windfall :lol:
 

AJB Temple

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We live in the middle of nowhere and have no mains gas. Hence we rely on oil and also have a log burner. For various reasons the land is apparently unsuitable for a ground source heat pump, so I looked into automatic pellet burners a while ago. These are capable of using the briquette type waste products, but it is incredibly difficult to find an installer who is remotely interested in domestic installations.

There does need to be a sensible rural solution. I burn all of my own wood waste, a dry some wood from our own felling and I occasionally buy a few cubic metres of apple (lights easily) and oak. Typically it is used on a 2 year cycle through our log store so is bone dry by the time it gets into our old and father inefficient inherited log burner. I am looking again at a pellet alternative for our new kitchen v new oil boiler. It does make sense to cut pollution, but not without providing sensible options for rural dwellers.
 

Tris

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Perhaps a little off topic but I wonder how much embodied energy is in biomass and pellets.
We live near the main site for SDL who produce a lot of wood chips and by the time it has been felled, forwarded, chipped, carted, dried and delivered that must add up to a significant amount of oil used.
 

MikeG.

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Tris":2um9jtu8 said:
......I wonder how much embodied energy is in pellets.......
Quite a lot at the moment, but this is one of those things where a critical mass needs to develop before home-grown pellets take off in a big way. But they will, and then the pellets will make sense both financially, and in terms of their carbon footprint. They're huge in Europe, and have been for decades. They burn amazingly cleanly. The biggest issue I have found with pellet burners (and I'm talking about as a replacement for boilers, not for woodburners in the lounge) is the bulk storage requirements. The hopper and feed mechanism make the requirement for space something that many places simply can't provide. If you've got the space, and if you don't mind being an "early adopter", then I'd say go for it. It will pay off in the long run.
 

AJB Temple

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I have the space but the problem Mike is finding a domestic installer and I am a bit worried about continuity of supply at the moment.
 
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