Spanish Bioenergy Association (AVEBIOM)

An end to the problem of particle emissions


Courtesy of Spanish Bioenergy Association (AVEBIOM)

Austrian biomass heating systems guarantee an 80% cut in emissions. Recent studies have shown that these modern domestic boilers offer a significant reduction in particles, emitting fewer contaminating agents than previous generation boilers and wood stoves – with more than 100mg / ml of particles. The future will be based on new biomass combustion technology which cuts dust emissions from 50% to 90% compared with current models, as well on the use of dust filters in domestic boilers.

“It’s clear that cutting particle emissions contributes to improved air quality. Yet when it comes to preventing health risks, what really matters is the quality of the emissions”, explains Ingwald Obemberge from the Institute of Engineering at the Graz University of Technology, during a biomass conference held in this Austrian city. In traditional boilers, the particle emissions and soot have a high content of organic matter. In modern boilers, these carbon-based emissions can be prevented to large extent, generating significantly lower emissions made up essentially of inorganic salts.

In order to research the impact of the chemical composition of particles as a potential health risk, the Comet Ki Bioenergy + Centre has carried out a major study, in collaboration with Graz University of Technology and the University of Eastern Finland. The results clearly indicate that particle emissions generated during the combustion of modern biomass reduce the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), classified as unhealthy by the WHO and EU. With improved combustion (a low concentration of organic carbon and soot in the particles), a significant reduction in the toxic effects was obtained. The results showed that of all the particles studied, the biomass boilers had a lower inflammatory impact on lung cells than soot particles and urban aerosols.

“If Austria replaces current oil-fired heating systems and traditional solid fuel boilers with modern biomass heating systems, we will be able to cut particle emissions by around 63%', explains Erwin Stubenschrott, Managing Director of KWM and featured in the photo.

Over the last 20 years, emissions from biomass heating systems have dropped dramatically in the light of the strict emission regulations, together with long term programmes and ongoing research and development initiatives carried out by businesses. Today, pellet heating systems emit just 0.1% of all particle emissions, a figure that Stubenschrott claims is set to fall even further in the future.

Austria: leading the way in technology

Austrian biomass heating system manufacturers boast extensive and long-standing experience in this sector and are firmly positioned at the forefront of the development of these technologies, ahead of their international competitors. Austria has become the outright leader in domestic biomass boiler technology.

In this context, this spring KWB is set to launch its Easy Fire pellets boiler featuring its innovative Clean EFFICIENCY technology. This is a simple heating system in which both the C0-, NOX (carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide) values and dust emissions are below the current established limits.

This positions Easy Fire amongst the cleanest pellet boilers on the market and as the world’s most environmentally-friendly central heating system. “Practical experience and measuring instruments will prove vital for these heating technologies during their first two to four years on the market”, Stubenschrott tells us.

KWB’s innovative Easy Fire will be one of the new technologies on show by HC Ingeniería at Expobioenergía 2011.

Austrian firms FireFox, Hargassner, ÖkoFEN or Windhager are just a few of the names that also supply boilers offering minimum particle emission levels. Austrian boiler manufacturers intend to cut particle emissions to levels below those established by law. Many of these boilers will be on display at the next edition of Expobioenergía, to be held in Valladolid, Spain 2011 on 18, 19, and 20 October.

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