Posted by: Matthew | July 19, 2010

All woodburner flues should be fitted with scrubbers at the owner’s expense immediately

Woodburner users are a very selfish lot. They don’t give a damn about their particulate pollution and we all should know that particulate pollution can lead to adverse health and mental health incomes.

Yet every call for woodburners to be banned is ignored due to selfishness, ignorance, industry meddling, and a lack of political backbone. Making woodsmoke polluters give up their woodburners is a bit like getting fat people to give up icecream. It’s a bloody tall order.

So what can be done? Scrubbers. Yep there could be an attachment to remove the particulate pollution from the smoke. It would have to remove all 100% of the particulates, and it would have to be as such using a woodburner would result in no odour. If scrubbers can’t do that and remove 100% of the pollutants, 100% of the time (other than maybe the CO2 gas) then they’re not good enough and we’d have to go back to calling for a complete prohibition on woodburners.

So what is a scrubber? Well there are devices called an electrostatic precipitator that would sit on the top of the flue and it uses electrostatic forces to remove the particulates.

They would cost thousands of dollars each, and the cost could only be borne fairly by the would-be polluter. It would be completely unfair to move the cost onto society or people who don’t wish to pollute with woodsmoke. I know that woodburner users are used to shifting the real costs of using their smoke generating fires onto other people, but that has never been fair.

If the technology exists (and it does) then it would be criminal to use a woodburner without it, no matter what the cost of buying one and getting it installed.

Zero grams of particulate smoke per kilogram of dry wood is the desirable emission rate. If it can’t be achieved technologically then it has to be achieved legislatively.


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