Concerned About Air Pollution

It has been widely reported in the news media recently that the government, as part of its clean air strategy, wants to clamp down on all sources of pollution, including solid fuel burning and ammonia from agriculture. Whilst there are currently no plans from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to ban the use of existing wood burning stoves, there may be some controls exercised on the fitting of new stoves, the use of open fires and the burning of coal and some other fuels.

In response to this and as a business involved in the supply of high quality kiln dried firewood & kindling, we would like to take the opportunity to add our comments on the matter.

As an environmentally conscious business we fully support any controls put in place to help protect our environment where we believe those controls would be effective and are applied to activities that cause significant detrimental environmental impact. The burning of properly dry hardwood firewood, as supplied by South Yorkshire Firewood, in a properly used DEFRA-approved stove, does not produce significant levels of particulate air pollution. It is well known that problems with particulate emissions from domestic wood burning can occur if the wood that is burnt is not suitably dry, as supplied some firewood suppliers; if it is burnt on faulty, incorrectly adjusted or unsuitable appliances; or if the air supply to the firebox is insufficient for complete combustion. A good quality, properly fitted and adjusted stove at running temperature, and burning good quality dry firewood, produces almost no particulate emissions.

As a business, we make every effort to maximise the sustainability of our products and processes. As such we have taken measures to source only UK grown timber from sustainably managed woodlands to produce our firewood logs and kindling, and process these at our own firewood processing plant in the region. This minimises our transport miles, unlike some of our competitors where all timber sourcing and processing is done in Eastern Europe with finished log product then being transported back to the UK. Also, by reducing the distances over which timber is transported we are minimising the potential spread of bio-hazards such as chalara ash dieback, phytophthora, ash borer beetle.

Questions have been raised about the environmental impact of artificially drying wood as opposed to air drying so we would like to provide you with some details of how we do this in an environmentally sustainable manner and why.

Kiln drying ensures a consistently dry firewood product that eliminates issues with smoking, incomplete burning and particulate emissions. All of our kiln dried logs & kindling are dried in a brand new, state of the art drying facility powered by wood chip, used to heat a large biomass boiler. The principle source of wood chip fuel is from wood waste and therefore constitutes a sustainable and renewable fuel source. The primary purpose of this set-up is electricity generation which is then transferred to the national grid network to contribute towards renewable electricity supply. The residual heat from the turbine generator is used to feed a large hot air drying floor on which our wood is stored for drying. This process maximises heat use from a single sustainable fuel source, ensuring a highly efficient energy transfer process.

We are continually looking at other methods in which we can innovate to improve our efficiency and reduce our environmental impact. Kiln dried firewood can provide a very sustainable and clean fuel source if produced in an environmentally responsible way and used in accordance with some basic guidelines. South Yorkshire Firewood supply high quality kiln dried firewood and kindling that provides a clean fuel source from sustainably managed woodlands here in the UK.

The following is a quick guide to wood burning and reducing your particulate emissions:

Let’s work together to continue to burn clean!

The South Yorkshire Firewood Team

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