Workshop on Biomass Combustion Generated Nanoparticles
Expert workshop on
Biomass Combustion Generated Nanoparticles
Tuesday 14 June 2016
This workshop took place as part of the 20th Nanoparticles Conference
ETH, Zürich, Switzerland
BACKGROUND AND AIMS
Fireplaces and wood log stoves that burn wood in a suboptimal manner are an important source of particle emissions around the world. By phasing out polluting woodstoves and introducing better stoves, improving stove installations and educating stove users, large emission reductions can be achieved. Moreover, there is evidence that the health impacts of fine particles from well operated biomass combustion devices is much less harmful than that of suboptimally operated devices.As biomass heating consitutes an important option to contribute to renewable energy production in many countries, it is important to recognise the differences in environmental impacts and societal consequences for different types of combustion systems, and take appropriate policy measures.
This T32 organised expert workshop on biomass combustion generated particles took place on 14 June 2016 as integral part of the 20th Conference on Combustion Generated Nanaoparticles . See http://nanoparticles.ch for more information and the other presentations offered at the conference.
The workshop showed that there is an enormous difference in the relevance of biomass combustion particles between well designed and operated stoves and boilers on the one hand, and inappropriately designed or used devices. While in a modern and automatically operated biomass boiler with state of the art flue gas cleaning, particle formation may be primarly in the form of inorganic components, which are then also almost fully captured in an electrostatic precitpitator or baghouse filter, older biomass stoves and boilers that do not avail of proper flue gas cleaning devices and are inappropriately used, may cause significant particle emissions with also greater toxicity.
All presentations of the workshop are available below.
An easily readible summary of the workshop, published by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, is available in English and German.
POLICY STATEMENT ON THE NEED FOR REDUCTION OF PARTICLE EMISSIONS
Based on the results of the workshop, Task 32 released the following statement.
|Biomass is used as a renewable energy carrier to substitute fossil fuels for heat and power production. Modern biomass boilers that comply with today’s emission limits and that are operated appropriately have typically a low environmental impact. Biomass can therefore be used in an environmentally friendly way, if the necessary requirements are met. There are, however, undesired situations which can lead to non-ideal conditions. This can potentially cause a high negative impact to the air quality with an increased contribution to volatile organic compounds (VOC) and inhalable particulate matter in the size range smaller than 10 micrometres (PM10) in the ambient air.
From the activities of various research groups represented in the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Task 32 and at the ETH Conference on Combustion Generated Nanoparticles in June 2016 [1–5] it is concluded, that the following topics need to be supported to avoid a high impact of biomass combustion to ambient air quality:
The above statement can be downloaded as a separate PDF document here