New method for reducing particle emissions from household wood burning

30.8.2021 Article from the University of Eastern Finland:

Translation by NOETON:

Today there is a new technology for the reduction of particle emissions from household wood stoves. It has been developed in the Fine Particle and Aerosol Technology Laboratory at the University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio, Finland). This new method reduces emissions by about 50%.

The method is based on the naturally existing electric charge. This electric charge is used to instantly capture fine particles inside the fire box. This method of emission reduction is maintenance free, simple and offers a robust operating mechanism.

Globally, household wood burning is one of the most significant sources of fine particle emissions. Wood burning releases large amounts of particles, in particular black carbon or soot, and is both harmful to human health and it contributes to climate change.  It has been estimated that currently over 50% of Finland’s black carbon emissions originate from household wood burning. Starting at the beginning of 2022, new restrictions for emissions will come into effect in the European Union and, for the first time, the restrictions also apply to new household wood burning stoves. It is predicted that these EU restrictions will create a need for new emission control systems for household fireplaces. In Central Europe, new electric filters have been introduced to the market. They are very efficient in reducing emissions but increase the need for chimney sweeping. The method developed in this research captures soot particles at high temperature within the fire box thus reducing the need for chimney sweeping. In addition, the method consumes very little energy as it utilizes naturally occurring electric charges.

This research was done as part of KATE-project (Business Ecosystem for Emission Control and Chemical Catalysis for the Development of Environmentally Friendly Burning and Industrial Processes) funded by Business Finland, the European Regional Development Fund and Finnish private companies. Finnish fireplace manufacturers Turun Uunisepät and Tulikivi funded the project in part.

More information:

Researcher, MSc (Engineering) Heikki Suhonen, heikki.suhonen (at), tel. 040 759 2053

Associate Professor, PhD Olli Sippula, olli.sippula (at), tel. 040 355 3397

This research has been published as a peer reviewed article:

Suhonen, H., Laitinen, A., Kortelainen, M., Koponen, H., Kinnunen, N., Suvanto, M., Tissari, J. & Sippula, O. 2021, “Novel fine particle reduction method for wood stoves based on high-temperature electric collection of naturally charged soot particles”, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 312.

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