High emissions from domestic solid-fuel burning

Burning just 2–3 kg of coal, briquettes, peat sods or wood produce the same amount of particulate matter (PM) as driving a typical, modern diesel car for several thousand kilometres, according to a study by University College Dublin, published by the Irish Environment Protection Agency.

The emission factors were obtained using a domestic stove designed to current standards, and they represent emissions over the complete combustion cycle, from ignition through to extinction. The study covered several fuel types: sod peat, peat briquettes, bituminous and smokeless coals, hardwood, softwood as well as firelighters.

The authors conclude that smoky coal bans “while laudable in principle” are ineffective and that all combustion of solid fuels in manually operated, domestic appliances in urban areas should be discouraged instead.

Source: Independent.ie, 11 July 2020.

The report “Emission Factors from Domestic-scale Solid-fuel Appliances”: http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/research/climate/research324.html

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