Photo: Hurst CC BY-NC

Emissions from residential wood combustion

A Nordic research project has made emission measurements on residential wood burning appliances, boilers and stoves, representative for the Nordic countries. It was found that the older technologies generally exhibited higher emission levels than more modern types of equipment. For example, the traditional log-burning wood boilers had emission levels that were around 5–10 times higher (depending on pollutant) than for modern log-burning wood boilers or pellet boilers. In the case of stoves the difference was not as large, with up to two times higher emission levels from the traditional tiled and masonry stoves, and an older type of iron stove, compared to the modern wood stoves.

When comparing currently used national emission factors in the Nordic countries with those developed from the project’s measurement programme, large differences were sometimes found, both between countries and in relation to the measurement results.

The project investigated emission factors for the pollutants PM2.5, elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), methane (CH4), NMVOCs and carbon monoxide (CO) from residential wood combustion, including ratios for increased emissions under poor combustion conditions, such as part-load combustion and burning of moist fuel.

The report: “Emission factors for SLCP emissions from residential wood combustion in the Nordic countries” (January 2018). By K. Kindbom et. al. Published by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Link:


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