University of Reading: Wood ‘cannot be considered environmentally friendly fuel’

Expert commentary as increased sales of domestic wood burning stoves are reported due to soaring gas bills

Expert commentary as increased sales of domestic wood burning stoves are reported due to soaring gas bills.

Professor Bill Collins, professor of climate processes at the University of Reading, said:

“Domestic wood burning is now the single largest contributor to fine particle pollution in the UK. These particles can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.

“Strong pollution controls have been very successful in cleaning up particles from vehicle exhausts. Cutting down on pollution from wood burning would therefore make significant inroads into reducing the particles in the air we breathe.

“Unlike oil or gas, wood burning is a climate-neutral way of generating energy, but unless sophisticated particle filters are used (as in industrial scale plants) the air pollution effects mean it cannot be considered an environmentally friendly fuel.”

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