Wood is made of fiber (cellulose) and minerals (metals). When wood is burned, oxygen and other elements in the air (mainly carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) react to form carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere, while the minerals turn into ashes.
What chemicals are released when you burn wood?
The toxic chemicals released during burning include nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and polycyclic organic matter (POMs). Burning plastic and treated wood also releases heavy metals and toxic chemicals such as dioxin.
How much energy is released when wood is burned?
A standard cord of well-seasoned hardwood (stack of wood 4’X 4’X 8′ or 128 cubic feet) contains the heat equivalent of about 20 million BTU’s. By way of comparison this is more or less equivalent to the heat value in 145 gallons of #2 fuel oil or 215 gallons of LP gas.
Does burning wood release pollutants?
The most important pollutants of burning firewood are particulate matter (PM), soot or black carbon, potentially carcinogenic compounds. In addition, wood burning generates nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Wood combustion contributes to both indoor and outdoor air pollution.
Are wood fires bad for your health?
Smoke from wood-burning heaters can affect your health. Long-term exposure can cause heart and lung disease while brief exposures can aggravate asthma or worsen pre-existing heart conditions. Use of a wood-burning heater will affect the air quality inside your home and the surrounding environment.
Is wood burning bad for the environment?
Wood smoke is also bad for the outdoors environment, contributing to smog, acid rain and other problems. … CHEC warns, though, that hearth fires, even with an insert, cannot heat large spaces as efficiently as free-standing wood, pellet or gas stoves.
Is it better to burn wood or let it rot?
Moreover, burning wood releases all the carbon dioxide in one roaring blaze, whereas your decaying pile would take years to break down, meaning that brush would do way less damage while we wait for the human race to come to its sense, call off its apocalypse, and drastically cut CO2 emissions.
Is wood fuel renewable?
Wood gets its energy from the sun and nutrients in the soil and is a type of biomass fuel (see Facts about Biomass Fuels). … Wood is a renewable resource, which means that additional resources can be grown to replace any wood that is cut down.
What energy is in fire?
Combustion changes the potential chemical energy into kinetic energy in the form of heat. For combustion an organic (wood in this example) combines with oxygen already in the air and undergoes a chemical reaction that gives off carbon dioxide, water, and energy in the form of heat and light.
Is burning wood cancerous?
Wood-Burning Emissions Threaten Lung Health
Emissions from wood smoke, discussed below, can cause coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer, and premature death, among other health effects. Many of these pollutants can worsen air quality indoors and outdoors.
Do wood fires contribute to global warming?
There is a belief that wood burning doesn’t contribute to climate change. But this simply isn’t true. Living trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air as part of the photosynthetic process and store the carbon as cellulose and other carbon-containing carbohydrates.
Is burning wood carcinogenic?
There are over 100 hazardous chemicals released from wood burning that can be toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing). For example, Benzene and Formaldehyde are two carcinogens released from burning wood.