Chris Franklin, managing director at Ranheat Engineering continues his series of articles exclusively in Furniture & Joinery Production about rules, regulations and emissions from wood burning equipment in the UK.

“As a leading UK manufacturer of industrial woodfired boilers and heaters as well as industrial biomass fuelled boilers and heaters, as part of our continuous research and development programme, is constantly striving to reduce emissions from all of its boilers and heaters.

“Hardly a day goes past in the media without a mention of NOx and particulate – mainly in the form of particulate matter 2.5. These pollutants are present in fumes from diesel engines amongst other combustion processes. All industrial wood fired boilers and heaters burning more than 90kg per hour require a permit to operate as a part B permit but also an annual test by an accredited laboratory.

“The following page are typical results taken on a Ranheat 980kW installation which has been in service for eight years. Total particulate matter (TPM) was measured at 0.74mg/m3 against a limit of 60 mg/m3. So virtually all the harmful particulate has been removed. Carbon Monoxide was at 20% of the limit and NOx below 50% of the limit.

“So how does Ranheat achieve such low limits? Years of experience by senior staff and bright young graduates with fresh concepts that are given the opportunity to implement their ideas. 

“In 2018 Ranheat extended its offices – with the benefit of match-funding from the EU and from being within an enterprise zone – and installed fast processing computers all running AutoCad Inventor with full 3D modelling, plus three graduate engineers and a graduate software developer.  

“The building is known internally as the Kremlin (let’s face it, no-one knows what goes on inside the Kremlin!!!). But good ideas do come out, hence not just getting below the limits specified but smashing the limits! The composition of the flue gasses is a series of chemical reactions with the presence of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon by controlling the mixing and distribution of the fuel and air, and with what we call the three Ts – Temperature, Time and Turbulence – the chemical reactions can be controlled. 

“All Ranheat installations are automatically fed and have sophisticated control. Hand-loaded variants by other manufacturers don’t have flue gas filtration, automatic cleaning and monitoring of the flue gas quality. All of which is needed to obtain low emissions. Our aim is not just to meet the limits set but to get as far below them as possible but still have a commercially viable product.

“Since the closing of the RHI in March this year we have experienced a substantial increase in enquiries with customers from outside the woodworking industry seeking to be net zero of carbon emissions by 2025 or 2030. We have always driven the use of wood-waste as a source of energy and the use of on-site residues reduces emissions from transport as well as replacing fossil fuels.”

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