Thursday, June 21, 2018

How does a catalytic combustor in a wood burning stove work?

Normally, smoke will burn, at a temperature of 1000 F. or higher. Burning a stove this hot would require continuous intense fire in the fire box and would require a higher wood consumption.

The answer to eliminate this is the catalytic combustor.

Wood smoke gases coming in contact with the catalyst, causes chemical changes to take place. This will then allow the smoke to ignite at temperatures around 500 F. or (260 C.)

This temperature is easily achieved in the firebox of a wood burning stove. As the wood gases ignite and burn within the catalytic combustor, clean by-products of water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

How does burning wood differ from burning fossil fuels like oil and gas?

The news is full of reports about the need to reduce the production of the so-called greenhouse gases.

When their atmospheric concentration increases, these gases, mainly carbon dioxide, cause the average global temperature to rise with potentially disastrous results.

Fuel burning is the main cause of the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Wood, however, differs from the fossil fuels such as oil and gas because it is a renewable fuel.

As a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and stores it in the wood as carbon. This carbon makes up about half of the weight of wood.

When wood is burned, carbon dioxide is released again to the atmosphere. The same amount of carbon dioxide would be released if the tree died and were left to rot on the forest floor. Our forests can be a perpetual source of fuel, provided they are cared for and managed properly.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Burning questions often asked....

1.  Is it safe to burn painted wood in your fireplace or stove?

Answer:  That is a very bad idea!

Burning treated lumber, petroleum products,  painted wood, trash, and such, releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere (including your home!), and could cause other damage, as well.

For example, a catalytic combustor in a wood stove can be destroyed by certain chemical agents found in these items.

Fireplaces and stoves aren't designed as incinerators, and it is neither safe nor environmentally sound to use them as such.

Stick with seasoned dried firewood for your heating needs. This way you will be protecting your health, and your neighbor’s health as well. 


2.  Should I burn wood with termites in it?

Answer:  I wouldn't choose it over nice dry clean wood.

Wood with termites in it is more likely to be either rotten or moist, having been outside for long enough to attract the critters.

As such, it will not be a good source of heat and will likely not burn well.

In addition, if you are storing termite riddled wood near your house (and I assume you do keep your firewood within easy reach of your fireplace or woodstove...) you are running the risk of introducing them to your house itself.... need I say more?


3.  Can I burn particle board in my catalytic stove?

Answer:  Not a good idea!

Particle board and press board have bonding agents that can poison the catalytic combustor over a period of time and cut back on the combustor's efficiency.   


4.  Can I use fire starters to get my fire going?

Answer:  I can only speak for the combustor in a catalytic appliance. Remember this, the by-pass is in the open position for 20 to 30 minutes when initially building a fire in the firebox.  This means nothing is going to the combustor but heat to light it off. When it's time to close the by-pass the fire starter should be completely used up and nothing harmful will be directed to or through the combustor. Check with the stove's manufacturer to be on the safe side. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

What is the worst type of wood to burn?



Answer....

Unseasoned wood and wood that has high sap content are not advisable to burn in any sort of fireplace or wood stove. 


As for the "types", it is kind of a hard thing to nail down, since all types of wood have representatives that are good and representatives that are bad.


Cottonwood is not very good stove wood.  I have hear, that burning cottonwood has draw backs like, having to clean the chimney cap about once a month to prevent it from becoming obstructed by soot and creosote. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

What are the best firewoods to use....

Answer:  Oak (season dried) is the best all around firewood.



Any dry hardwood will work well, but for keeping your chimney clean stay away from pine or other pine type trees that have a heavy pitch/sap content.

Oak is a favorite because it is a very dense hot burning firewood, that cuts and splits easily.

Birch also burns well, but because it is a less dense wood will burn faster (a good fire starter). Where efficiency is concerned any hard wood that is dry and you can get it cheap or free, that's what you might want to go for.

Elm and Box Elder are good, but they are hard to cut and split. They burn fine once you get it dry though.

Local saw mills will sell their trimmings (slab wood) quite cheap and it only needs to be cut to length.

So you have to factor in what your expenses are (truck, trailer, chain saw, splitter), cost of the wood, delivery, the system your using to burn it and of course your time and availability.

Catalytic wood burning stoves will deliver a longer more efficient burn, while cutting back on fuel consumption. (More heat output for less money)

Monday, June 4, 2018

FIRECAT combustor vedio series


Now might be a good time to watch the vedios on catalytic combustors and the stoves they are used in.  You just might be surprise at what you will learn to make your wood burning experiences more enjoyable.

These topics can be viewed by clicking on the links found on the right hand side of this page under the title The FireCat™ Combustor Video Series©.



  •  Introduction to ACI & Catalytic Woodstoves©
  •  Fundamentals of Catalytic Woodstoves©
  •  Troubleshooting Woodstoves Catalytic Combustors©
  •  Troubleshooting Catalytic Woodstove Systems©
  •  Catalytic Woodstoves & Conclusions©

Monday, May 28, 2018

Down draft problems?

Now might be a good time to check your chimney if you have been having problems with down drafts. 
Chimney height must be at least 3 feet higher than the roof at the point of exit.  With pitched roofs, the top of the chimney must be at least 2 feet higher than any point within 10 feet to prevent down drafts and fires from sparking.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

When necessary use only the correct replacement catalytic combusto...

Here's why...




Catalytic combustors are manufactured to a stove manufacturer's specifications. 

Each combustor requires a certain cell density to allow the stove a proper flow rate of the gases.

They are designed to allow proper residence time for the smoke and gases to burn before exiting the stove.

They are also sized based on the firebox volume.

All catalytic combustors must be EPA approved to assure the consumer they not only work, but will meet EPA emission regulations.

Once again, Applied Ceramics Inc. manufactures and stocks a complete line of all catalytic combustors.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Tips for best efficency and longer life...


Never burn foreign matter in your stove, such as…
garbage, painted wood, large amounts of colored paper, cardboard, rubber, plastic, paneling with glue, oily products and so on.

Burning these materials will gradually reduce the efficiency of the catalyst.


“Burn only seasoned dried wood”




All catalytic combustors used in EPA certified Phase II stoves have a life expectancy of at least, 10,000 burning hours, when used according to the stove's operating manual.

It could be said, that a catalytic combustor’s life is really based on a number of things....


Operating the stove properly,
(Not burning with firebox door open or perhaps closing the by-pass to soon.)

Proper maintenance habits to both stove and combustor,
(Simple things like checking the firebox door gasket.)

Burning proper fuel in the appliance,
(This means burning seasoned dried wood only- no foreign matter that could poison the combustor.)

Using a Certified Phase II stove for home heating and not an older stove design.
Most stoves built today are designed well and protect the combustor from the firebox flames, the older pre-phase I stoves didn't.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A look at what the catalytic combustor does in a catalytic stove.

Normally, smoke will burn, at a temperature of 1000 F. or higher. Burning a stove this hot would require continuous intense fire and would require a higher wood consumption.

The answer to eliminate this is the catalytic combustor.

Wood smoke gases coming in contact with the catalyst, causes chemical changes to take place. This will then allow the smoke to ignite at temperatures around 500 F. or (260 C.)

This temperature is easily achieved in the firebox of a wood burning stove.
As the wood gases ignite and burn within the catalytic combustor, clean by-products of water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Advantages of using an EPA certified wood burning appliance...

Here's the proven facts.




Today’s catalytic wood burning appliances deliver 
72% or better heating efficiency.
This means that 72% of the energy available in the 
wood is delivered to the surrounding living area.

In addition to the 72% heating efficiency, catalytic 
wood burning appliances built today will…
- reduce air pollution by up to 90%
- reduce creosote build-up. (up to 90% reduction)
- generate up to 50% more useful heat from each log.
This means longer burns per load and they save the consumer up to 1/3 on their fuel cost.  (that's one less cord out of every three)

Remember:
It is important to keep the catalytic combustor in top working condition for the best efficiency of your wood burning appliance.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Why a catalytic stove might back puff...


When the combustor has an exhaust temperature over 1400° F. (760° C.) it can act like a glow plug (spontaneous combustion igniter).
Usually the wood gas-to air mixture is either too lean or rich to form a highly flammable mixture. There are times when this mixture is just right within the firebox during the normal burning process.

If the combustor is running at or above the ignition temperature of the mixture, spontaneous combustion will result, causing the stove to vent puffs of smoke.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Catalytic combustor temperature ranges






Combustor temperatures can become extremely hot during operation.

Temperatures above 1800 degrees F. will damage the catalyst.

Temperatures between 1400 to 1600 degrees F. are normal, but temperatures between 1200 degrees F to 1400 degrees F. are recommended.