Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What Happens When Wood Burns? Article 1 of 3

This is the first of three articles that I will be posting on the above subject.

1. Evaporation of water

2. The emission of smoke To be posted 4/24/08

3. The charcoal phase To be posted 4/29/08

Evaporation of water:
Up to half the weight of a freshly cut log is water. After proper seasoning the water content is reduced to about 20 percent. As the wood is heated in the firebox, this water boils off, consuming heat energy in the process. The wetter the wood, the more heat energy is consumed.

That is why wet firewood hisses and sizzles and is hard to burn, while properly seasoned woo innites and burns easily.

Re-fueling with wet or unseasoned wood in a catalytic stove will send moist smoke to the catalytic combustor and cause the combustor to stop working. It will cause the stove to struggle and not operate properly. In addition re-fueling with wet or unseasoned wood and operating the stove with the by-pass closed, can cause damage to the catalytic combustor.


krissy_and_missey said...

What would happen if you soaked wood in a solution of water and colorant and then burned it? Would anything weird or possibly dangerous happen?

Tim Cork said...

This is a strange question.
I can only say, "don't do this in a catalytic woodburning stove".
Reason: You will destroy the combustor. Catalytics stoves are designed to burn seasoned dry wood only.