Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Selecting the best wood to burn.

Hardwoods or Softwoods?

Softwoods like fir, spruce, and pine are less expensive than hardwoods. Softwoods are easier to ignite and burn rapidly with a hot flame. If you want a quick-warming fire that will burn quickly, softwoods are your best choice.

However, if you’re a serious wood burner using a catalytic wood burning stove, hardwoods are the best choice. Hardwoods such as oak and birch provide a longer-lasting fire with a shorter flame.
A mixture of softwoods and hardwoods can be used for easy starts and long lasting burns.

All woods should be season dried before burning in order to provide the cheapest, cleanest, and safest fire.

Note: Never burn rubbish, chemically treated wood such as discarded railroad ties, utility poles, and old yard fences. All emit poisonous fumes and could add to those materials that collect in the chimney, increasing the possibility of a chimney fire.

Note: Never burn coal in your catalytic stove. Never burn artificial or manufactured logs, which are composites of sawdust, chips, colorful chemicals, starch binders, and wax. They might do harm to the catalytic combustor. “Burn only season dried wood”


EddyKilowatt said...

Pine and some other softwoods will often contain pitch... if it has saturated the wood, some folks call it 'fatwood'.

This stuff burns eagerly, but with the cleanliness of a flaming tire. It's not unusual to blacken the stove window in 30 minutes, with soot and visible tiny black tarry threads, when you run into a log like this.

Can a lit-off catalyst deal with, and successfully oxidize, the dreck from wood like this?

Tim Cork said...

I don't recommend burning this type wood in a catalytic stove, hardwoods are the best to burn.
However, the combustor (when lit) is operating at a temperature between 1000 and 1600 degrees F. and hot enough to oxidize this un-burnt resin.