Thursday 1 September 2011

The History Of The Biofuel Stove

While a fireplace is often set into the framework of the house and is closed off in a way that allows you to see the flames and experience their heat, stoves offer a very different image. The stove image that comes to mind is of an enclosed and usually a raised metal structure that is often mostly closed off. Stoves, like our kitchen stove, can be cooked on, and even a stove that is solely responsible for heating does not usually offer much in the way of attractiveness, although it might be more efficient than a fireplace.

The problem with stoves is that they burn their fuel, which is released into the environment, and that this fuel burning can deplete some of our natural resources. While wood is technically a renewable resource, it is not the only fuel for a stove. Some stoves run on natural gas, and others run on coal, neither of which is immediately renewable. Since these are not the best environmental choices, people interested in creating a healthy alternative worked to develop a better stove.

The better stove that was developed is the biomass stove. These stoves run on natural and highly renewable fuel rather than making use of and depleting less renewable resources. While the biomass stoves still emit carbon because of the fuel that they are burning, they are at least not burning some of the resources that we have come to understand are limited in our world.

The first patent for biomass stoves appeared around 20 years ago, and these stoves were designed to be supplied with wood pellets. Although technically any stove that burns wood is a biomass stove because it burns wood, a biomass fuel, the term “biomass stove” is usually reserved in modern times for the stoves that have been designed to burn wood pellets or other fuel pellets.

Other Fuel Pellets

Wood pellets are no longer the only biomass that can be burned in biomass stoves. Because of the lack of alternative fuel sources, scientists began to experiment with what they already knew. It was realized that wood burning stoves could burn hotter and more efficiently with a special system that allowed them to burn the super-dense compressed wood pellets.

Further innovations have led to the question of what else we can burn for heat and even for an attractive fire. The biomass stoves became a way to replace fireplaces with a more energy efficient and therefore more environmentally healthy alternative. Even better, you may not even need to use an extensive ventilation system (like a chimney) to use a biomass stove; a small vent through the wall and up may do just fine.

Biomass stoves are now designed to burn with fuels other than wood pellets. Stoves have been specifically designed to burn fuel like corn pellets, and even waste that would otherwise be wasted like cherry or olive pits. These units require a calibration, which is usually done for you and can be selected with a simple button, and they are ready to burn your bio fuel of choice.

How Biomass Stoves Work

If you simply drop a handful of wood pellets into a biomass stove and try to light it, you will find that it doesn’t work. Your biomass stove is designed to make special use of energy to blow air through the fire pit in a way that allows the fuel to reach temperatures hot enough to burn. The user fills a special hopper, which feeds the pellets or pits to the fire at a regular interval.

The biomass stove, once lit, provides a great deal of heat to a home, allowing you to achieve much more comfortable warmth with much less fuel, making biomass stoves a more fuel efficient alternative to other heating features in your home. The fuel is highly efficient, which means that the use of the biomass stove lets you save a great deal of money that would otherwise be wasted on firewood, gas, coal, or other energy sources.

Also, because the biomass stoves are beginning to be able to run on even more energy efficient fuels, like highly renewable corn pellets, they are becoming even more positive in their impact on the environment. They save us money that we would otherwise spend on fuel, produce better heat, and put off less pollution than a traditional stove or fireplace does, and still provide us with good looks and a great source of heat.

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