Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

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mem
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Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by mem » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:12 am

I have been reading a few articles related to air pollution in Chile and some of the articles make broad ignorant statements like Chile is one of the most polluted countries in the world.

Or they will have studies done on air pollution in southern chile.

But what these statements are really saying is pollution in large cities. So the "southern chile" study is based entirely on Temuco.

So granted...dense cities + wood burning heat equals air pollution. Not becasue wood burning cant be done reasonably well/clean but becasue with masses of people that dont want to pay more for dry wood or a certified wood burning stove and dont tend the fire to keep it burning hot rather than letting it smolder for hours and hours...even if 20% of the people which is generous are responsible burners, the 80% just fudge it up with their sloppy burning practices. So fine, let's just demonize wood burning at least in the context of dense cities

Santiago has outlawed wood burning and it is still heavily polluted from its bowl like geography and lack of rainfall

From studies in Temuco it is the wood burning that is responsible for a double digit majority of air pollution. All the cars, buses, and factories hardly even register on the scale, wood burning is the problem with major population density

I am wondering what would be needed to remove the incentive to burn wood for the common person eeking out a living in Temuco for example?

It's all about heating so the only alternatives are electric or gas heating.

Isnt the only solution for Chile to somehow make electricity dirt cheap? To make heating with electricity actually cost effective for most chileans?

I saw the article about Chile having a plan ready for the next COP and how Chile plans to cut emissions by 45% in the next decade or so. Yet I didnt see any mention of wood burning restrictions, just afforestation of 200k hectares

mem
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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by mem » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:04 pm

Yes, that mentality of pay less now, pay more in the long run is a problem for sure...it guides so many short sighted choices whether it be firewood/stove, house construction, car purchases/maintenance etc

Regarding insulation it does and should improve...thicker installs more comprehensive installs. It only helps to keep whatever heat is generated in the house and the cold out. However the source of the heat is the lions share of the problem in cities other than santiago. Even small/mid sized cities

I dont expect wood burning to ever go away when it comes to rural out in the sticks countryside homes...the population density is just not there, not even close.The wood burning + pop density axis of evil is squarely a mid/big city problem and the vast majority of emissions in chile...I mean it totally dwarfs all the vehicle and factory emissions combined (again excluding santiago because of it's unfortunate geography) by more than 10x

As I see it the only options are
1) gas/propane heating where you really need a gas line...trying to heat a house on 2x45kg tanks is just a huge hassle because they run out so fast doing central heating., but that is what most people have
. The large permanent tanks are more rare. A gas line makes it more viable but the cost is still high...400k+ clp a month easy..that a huge percentage of an average chileans monthly income. If propane/ng costs come way down and every house in temuco had a gas line maybe that could work to replace wood burning

2) Then there is electric. Whether it be ducted/mini split or some kind of central heater, panel heaters, or pellet stove, it all requires electricity to run and doesnt run without electricity (another problem...grid stability, but easier to address in a city).
Just doesn't seem like any other option than for chile to find a way to make electricity cheaper...alot cheaper. At least then it can be centrally generated and the emissions can be professionally handled/sequestered centrally
I'm baffled why this wood burning and electricity question isnt central to Chiles "cutting emissions" efforts. It's the key to the whole enchilada

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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by 41southchile » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:15 pm

I seem to remember this being discussed before.
From what I recall is exactly as described above.
Chileans are generally tight (sometimes through necessity, takes skill to manage a budget and stick to it)
Many Chileans are unaware of consequences and the principles of causally (is that used right, I just Googled it) basically they fail to understand doing A can cause B).
Govt is in bed with power generation and distribution companies so will not lower prices, on the contrary many electricity prices are increasing.
The polluted air issue is not a high priority for government when they are many other priorities.
Some subsidies and schemes exist, people still burn plastic and wet wood.
Just from what I can remember from last time.
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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by Space Cat » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:35 pm

Probably even larger exodus of rich folks from the center will help. Our region has grown a lot even in the last 5 years I've been living here. The pollution in Valdivia was reduced thanks to the prohibition of wet firewood sale and the subsidies to replace old stoves.

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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by at46 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:25 pm

LNG is a gigantic new source of pretty clean fuel that didn't exist even ten years ago. Now it's here and will be here for decades to come. The Chilean government should build an LNG terminal and make LNG dirt cheap - i.e. run it at cost. It can be used for electricity production, fueling cars/trucks/buses and directly burnt for heating.

The government should conduct annual house insulation audits and give property tax breaks/subsidies to achieve specific heat insulation targets through double pane window installation and other improvements. They should also adopt laws governing strict heat insulation standards in new construction.

Santiago should start washing the streets with water - reducing the amount of pollution produced through heating and cars is obviously important, but equally important is removing it once it's been deposited in your living environment. It would also reduce the amount of dust that's naturally present in this extremely dry climate as well as such things as rubber tires / break disc particles from the 1.6 million cars that roam the streets of Santiago on a daily basis.

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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by Britkid » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:30 pm

Electric heating can be expensive but if the electricity is used to transfer heat rather than to generate it, as in geothermal system (either air or ground system), the running cost is not so bad.(according to what I read)..but the up front cost is a lot higher. And it requires an expensive installation unlike gas and parafin heaters where you just go to the shop and buy them.

Parafin (heating oil) needs to go because they cause more smell, global warming and pollution than gas for perhaps similar heat and cost. I'm not sure what the advantages of them are? Perhaps you agree with me since you didn't even mention them.

In the long run, it's likely that Chile will decarbonise its energy grid. By 2040 (current plan) or 2030 (environmentalist demand), coal in Chile should reach zero. By then, electricity will have become the greenest approach for heating.

I'm not optimistic about this, since every solution either causes more global warming (gas), or more pollution, or requires significant up front investment.

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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by admin » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:17 pm

a large caliber weapon, probably requiring a very large capacity magazine, to shoot all the stupid politicians that refuse to do anything about it for fear of pissing off the poor people.

:lol:

That is pretty much all it comes down to. votes

they do not enforce the laws that are on the books. from prohibition on cutting trees, to selling green wood.

That said, the costs of say pellet systems has come down dramatically relative to wood, and people are converting.

gas is more expensive, but pretty close.

insulation is becoming more comon down south.

they need to also make sustaniable insulation and heating standards mandatory for all the new goverment homes. the goverment builds these crap cheap houses, hundreds or thousands concentrated in a single neighborhood, all with wood burning stoves and no insulation. that is under the direct control of the cities and the government to set those requirements (and they are kind of doing it now).
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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by mem » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:14 pm

Britkid wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:30 pm
Electric heating can be expensive but if the electricity is used to transfer heat rather than to generate it, as in geothermal system (either air or ground system), the running cost is not so bad.(according to what I read)..but the up front cost is a lot higher. And it requires an expensive installation unlike gas and parafin heaters where you just go to the shop and buy them.

Parafin (heating oil) needs to go because they cause more smell, global warming and pollution than gas for perhaps similar heat and cost. I'm not sure what the advantages of them are? Perhaps you agree with me since you didn't even mention them.

In the long run, it's likely that Chile will decarbonise its energy grid. By 2040 (current plan) or 2030 (environmentalist demand), coal in Chile should reach zero. By then, electricity will have become the greenest approach for heating.

I'm not optimistic about this, since every solution either causes more global warming (gas), or more pollution, or requires significant up front investment.
Agreed on the paraffin/kerosene...its terrible awful and very bad for all the reasons you mention. I've had people tell me how they got free from wood heating and started using kerosene toyotomis in their house. I was stupid enough to buy one of theirs when they left chile and now it just sits in the bodega cause its toxic.

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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by mem » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:16 pm

admin wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:17 pm
a large caliber weapon, probably requiring a very large capacity magazine, to shoot all the stupid politicians that refuse to do anything about it for fear of pissing off the poor people.

:lol:

That is pretty much all it comes down to. votes

they do not enforce the laws that are on the books. from prohibition on cutting trees, to selling green wood.

That said, the costs of say pellet systems has come down dramatically relative to wood, and people are converting.

gas is more expensive, but pretty close.

insulation is becoming more comon down south.

they need to also make sustaniable insulation and heating standards mandatory for all the new goverment homes. the goverment builds these crap cheap houses, hundreds or thousands concentrated in a single neighborhood, all with wood burning stoves and no insulation. that is under the direct control of the cities and the government to set those requirements (and they are kind of doing it now).
Sorta what I thought...temuco is a huge problem yet the COP document says nothing of wood burning and I wonder if it is for fear of angering the poor aka the mapuche that are concentrated around temuco.

So let's just buy some electric buses from China and focus on the <10% of air pollution instead of the 60% from wood burning.

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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by admin » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:34 pm

temuco sits in a river valley.
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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by Zenth » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:26 pm

For many people, wood is essentially free. You just walk into the forest or onto someones land and pick it up. Therefore, buying processed wood pellets doesn't seem to make sense not them. Like the dairy farmer buying milk at the store. Better wood burning wood stoves would help as would better kerosene heaters. Done right, neither of these pollute that much.
I don't think gas lines are the answer in many areas due to seismic activity. I heard natural gas is more expensive than propane; it's usually the other way around because propane contains more energy per cubic however you measure. Somebody please verify or correct this statement.
With proper insulation, electric heating would not be too expensive for most of the country. I bet Chile has enough wind to power windmills in most areas. Plenty of geothermal locations as well. If the politicians could move aside, and let real free enterprise take the lead, everything would be fine.

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Re: Wood burning for heat - what is needed to make it unnecessary?

Post by lost gringo » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:46 pm

mem wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:14 pm





Agreed on the paraffin/kerosene...its terrible awful and very bad for all the reasons you mention. I've had people tell me how they got free from wood heating and started using kerosene toyotomis in their house. I was stupid enough to buy one of theirs when they left chile and now it just sits in the bodega cause its toxic.
Toyotomi makes a 18.75 BTU/hr kerosene heater that vents to the outside and also draws combustion air from outside. Heats very well with no odor or toxicity. It also has a programmable thermostat and clock for automatic use. It can be connected to an external fuel tank with gravity feed to the heater so no kerosene need be inside the house. Consumes .622 l/hr.
Sodimac sells them.
https://www.sodimac.cl/sodimac-cl/produ ... 5T/125457X
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