Wood burning stoves - Radio 4 programme (CO2 and going green etc)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jm3l3
in this week's Costing The Earth we look at the range of biomass heating schemes in the UK – from small-scale wood-burning stoves that can effectively heat a home, to huge projects that are on the horizon: a massive biomass power station is planned at Port Talbot in South Wales. On the way we meet a bona fide environmental maverick in Barnsley where government renewable targets have been reached decades in advance.
We find out what the government is doing, if it really is green, and whether vast swathes of woodland would be chopped down to make an impact on our renewables target. And with the Port Talbot plant set to import a lot of the biomass from Canada, how sustainable is that project?
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george (dicegeorge) wrote:

I wish they would just read Mackays book. (www.withouthotair.com)
Efficiency of conversion of sunlight to power:
Windmills and tidal.. about 1%.
Solar direct. About 5% in a bright sunny place.
Plants: About 0.1%
You don't need to go any further really. If it would take all of wales covered with windmills to power the country, it would take the whole UK land area growing firewood to do it.
More greenpiss ecobollox
Having said that, the biggest current generators of 'renewable' power in this country are in fact waste incinerators and methane digestors. No point in NOT turning rubbish into power, if its there...
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Wholly agreed. I just wish we could make more folk realise the energy we are missing by blocking the construction of waste incinerators and anaerobic digestion plants.
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In what way are tides driven by sunlight? Do you mean hydro (where sunlight does evaporate sea water that ends up as rain)?
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Alan Braggins wrote:

Nno. sorry. should have said 'energy conversion of renewables' not just sunlight. But is the moons orbit renewable\/..there's a thought..
Mind you., sunlight is not renewable either. Everything since the big bang has just been going downhill..
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Efficiency of conversion of sunlight to power:
Windmills and tidal.. about 1%.
Solar direct. About 5% in a bright sunny place.
Plants: About 0.1%
You don't need to go any further really. If it would take all of wales covered with windmills to power the country, it would take the whole UK land area growing firewood to do it.
More greenpiss ecobollox
Having said that, the biggest current generators of 'renewable' power in this country are in fact waste incinerators and methane digestors.
No point in NOT turning rubbish into power, if its there...

So why not turn wind and tide into energy if its there? mark
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mark wrote:

1/. Expensive 2/. Massive impact on the environment. 3/. Not where you need it 4/. Not when you need it.
Next question?
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It says no such thing.
--
"The study of theology... is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it
rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can
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Huge wrote:

oh really?
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Yes. Really.
--
"The study of theology... is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it
rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can
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writes

I may have ignored the original assertion.

Yes. A certain amount of carbon released in running round to plant as well. However, burning the original tree is no worse than burning the equivalent coal.

Right. I'm with world wide investment in fusion but I also think population restraint is important.
regards

--
Tim Lamb

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On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 19:05:04 GMT, "ARWadsworth"

In 1972 I went on a residential training course, my roomates brother had just bought a wrecked Aston Martin which he intended to repair himself. He ran his own accident repair shop but it would still have been a ruinously expensive repair because of the cost of replacement parts but he did it because "as everybody knows" there would be no more petrol left in the world after 1982, so he wanted to have the experience of owning an Aston Martin whilst he could before the petroleum ran out.
Derek
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writes

I want to know who made Barnsley a city.
Adam
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I'd really rather not
--
geoff

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Releasing the carbon from timber grown in last 1000 years is not a problem. It will be released anyway as the timber rots, so you might as well burn it and get the heat from it. It's already part of the carbon cycle.
The problem (or at least, perceived problem) is releasing the carbon from trees which grew 100's millions of years ago, and has been locked up since the end of the Carboniferous period. That is extra carbon which then re-enters the carbon cycle.
It's always seemed to me like the reverse of burning fossel fuels is to grow trees, cut them down, and bury them forever. i.e. what you do if you send used paper to landfill, which we aren't allowed to do, of course.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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On 14 Apr 2009 08:58:16 GMT, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

If only it was that simple. B-(
Your buried paper will rot and produce methane, a far more potent green house gas than CO2. Now if you grow trees cut them down and bury them in something "sealed" that won't allow the carbon back into the atmosphere you are trapping the carbon and reducing the amount in the atmosphere.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Dave Liquorice wrote:

Or burn them such that half of the carbon is retained and spread as a soil amendment and half provides heat. This breaks even with rotting after about 10 years given the varying half lives of biochar and small dimension wood.
If you don't want the heat from waste then there is a process that mimics coal formation which is claimed only requires 200C and some rusty iron filings as a catalyst and once up to temperature with some heat exhange is supposed to be self sustaining, I'm not sure about that one.
I do know making biochar is feasible as I've made char by various means, including recently running a 500kW(t) municipal biomass boiler to produce char with the bottom ash.
Whether it's economic...
AJH
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Well, yes it is

\Yes but this is a very slow process
The problem is the amount being stuffed into the atmosphere at the rate of burning

All that seems ultimately important is the amount of CO2 (and other gases) currently being ploughed into the atmosphere - where it comes from is not really important

--
geoff

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Rotting timber releases about 8 times more CO2 per year than all of the world's fossel fuel burning in a year. Of course, it's balanced by the CO2 absorbed by growing plants, and if it didn't happen, plants couldn't grow because they'd run out of carbon (and other nutrients).

All vegitation alive today will release its carbon into the atmosphere, mostly within 100 years. If there was a way to harness this, it provides us with 8 times the energy we currently use from fossel fuels, for no carbon increase.

--
Andrew Gabriel
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Erm... CO2 is absorbed by plants in a process called photosynthesis from the air. Unlikely to run out of CO2 if dead wood stopped rotting, the theme of this thread being to much CO2 in the air. Nutrients are absorbed by plant roots by a process called osmosis.
mark
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