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Understanding the new rules of wet wood drying

Wood drying

Under new rules to try and overcome air pollution, restrictions on the sale of house coal and wet wood for household burning in England have come into force. On May 1st, the Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuel Standards)(England) Regulations 2020 came into place, meaning the sale of wet wood is no longer legal in the UK.

Why are these new rules happening?

Over the past year, pollution from burning wood has increased dramatically. Air pollution poses a great public health risk, with the GOV website explaining that domestic burning alone is responsible for 38% of pollution particles under 2.5 microns.

Wet coal and fuel are the two most polluting fuels as they are the largest source of the pollutant ‘PM2.5’, emitting three times the contribution of road transport. This form of pollution contains small particles that can penetrate the human body, which the World Health Organisation has identified as the most serious pollutant for human health.

So what do the new rules mean?

BBC laid out the main points that we should be aware of with these new restrictions:

  • It is now illegal to sell bagged traditional coal and wet wood in small units
  • Volumes of wet wood greater than 2m cube has to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning
  • Makers of solid fuels need to show they have a very low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke

What is wet and dry firewood?

Wet wood (also known as green or unseasoned wood): Has a moisture content of over 20%. It creates more smoke, tar build up and harmful particles than dry wood.

Dry wood: Has a moisture content of 20% or lower. Dry wood also burns more efficiently, resulting in a higher heat output. 

GlenFarrow’s solution to wood drying

Our GlenFarrow biomass department has a range of wood drying solutions to keep your wood moisture level low. Below are our robust range of log drying containers and kilns:

Standard Container Kiln

  • 20ft or 40ft, standard or high cube options
  • Option of being non-insulated or insulated
  • Large heating exchanger with five powerful fans
  • The cheapest of our log drying options

Plant Room & Drying Skips

  • 20ft plant room housing all equipment
  • Touch screen controls and control panel
  • Centrifugal fan and motor with combined heat exchanger unit
  • Commercial circulation pump
  • Microfil (automatic filling unit)
  • Expansion vessels for pressurisation
  • Remote access monitoring app for use on mobile, tablet or desktop.
  • Roll on – roll off drying skips with integrated drying floor
  • Each drying skip holds 30m³ of wood
  • Can also dry wood chip and grain

Heat Treatment Kiln

  • Heats wood to 56°C for a period of 30 continuous minutes in order to comply with ISPM 15 – a perfect solution for heat treating wood packing!
  • This kiln also has a drying mode which is capable of air temperature of up to 70°C.
  • The program can be set to automatically dry your wood after it is treated, stopping mould from developing. 

Conversion of existing drying floor

  • Covert your existing drying floor to be heating via a biomass boiler and heat exchanger
  • Upgrade your fan if required to a more efficient model
  • Reduces existing drying costs

Buildings as kilns

  • GlenFarrow can install heat exchangers and fans into existing enclosed buildings, which can then heat the building to dry logs.

Additional heat uses 

  • With all GlenFarrow biomass systems, they are easily adaptable to include houses, workshops, and any other heating requirements. 

For any advice on wood drying and the options available, call us on 01775 722327.