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Ethanol fireplaces: The underestimated risk
Date:9/3/2014

urn out differently. On a case-by-case basis, precisely how the course of that incineration runs really depends on the quality of the fuel and other factors like the type of fuel, or the incineration temperature. As a rule, ethanol does not burn out completely. Rather, the incineration process results in CO2 along with poisonous gases (like carbon monoxide, a respiratory toxin), organic compounds (like benzene, a carcinogen), and irritant gases (like nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde), as well as ultrafine combustion particles," explains Wensing. In the majority of cases, the scientists were able to measure high concentrations of pollutants, and the guideline values were frequently exceeded. For example, all devices exceeded the guideline value for indoor air quality of 0.35 mg/m3 for nitrogen dioxide; in one case, the result was considerable: 2.7 mg/m3. With respect to formaldehyde, the stoves likewise failed to fulfill the requirement of 0.1 ppm (parts per million). Here, the highest value measured equaled 0.45 ppm. One stove reached a peak concentration of released carbon dioxide equal to 6,000 ppm placing it far above the hygienically acceptable threshold value of 1,000 ppm. The decisive factor here is also the fuel consumption rate. This means that the more ethanol which is burned within a certain period, the greater will be the amount of pollutants released. At the same time, ultrafine combustion particles were released. These have a diameter measuring 10,000 less than the thickness of a human hair and they can penetrate deep into the human lung. "Ornamental stoves with ethanol-based firing are a source for pollutants in indoor air that are hazardous to one's health. In order to guarantee an air quality level that does not pose a risk to human health, we advise avoiding the use of these devices in the interior of apartments. The units should only be operated in large, very well-ventilated spaces, " states Wensing in summary.

The testing of wood-
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Contact: Dr. Michael Wensing
michael.wensing@wki.fraunhofer.de
0049-531-215-5331
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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Ethanol fireplaces: The underestimated risk
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