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

burning stoves which have always been popular as an additional heat source resulted in a quite different picture, based on the testing. In Germany, emissions from this heat source into the outside air are subject to strict regulatory mandates. The stresses placed on inhabited interior spaces for example, from stove doors with faulty seals had been neglected until now. For that reason, researchers from WKI studied seven stoves in situ in homes under real-life conditions. Here, the focus was placed on volatile organic compounds, fine and ultrafine particles, and combustion particles like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide. The finding: As long as the stove door is closed, the influence on the air quality within the interior space is negligible. Emissions enter the air of the room only when the fire wood is replenished and ignited. At that point, the researchers were able to measure a brief spike in concentrations. "During closed-door operation, no substances of any noteworthy level were released. For instance, the formaldehyde values were harmless," Wensing explains. There were a few exceptions, though: With one of the ovens, the researchers identified very high concentrations of benzene at 72 micrograms/m3. However, they attribute this rise to the consumption of the paraffinic ignition device. By comparison: When lighting up this oven with paper, the value was only 8 micrograms/m3." As long as the stove door and the ash pan are well-sealed, there is no need to fear any compromise to human health. The ventilation damper should be positioned in such a manner that the stove draws air well, and any paraffinic ignitors should be dispensed with," says Wensing.


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

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Ethanol fireplaces: The underestimated risk
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