Burning biomass, such as wood, are high-carbon fuels that give off large amounts of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides, in addition to volatile-organic-compounds and fine particulate matter.  using wood as a fuel creates a host of environmental and public health issues that can reduce local air quality and exacerbate existing respiratory problems.  Inefficient combustion due to poor burning practices and poorly-designed furnaces worsens these problems, consuming more fuel and releasing greater emissions in exchange for little heat or energy.

Good burning practices and high-efficiency fireboxes can reduce these negative impacts, but not eliminate them.  Whether to remove yard waste, heat private homes, or power industries and institutions, wood remains poor energy choices.  Each type of burning, however, comes with it’s own unique legal and environmental issues.  Check out the links below for more information on each major type of wood burning.

Open Burning | Outdoor Wood-Fired Boilers | Wood Stoves

Industrial Commercial Institutional Boilers 

For fact sheets on these issues, click on the following links:

General Information on Biomass | Health Effects of Wood Burning | Legal Action