Biomass

Biomass

Biomass is the name given to a range of materials of biological origin, plant and animal, which can be used to produce heat and power. These materials are said to be “carbon neutral” in that the carbon dioxide produced when they are burnt is no greater than the amount absorbed during their formation, although this doesn’t take account of the carbon emissions resulting from harvesting, collection and delivery. The most commonly used biomass material is wood, usually in the form of pellets, but there is some concern about the fine particulates which are emitted when it is burned.

If you want to install an appliance to burn biomass material, whether it is for domestic or commercial use, please note that the regulatory controls set by the Clean Air Act 1993 which apply to fossil fuels will also apply to biomass, and in particular:

  • In areas covered by smoke control orders biomass fuels may not be considered an “authorised fuel” and therefore would only be permitted to be burnt in what is called an “exempted fireplace”
  • There is a general requirement (section 4 of Clean Air Act 1993) that the Council must be notified of the intention to install a furnace in a building
  • Biomass furnaces with a combustion rate of 45.4 Kg/hr or more must have the chimney height approved by the Council
  • A biomass furnace other than one for domestic use and which burns fuel at 45.4 Kg/hr or more must have plant for arresting grit and dust which has been approved by the Council.
  • May require an air quality assessment