Scan 65-1 stove in Scandinavian interior in front of a light brick wall

Clean burn – what does it mean?

We enjoy the comfort of home in cold autumn and winter evenings with the cosy warmth and feel-good of a log fire. But we also want to do so with a clean conscience towards the environment and our immediate surroundings. Choose a fireplace from Scan, and you can be confident that we take responsibility for the climate for you, so you can concentrate on the feel-good factor.

Eco-aware with Clean Burn Technology

Did you know that Scandinavia has the most stringent requirements in the world for particle emissions from residential wood combustion? The regulatory authorities only permit 10 grams of particulate emissions for each kilogram combusted. However, Scan has far higher ambitions than this, and has developed a technical solution called Clean Burn Technology, which results in emissions of less than half of the statutory requirement. And some of our wood stoves emit less than 1 gram!

The secret is in the combustion. When firewood is heated, the gases and particles stored in the logs get released. Whereas old stoves send these gases and particles straight up the flue pipe along with the precious heat, resulting in output efficiency of just 40 percent, Clean Burn Technology ensures combustion of the gases and particles that are not combusted by old stoves. This results in minimal emissions through the flue pipe, doubles the output efficiency and releases more heat for your home. The principle is that they are better insulated, which increases the temperature in the firebox.

In addition, extra heated air (oxygen) is fed in just above the fire, which ensures that what would have been unburned gases and particles in an old stove undergo combustion too. This results in lower emissions through the flue pipe, doubles the output efficiency and releases more heat for the home. These are the processes we are constantly working to improve in our research and development.

René Christensen, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing

Wide agreement among experts and environmental organisations

Although wood burning is a contributory underlying cause of the challenges associated with suspended particulate matter, there is now wide agreement among experts and environmental organisations in Norway that the solution is simply to replace outdated stoves with new, clean burn wood stoves and fireplaces or install clean burn inserts in open fireplaces/inglenook hearths. It is not the wood burning in itself that is the cause of the pollution, but the old stoves and fireplaces that result in incomplete combustion of particles and gases. If we replace these old fireplaces with new ones, the pollution problem caused by wood-burning is solved.

Common European regulations

1 January 2022 will see new requirements enter into force on emissions from fireplaces as a result of EU/EEA legislation on eco-design of home heating appliances. Under Standards Norway, the requirements will apply to emissions of particulate matter (PM), organic gaseous compounds (OGCs) and carbon monoxide (CO). For the good of the climate, we hope that strict requirements will continue to be applied in order to challenge us to maintain our focus on further enhancing the efficiency of our clean burn technology.

Focusing on replacement with clean burn wood stoves

As of 1998, all wood burners sold in Norway were required to be clean burn in order to reduce hazardous particulates. This also applies to any wood-burning stove to be installed, regardless of whether it is new or second-hand.

However, according to the independent research organisation SINTEF, there is colossal improvement potential to be unlocked, as there are still some 1 million old, non-clean burn wood stoves and fireplaces in use in Norway.

To incentivise wood stove replacement, the City of Bergen has blazed a trail by granting citizens NOK 5,000 for trading in their old wood burner with a new one. In addition, from the new year, Bergen introduced a ban on the use of non-clean burn stoves, with excellent results. On the back of these successes, more local authorities in Norway are considering following Bergen’s example.

Eco-friendly wood-burning for a healthier climate

Using a wood-burning stove that ensures minimal particle emissions is how you can do your bit for the environment and a healthier climate for all of us. Air polluting substances emitted in one country can be transported in the atmosphere, resulting in poor air quality in neighbouring countries, which is why tackling air pollution challenges should be in everyone’s interest.  

And what is more: environmental organisations, the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association (NAAF) and the wood-burning appliance and chimney industry advocate a ban on old stoves, calling on consumers to curb pollution by upgrading their wood burners.

But wood-burning is also energy-economic for you as a private consumer. Fuel costs will be considerably reduced because less heat disappears up the flue pipe, and more is released into your home, meaning lower electricity bills.

According to “Energismart”, mounted by Friends of the Earth Norway under the European TopTen network, which enables consumers to opt for energy-efficient solutions, installing a clean-burn fireplace also means the following household economies: 

Achieve great savings by making energy-efficient choices for your home. The benefits are presented in “Energismart”, a project mounted by Friends of the Earth Norway:

  • An old, non-clean burn stove only manages to utilise 50% of the firewood for space heating, whereas up to 80% is utilised in a clean burn stove 
  • A 40-liter bag of birchwood will theoretically produce 76 kWh worth of home space heating. However, when burned in an old stove, it will provide only 39 kWh heat. In a clean burn stove, it will give off 60 kWh of heat into the home.
  • Assuming that a bag of firewood costs NOK 50, consumers pay NOK 0.81 for each kWh in a clean-burn stove. This is NOK 0.50 less than in an old stove (where each kWh costs NOK 0.13).
  • This means that if you purchase 54 forty-liter sacks of firewood (about 2.232 m³), you will be generating 3,240 kWh in a clean burn wood stove.
    In an old stove, you will only produce 2,106 kWh and will need another 29 sacks.

The many benefits of Clean Burn Technology

And the many benefits don’t stop there. Chimney sweeps report that they remove minimal amounts of soot from chimneys compared with in the past. In other words, cleaner combustion, with emissions reduced by 90 percent compared with using old stoves, has greatly reduced the risk of chimney fires too.

This is based on the Norwegian experience, but will of course also apply in any other country which uses wood as a fuel. In other words, with our Clean Burn Technology, you’ll be helping to keep the environment cleaner and saving on your fuel bills, so you can enjoy that cosy warmth with a clean conscience.