Combined particle emission reduction and heat recovery from combustion exhaust-A novel approach for small wood-fired appliances

A. Messerer, V. Schmatloch, U. Pöschl, R. Niessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Replacing fossil fuels by renewable sources of energy is one approach to address the problem of global warming due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Wood combustion can help to replace fuel oil or gas. It is advisable, however, to use modern technology for combustion and exhaust gas after-treatment in order to achieve best efficiency and avoid air quality problems due to high emission levels often related to small scale wood combustion. In this study, simultaneous combustion particle deposition and heat recovery from the exhaust of two commercially available wood-fired appliances has been investigated. The experiments were performed with a miniature pipe bundle heat exchanger operating in the exhaust gas lines of a fully automated pellet burner or a closed fireplace. The system has been characterised for a wide range of aerosol inlet temperatures (135 - 295 {ring operator} C) and flow velocities (0.13 - 1.0 m s- 1), and particle deposition efficiencies up to 95% have been achieved. Deposition was dominated by thermophoresis and diffusion and increased with the average temperature difference and retention time in the heat exchanger. The aerosols from the two different appliances exhibited different deposition characteristics, which can be attributed to enhanced deposition of the nucleation mode particles generated in the closed fire place. The measured deposition efficiencies can be described by simple linear parameterisations derived from laboratory studies. The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of thermophoretic particle removal from biomass burning flue gas and support the development of modified heat exchanger systems with enhanced capability for simultaneous heat recovery and particle deposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-521
Number of pages10
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Biomass combustion
  • Domestic heating
  • Particle emissions
  • Particle separation
  • Thermophoresis
  • Wood


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