Biomass boilers are making a comeback and are rapidly winning hearts in the UK. Many plumbers and heating engineers have reported an increase in interest in biomass boilers which are considered carbon neutral.
Admittedly, it sounds very un-eco-friendly to fell trees to fuel your boiler, and the vision of deforestation in the Amazon forests comes to mind. However, using wood to fuel your boiler is actually much less harmful to the environment than you might think.
Modern biomass boilers are very sophisticated and are light years ahead of traditional open fire boilers. Rather than burning fossil boilers (such as gas burning boilers) thus releasing carbon dioxide which was locked underground, biomass boilers merely release to the atmosphere the carbon dioxide that was absorbed by the tree during its lifetime. Furthermore, wood for biomass boiler is a sustainable resource, which we can regenerate by planting more trees.
Wood fuel for biomass boilers already accounts for around 50% of the renewable energy production in the EU. The UK has vast resources of wood in Scotland and it is estimated that the demand would be around 1.5 million tonnes by 2010. The demand for biomass boiler fuel can be provided by forest thinning, coppicing, pruning or whole trees, while wood pallets can be made from compressed dry wood shavings and sawdust (mostly by products of sawmills).
Not only households are taking to biomass boiler for their central heating. Leading establishments such as Gleneagles Hotel, Aboyne Academy and Palacerigg Country Park Visitor Centre have installed wood burning boilers and central heating systems. As a matter of fact, the demand for bio mass boilers fuel has led to the opening of Scotland’s first commercial wood pallet manufacturing site need Aberdeen in 2007.