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Domestic Biomass, Testing

Measuring the emissions from a biomass stove is actually a discipline in its own right, and for this reason even quite large stove manufacturers tend to use external laboratories which are equipped for this purpose. One of the complications is that for repeatable emissions measurements it is necessary to know the thermal output of the stove during testing, and quantifying this is quite difficult. Also, measuring the organic gaseous compounds (OGC) requires the use of an instrument called a flame-ionisation detector, which is expensive to buy or hire and requires a trained person to operate.

Another consideration is that domestic biomass stoves don't burn in a constant manner (especially if they're burning logs) so the emissions fluctuate significantly. However, getting a rough measurement of carbon monoxide can be done using a standard flue-gas analyser, and solid particulate matter can also be quantified using a smoke or dust meter. In Germany the emissions from biomass stoves are checked every year by chimney sweeps!