Our aim at evolution firewood is to supply our customers with a sustainable, environmentally friendly source of fuel.
Is it ok to burn wood for heating my home?
Fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas), which are a common source of fuel, contain Carbon that has been naturally stored underground for, what is believed to be, millions of years. Once burned, these fuels release this carbon in to the atmosphere which is a significant factor in humankind’s contribution to climate change and global warming. The use of fossil fuels remains on the increase even though alternatives are readily available most likely due to the beneficial economics to many long-established industries and governments (a whole other topic). Anyway, this is a finite, precious resource for which alternatives must be adopted.
Wood as a fuel is a low-carbon energy because the carbon released when it is burned was captured by trees from the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). The trees use this carbon to grow and incorporate it in to their wood. When the wood has been dried and is eventually burned this carbon is released back into the atmosphere where it is, once again, absorbed by plants and trees. When a tree dies naturally and is allowed to decompose this carbon is still released into the atmosphere just over a longer period.
Sustainability is key for firewood being a viable resource. With properly managed woodland and forestry practises, where the timber is harvested at a rate matched by regrowth, wood as a fuel really is sustainable. In the production of firewood a certain amount of carbon emissions are produced. This can be reduced by us the producer by using efficient machinery and only sourcing local timber and by the customer by only purchasing locally thus reducing transportation.
The timber used to produce our firewood logs derives as a by product form tree surgery operations where a tree has been removed for reasons such as the tree has become too large for its location or it has been removed due to poor health and has become unsafe. All usable timber is collected and stored before being processed to produce firewood logs. All material that is too small to be used as firewood is chipped using a wood chipper and then used for biomass energy.
Almost any species of tree can be used as a source of firewood. Some species are considered better than other, however, comparing the calorific value (heat output) per dry Kg shows that there is very little difference between species, as the table below shows.
It may seem surprising that European Larch for example is higher than Oak, in fact, this shows that many softwoods produce more heat than most hardwoods. The benefit of hardwoods over softwoods is that they have higher densities which means there is more weight of wood in any given volume and they will normally burn slower and for longer.
At evolution firewood we believe that air dried or naturally seasoned logs are a more environmentally friendly product and outweigh the benefits of most kiln dried logs. Kiln dried firewood is made using the same processes as any other form of firewood. Once the timber is cut and split it will be placed inside a kiln (Instead of being stored under cover for a year or so to naturally season) for a period of days or weeks depending on many factors including the type of kiln and species of wood. The kiln uses a heat source (electricity, waste wood and sometimes fossil fuels) and powered circulation of air to force the moisture out from within the logs. Opinions over quality vary with some people preferring the more uniform moisture content of kiln dried logs whilst others say they burn to quickly and the premium they command is too high. For us the less energy used in the production of an alternative energy the better. In addition to this, vast amounts of kiln dried firewood is shipped over from Europe and sold in the U.K which further increases the unnecessary carbon emissions produced due to many hundreds of extra miles by lorry and ferries