An introduction to smokeless fuels

In our recent article we took a look at some of the environmental benefits of multi-fuel stoves. One particular fuel source that is not only friendly to the environment but also cost effective is smokeless fuels, which we will look at in greater detail in this blog post.
What are smokeless fuels?
clip_image002Smokeless fuels as the name suggests are fuels which produce very little smoke when they combust. These include anthracite, semi-anthracite and low volatile steam coal.
Anthracite is a naturally occurring material found all across the world and used as a source of heat for hundreds of years; in fact in some areas of South Wales anthracite has been used as a domestic fuel as far back as medieval times.
It is available in a broad range of sizes from small grain-like chunks to larger nut type sizes. In general, the smaller sizes of anthracite are best suited to boilers and the larger pieces more suited to range cookers and multi-fuel stoves.
Anthracite can also come in the form of smokeless ovoids which are designed for use in open fires, range cookers and multi-fuel stoves. However, you should always check with your manufacturer as to what fuel is most suitable for usage in your appliance.
Why use smokeless fuel?
The most decisive factor in choosing smokeless fuel over another form of fuel, such as household coal or wooden logs, is that smokeless fuels are permitted for use in Smoke Control Areas. These are areas across the UK in which it is an offence to burn any fuel that releases large volumes of smoke out from a chimney, in accordance with the Clean Air Act (1952). However, as smokeless fuels release very little smoke, they can be confidently used without fear of repercussions.
It’s also worth noting that there are specific appliances which can be used with unauthorized fuels.
If you are unsure as to whether you live in a Smoke Control Area, you must contact your local authority who will be able to tell you whether or not you have to use smokeless fuels.
There are other benefits to smokeless fuels, for instance they produce far less carbon dioxide when compared with standard coal, which makes them a more environmentally friendly option. They also prove to be an economical option, as they burn for a long time meaning you get through less of it, which will of course save you money.
Here at W & H Supplies we stock a large number of multi-fuel and wood burning stoves, including appliances from the likes of Aga, Austro Flamm, Barbas, Chesney’s, Dovre Stoves, Rocal, Stovax and Yeoman Stoves. To discuss the best appliance for you and find out which fuel you should be using, visit us in store or call us on 01903 885566.

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