Ecological heating – “Cleaner air for everyone”

When burning solid fuels in small furnaces, the creation of pollutants always occurs. There are roughly four basic parameters that fundamentally affect the amount and character of these pollutants. This refers to depending to the type of combustion device, type of fuel, quality of operation and maintenance and the actual installation of the heating equipment itself. In other words, it is important what we heat in, what we heat with, where and how we heat and how the heater is maintained. Each of these factors significantly affects the quality of the combustion process, the efficiency of the combustion device and thus the consumption of fuel. If one of these parameters is deficient, then the overall result is bad. It is thus not enough to merely replace an old furnace with a new one and think that everything will be fine.

When heating with solid fuels, households produce approximately one-third of all dust released into the atmosphere in the Czech Republic. In order to improve this situation, the university team is working mainly on the development of new combustion devices as well as on the modernisation of old ones. They are monitoring the parameters of utilised fuels and examining the possibility of producing new types, such as mixed briquettes, pellets, etc.

The resulting emissions of harmful materials from furnaces are very dissimilar because product badges state ideal values that are often unachievable in real-world operation. They therefore pose the question: What does this have in common with heating in everyday life? They are thus wagering not on the parameters achieved during certification, but rather on the common sense of users. They created the SMOKEMAN character, who does not like smoke and shows the general public how to heat correctly and how to simply measure and, mainly, to improve the efficiency of furnaces. Much thus depends on us – a furnace is only a machine.

The educational show “Smokeman Intervenes” is intended for both young and old audiences. Children learn through comic books, board games and colouring books, while older people can experience at first hand how low-quality fuel and waste significantly influence the production of smoke.
They believe that patiently conveyed information will eventually result in beneficial habits of users. They hope that burning waste in a furnace will become taboo for the younger generation just as drying firewood is an absolute matter of course.

Energy Research Centre, VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava