The University of Szeged has developed a ceramic brick that minimizes emissions even in the combustion chamber.
In Hungary, a significant number of households are still heated by wood or mixed fuel stoves. Where, in addition to central heating, there is also a fireplace or a tiled stove in the household, they are also often used as an addition to the existing infrastructure. Especially in the past period, the alternative heating method has been a great help to those who can’t afford to have high utility bills.
As is usually the case, what we gain in customs, we lose in return, i.e. the increased use of traditional energy carriers has not been good in terms of air pollution. Emissions of carbon monoxide, soot and other harmful substances released during combustion can significantly set us back in our efforts to protect the climate.
The need for environmentally friendly solutions is becoming more and more evident, since the problematic heating method with stoves not only harms our health, but is also not good for the buildings in the long term.
The staff of the University of Szeged are therefore working on the development of an innovation that increases heating efficiency and significantly reduces emissions. The primary goal of the related research was to ensure that the smoke produced in the combustion chamber contains as few harmful substances as possible by the time it leaves the stove.
Innovation works like a catalyst in a car. The main difference, however, is that this solution is optimized for traditional firing methods. It does not rely on the favorable properties of precious metals, as that would not be a budget-friendly solution, but on ceramics based on materials free of precious metals. This results in a significantly cheaper solution.
The essence of the innovation is that the ceramic brick placed in the combustion chamber transforms the resulting smoke into a less harmful substance, reducing its carbon monoxide content by half and improving the efficiency of the stove. Although this only means a few percent increase in efficiency, at the end of the heating season, we can even save a bushel of wood with it, the harmful substances from its combustion are also not released into the air.
After the development and tests, in which the students of the institution were also involved, it is hoped that it will soon be a cheap and smart aid for households using wood and mixed fuel stoves.