Smoke results from the incomplete combustion of VOCs in wood. (VOC) volatile organic compounds are released from wood at room temperature. The release of the VOC is accelerated around 480°F and we begin to see smoke. Smoke particles are formed when unburnt volatiles condense against cooler air just near ambient tempertaure. VOCs are combustible and ignite around 1,112°F.
The ignition of the VOCs produces the bright flame we see when wood is burning. When wood is well alight with burning embers on the wood surface the chances of the VOC escaping the combustion zone is low, even when air flow is reduced. After a while the VOCs are burnt off the wood and the pure carbon charcoal is left behind. Burning Charcoal has practically no smoke because the VOC have been burned off.
Some tips for enjoying smokeless fires:
- Powerful Flame ignites the gases released from the rising temperature of new wood.
- Hotter Flames warms the flue, reducing the cold air that causes smoke.
- Quicker Ignition causes more rapid release of gas and so more flames faster.
Use Dry Wood
- Seasoned Wood is ready to ignite, no moisture to quench flames.
- Low Moisture Content gets hotter faster.
- Energy released from wood is used for heat instead of boiling off water.
Use Smaller Split Logs
- Split logs have more surface area for flames to burn.
- Super Split Logs are easily stacked to create pockets for air to mix with gases.
- Smaller Split Logs reach the smoke free charcoal stage faster.
Check your appliance
- Clear Flues keep air moving and warms to working temperature faster.
- Clean Flues are free from creosote buildup and produce less smoke.
Burning wood is an efficient means of heat and it feels good. Using a FireStarter to quickly ignite clean, dry split wood in a well maintained appliance or firepit is the key to little or no smoke.
Enjoy the Fire.