© Lauren Kelly (pexels)
December 2021

Electric fine-dust catcher

By Andrea Neumeyer
Log-burning stoves radiate cozy warmth in winter, but the fine dust emitted by burning wood poses a health hazard and pollutes the environment. A new device provides relief.

Wood smoke contains tiny particles that cause diseases such as bronchitis, trigger asthma attacks, and may lead to cardiovascular problems. Particularly hazardous is fine particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns known as PM2.5.

Electric fine-dust catcher
The longer the fire burns the more effective is the high-temperature electric soot collector© Noeton

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have now developed a device that can collect the fine particles and therefore makes it possible for people to enjoy a fireside evening at home without a guilty conscience. The high-temperature electric soot collector (HiTESC) that has since been developed further by the Finnish start-up Noeton and is planned to be launched by the end of 2022 consists of a high-voltage electrode that generates an electric field. Installed in the combustion chamber of a wood-fired stove or heater, the new system attracts the charged particles produced by the flames. The particles settle on the surface of the electrode where they oxidize at high temperatures and therefore no longer cause any harm. The device is operated from a 230-volt power outlet and consumes a moderate amount of 10 to 20 watts, according to the manufacturer.

Simple, efficient and suitable for retrofitting
Electric fine-dust catcher
The high-temperature electric soot collector attracts soot particles like a magnet. They subsequently oxidize on its surface at high temperatures and will no longer rise through the chimney© Noeton

Tests have shown that HiTESC can reduce the number of very fine particles with a size of one micron (PM1) by 45 percent. The researchers believe that even better results could be achieved by designing and optimizing the combustion device and the electrostatic device together.

“The advantages of HiTESC are its simple construction, low space requirement, and low energy consumption. In addition, it doesn’t require a separate cleaning mechanism. HiTESC can also be retrofitted in logwood-fired combustion appliances to achieve future emission regulation limits, without using costly exhaust after-treatment systems,” says Heikki Suhonen, the project’s early stage researcher from the University of Eastern Finland and Noeton’s CEO.