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Catalytic converter for you oven? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Catalytic converter for you oven?

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  • Catalytic converter for you oven?

    I haven't been on the site for awhile, but I found this interesting article.

    Hotter fires? Less wood?

    Maybe someone here might want to try it.

    Here's a link:

    My thread:
    My costs:
    My pics:

  • #2
    Re: Catalytic converter for you oven?

    A well-sealed, strong bypass valve is mandatory. Even though the cell structure of the catalyst is relatively open (in comparison with that of the automotive variety), the unit does restrict natural draft to some extent . . . particularly when the catalyst isn't lit. For that reason, there must be a valve that allows you to shunt smoke around the catalyst while a new fire gets going and whenever the stove's doors are opened. Failure to engage the bypass when the doors are opened will almost certainly result in smoke spillage into the room, which could lead to a flaming backflash. This can be dangerous!
    I think that our ovens do a good job of complete combustion once they are hot. There is almost no smoldering except on startup, and the above quote makes clear that you need a way to bypass the converter when you're starting the fire, or when the door is open, which in the case of an oven, is almost always.

    I think this is great for woodstoves. There are times around here when your eyes burn from the fug from choked-back woodstoves. Their problem, of course, is the necessity of keeping a low fire going for hours and hours. This could help address this problem.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: Catalytic converter for you oven?

      I do not see how a converter would benefit a WFO, although some wood-stoves for heating homes need them because you are not burning with enough air at all times, and the converter helps clean the exhaust out of the stove.
      An oven is burning so hot, you get full combustion of the smoke and no unburned smoke for a converter to use.

      Think of wood smoke from a smoldering fire as the same as a gaseous hydro-carbon fuel such as LPG, or natural gas, you can run gasoline engines on the stuff and use smoke as a fuel for almost anything else. (Look up mother earth news with the wood powered truck)
      Wood-gasifier furnaces and ovens are fairly common these days, and their basis is by first smoldering the wood, the burning the smoke from the smoldering fire, in a WFO, your temps are high enough to get full combustion so a converter would not benefit you IMO

      Basically what the converter does is reduce the amount of unburned smoke going out the flue, some stoves use a smoke recirculation system (Lopi Stoves uses this system) to burn off the uncombusted smoke and reduce particulate matter as per the EPA requirements and to gain efficiency.


      • #4
        Re: Catalytic converter for you oven?

        When your oven is performing well, your wood is dry and the chamber not overloaded there will be no visible smoke from the chimney. Most people put in too much wood resulting in too rich a fuel mixture and leaving unburnt fuel as smoke. The hottest fire is an oxidation atmosphere (no smoke) Excess fuel is called a reducing atmosphere (smoke) In a potters kiln the temp usually drops a little or stabalizes under a reducing atmosphere. The hotter the oven becomes so the efficiency of the combustion increases.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.