New ordinance on small firing installations to ensure improved air quality

Research project calculates reduction of particulates, develops particulate calculator for residential areas

According to a recent study carried out on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the new environmental requirements for wood-fired heaters, woodstoves, and other small firing installations using solid fuels will make considerable improvements in particulate emissions. The results of the study done by the University of Stuttgart Institute of Process Engineering and Power Plant Technology (IVD) and Ingenieurbüro Lohmeyer of Karlsruhe claim that pollution levels in affected residential areas will drop by five to ten percent as a result of the amended 1st Ordinance for the Implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act (1. BImSchV) alone.  Since actual pollution from small firing installations depends quite heavily on local circumstances, UBA commissioned the development of the ‘BIOMIS’ PC application with which city planners can carry out independent estimates for individual residential areas. The application is now available for download from the UBA website. “The particulate emissions so harmful to health must be reduced by a bundle of measures. The new requirements for woodstoves and wood-fired heating systems will do their bit as will the green zones introduced in many cities“, explained UBA President Jochen Flasbarth.


The study required extensive preliminary groundwork as a suited modelling system for determining the particulate pollution reduction potential was lacking. The scientists therefore first developed an appropriate model which was tested for several months in  wintertime and using real measurements taken in a town with a high number of wood-fired heating systems. The model passed this test, and the scientists calculated over 10,000 different scenarios to illustrate the impact of the fuels used and of the type and quality of the heating units on the air pollutants particulates and nitrogen dioxide. The data sets produced were fed into the „BIOMIS“ (Immissions forecast for use of thermic biomass) computer programme. This PC application makes it possible to show the particulate and nitrogen dioxide air pollution from small firing installations for a specific region.

The amendment to the 1st Ordinance for the Implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act (1. BImSchV) entered into force on 22 March 2010.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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