Biomass boilers are seen as a carbon neutral solution to modern heating demands. A properly installed, well maintained unit with suitable fuel will clearly have a number of environmental advantages.
However, biomass burning can lead to increased emissions of particulates due to the combustion process. In addition, in comparison to conventional gas burning, biomass can lead to an overall increase in emissions of nitrogen oxides. In certain areas, this can be a problem as the increase at ground level could lead to local exceedances of the air quality objectives.
Several factors can influence this, including the type of fuel, moisture content of the fuel, emission rating of the boiler and its location. If the boiler is proposed near to an existing Air Quality Management Area, or if it is located in an area where monitoring indicates levels are approaching the air quality objectives or areas where the existing background of particulates is high, the risk of an exceedance increases.
Developers might like to review the guidance document on Installing Biomass Heating Systems (PDF, 334KB) produced by 4NW.
Secondly, you may require Clean Air Act approval for the chimney serving your appliance. If this is the case, you will need to submit a formal request for Chimney Height Approval under the Clean Air Act 1993.
Important information regarding the Clean Air Act 1993
If you propose to install a biomass boiler in a Smoke Control Area, it is a legal requirement that you install an Exempted Appliance and burn only Authorised Fuels in that area.