Biomass boilers

Burning wood in heating appliances can have an impact on air quality through the release of pollution. This depends on:

  • The design of your biomass boiler
  • The fuel you use
  • The height of its exhaust stack.

You must complete the biomass boiler information request form when submitting a planning application or environmental permit application. You must submit the technical details of the biomass boiler, emission concentrations, fuel specification, fuel storage and delivery arrangements in addition to a determination of stack height to us for approval.

We have powers under the Clean Air Act to request the measurement of dust emissions from the biomass boiler exhaust stack and the installation of dust emission control measures. Pollution control regimes vary depending on the fuel burned and type of boiler you use, see the following table. Please contact the Environment Agency, if they are responsible for regulating your boiler.

Fuel Plant size Pollution control regime Regulator
Biomass fuel arising from natural sources < 20 MWth Clean Air Act Local authority
>50 MWth IPPC Environment Agency
20-50 MWth LA-PPC Local authority
Waste or waste derived biomass, exempt from WID <0.4-3 MWth and < 50 kg/hr Clean Air Act Local authority
0.4 - 3 MWth and 50 - 1000 kg/hr LA-PPC Local authority
> 3 MWth and >1000 kg/hr IPPC Environment Agency
> 50 MWth IPPC Environment Agency
Waste or waste derived biomass to which WID applied < 3 MWth WID, LA-IPPC Local authority
> 3 MWth WID, IPPC Environment Agency

MW = megawatt, thermal.
LA-PPC = Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control.
IPPC = Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (Environment Agency).
WID = Waste Incineration Directive (Local Authority and Environment Agency)