Old 09-09-2006, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Dorset, United Kingdom
Posts: 149
Default Are pizza ovens a major source of pollution?

From The Guardian newspaper.
Alok Jha
Thursday April 21, 2005

Possibly. The future of wood-burning pizza ovens in Italy looked doubtful this week as laws came into force limiting the amount of pollution they are allowed to produce. Restaurateurs will need to get their ovens regularly tested to ensure they comply.
"When people think about air pollution, they think immediately about big industrial operations, power generation, transport," says David Santillo, an environmental chemist at the Greenpeace research lab in Exeter University. "While wood-burning stoves are not the major source of contamination, they're an important source and one that has probably been overlooked. They are one of the least regulated sources of particulates or other chemicals."

Burning wood releases all sorts of chemicals. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are the main parts of the smoke (the relative levels depend on how efficiently the stuff has been burned). There's also the possibility of sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides, depending on the fuel being used.
There are also tiny bits of organic and inorganic chemicals in smoke - so-called particulates. "The smaller they get, the more dangerous they are," says Santillo. "The problem with them is the size of the particles - if they get into the lungs, they can cause problems, even lung cancer if you're exposed over long periods."

Where organic matter is used industrially, for example in power stations, the smoke is heavily filtered to remove as much of the nasty stuff as possible. Domestic or commercial ovens are less likely to have such filters.

Santillo says the problems of wood-burning ovens should not be over-stressed, however. In terms of urban air pollution, transport is still king.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:40 PM
dmun's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216

When pizza ovens are outlawed:

Only outlaws will have pizza ovens.

No, seriously, it's thought that wood releases no more polution being burned than it does rotting on the forest floor.

In addition, hot fires release less polution than smouldering ones, as in a banked down wood stove.

Now, if you are in a place where air pollution is a serious problem, there may well be restrictions on wood burning, but in most of the US you should be ok at the moment.
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:31 PM
Les's Avatar
Les Les is offline
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 2,897
Talking Crazy law

That sounds like something California would try to do. On the global scale, ovens would put an insignificant amount of pollutants into the atmosphere. Mt St. Helens puts out 50 - 250 tons of sulfur dioxide gas a day. Italy's Mt. Etna emits around 100 times that. If they want to solve a problem, put a cork in their volcano.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:42 PM
redbricknick's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 271
Default ya'll gots nuthin' ta' fret over.

We're nuetralizing the carbon being released from all your pizza ovens with all the weeds in our garden right now..
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:50 AM
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Brick Oven Merchant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Posts: 4,648

Hey Nick,

We have a veggie garden where the weeds are higher than the tomaotes, but I prefer to call it Organic. I have never used a chemical pesticide or fertilizer.

My view is that brick ovens don't pollute. They burn so hot that the exhaust is clear. It's something like a catalytic converter, where the smoke is fully burned before it leaves the oven. If you compare what comes out of a fireplace with what comes out of a pizza oven, it does not compare. Our oven producer actuallly markets the ovens as a "green" product in Italy, calling them ecologico in all the brochures.

A building inspector who are very against wood fireplaces in California told me that he did not think ovens were a problem, because unlike fireplaces, which can run all winter for heating, the amount of wood burned in bricks ovens is very low.

That said, I have never seen the science on brick ovens. Relative to other polluters, I cannot imagine that our ovens are even a drop in the bucket. Personally, I take this stuff seriously, and our family has two Hybrid cars, but I do not think ovens are not a problem.

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Old 09-13-2006, 09:27 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada
Posts: 73
Default Pollution from brick oven's

I look at the pollution aspect of a brick oven from a different angle. If you fired you brick oven on a friday night made some pizza's with your friends and then made some bread later that weekend, compare that to buying those items. How much pollution is created in the making of the pizza and pizza box it got delivered in, and how much pollution was created in delivering it to your house. Same as bread. The electricity to make that bread at your local grocery store is coming from somewhere (most likely a coal fired generating plant), the plastic bag it comes is most likely going to the landfill and some grocery stores don't make their own bread, its transported from a bakery!

I haven't even built my oven yet and I'm getting fired up!!

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Old 09-13-2006, 02:03 PM
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Brick Oven Merchant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
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Molto buono,

Don't forget the gas burned by the pizza delivery truck!

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Old 09-14-2006, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Twain Harte
Posts: 8
Default Berkeley has outlawed wood ovens

Berkeley California has city ordinances against wood fired ovens and fireplaces. But pellet stoves are ok. The future is pellet fired ovens!
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 162

Berkeley California is home to one of the first wood fired ovens at a major restaurant, Chez Panisse, run by Alice Wlaters. Stril in operation, was there last week and had an excellent wood fired pizza.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:48 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Charlotte Bay, Australia
Posts: 264
Default toast, anyone?

Don't forget the pollution caused by making electricity to run your 2400W quartz bar toaster! It's absolutely necessary to toast the kind of sliced soft rag-like 'bread' that's being sold in Oz, otherwise you can't put anything spreadable on it! (We're still waiting on our replacement electric oven so we can return to sourdough bread-making - and Bianca doesn't know yet what will come out of the planned duomo...)
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