Fairbanks Considers Wood Drying Kilns To Reduce Smoke Emissions

The Fairbanks North Star Borough is considering wood drying kilns to reduce smoke emissions from wood stoves and boilers.  Dry wood burns cleaner and provides more heat.  Borough Air Quality Manager Jim Connor says the current vision is to tap state and federal grant money to contract for the construction and operation of six kilns at three locations in the borough to serve local wood burners.

Connor says the borough plans to subsidize the cost of drying wood, which is estimated at about $50 a cord. Commercially available wood kilns can dry between 5 and 10 cords in 24 hours.

Connor says the borough knows of no other community that’s tried a similar approach, and anticipates a small pilot program this winter as the borough figures out how to best incentivize the private sector to take up the idea.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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