Nothing beats the flicker and glow of a wood burning stove to bring warmth and cheer to the heart of your home. However, with your mind on sourcing alternative fuels, availability, price and carbon emissions you may wish to try out a range of biofuel alternatives.
So what makes biofuels sustainable? Like gas and oil they too are carbon based fuels that burn to release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Remember, carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that is implicated as the cause of global warming.
However, gas and oil are also known as fossil fuels because the carbon they contain has been stored for millions of years. When these are burned carbon dioxide is returned to atmosphere in large amounts.
Bio fuels differ because the carbon they release on burning has been absorbed from the atmosphere in the present age. Trees cut from sustainable sources will be replanted. The new growing wood will reabsorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere today. Therefore as the carbon released when these fuels are burnt closely balances the carbon that is removed by growth, bio fuels are indeed a sustainable carbon source. We should never run short.
There are several alternative biofuels that you may consider for a wood stove. The straw harvest from fields is pressed into hollow tubes sold as Straws. Unlike trees that take around 30 years to recycle carbon, the straw carbon cycle is completed in 12 months. The straw fields are sown and harvested in the same year. This is known as carbon neutral.
Heat logs are another sustainable heat source. They are made from waste wood. When burnt correctly they produce more heat than logs. For example you may burn them low, and use small ones in combination with larger logs. They are virtually smokeless.
Those are just two green energy alternatives to supplement your usual seasoned logs. You can burn them on a normal wood burning stove. Of course, a multi-fuel stove gives you the widest range of fuels. Then you can mix in smokeless coals as well. Really every house and domestic routine is different so my best advice is to try out different fuels to see what suits you best.