Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Econoburn Outdoor Wood Boiler Optimization and Certification(ST10671-1)

Alternative Fuel Boilers LLC


Alternative Fuel Boilers LLC is the manufacturer of the Econoburn indoor wood-fired boiler. The Econoburn boiler uses European-style, staged combustion to burn logwood fuel. The boiler incorporates a primary combustion chamber that holds the wood fuel and achieves gasification and partial oxidation of the fuel. The hot gases from the primary combustion chamber are then forced downward into a ceramic secondary chamber and mixed with additional combustion air to accomplish completion of the combustion process. Such staged combustion achieves cleaner combustion than that shown by conventional wood boiler technologies. The current Econoburn boiler product is not, at the present time,designed for outdoor applications.

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Project Description

The project will include: 1) optimizing the boiler combustion design to maximize heat transfer and reduce fine particulate emissions, and 2) obtaining UL/ASME product reviews and certification. The project will seek to develop O2 sensing and primary gasification chamber temperature monitoring, for minimizing emissions from start to finish of the burn cycle, under wide variations of wood fuel type and moisture content. The wood boiler will be tested for PM 2.5 particulate emissions at Brookhaven National Laboratory under a separate project.


Benefits include: •Increased use of domestic, renewable energy resources •Improved emissions performance of outdoor wood boilers •Creation of new manufacturing jobs in New York State

Project Results

A high efficiency (wood gasification), low emissions outdoor wood boiler was developed. Product certification was achieved. The premium is quickly recovered through reduced wood consumption due to high efficiency (87%), where typical outdoor wood boilers are 50% efficient. The high efficiency aids in significantly reducing pollutants when compared to a typical wood boiler. The boiler is basically an Americanization of European technology. The Americanization involved redesigning the control system, using more refractory and heavier gauge steel, and simplifying maintenance. The simplification of maintenance is a significant advantage as a complete breakdown of the boiler is required yearly as opposed to monthly with the typical European boiler. Emissions testing will occur under two different projects. Performance of a high efficiency wood gasification boiler was improved; the boiler is being produced in western NY, and is faring well in the marketplace.


Alternative Fuel Boilers LLC
789 Deer St
Dunkirk, NY 14048

Principle Investigator

Mark O'Dell

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning

NYSERDA Contact Information

Nathan Russell


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10671-1

Last Updated: 11/13/2013