Wood-fired ovens use a mixture of carbon dioxide and water to make the wood, which then undergoes a process of oxidation.
In contrast, a gas such as water vapor creates a fire when it condenses in the air and heats it to around 1,000 degrees Celsius.
The result is a beautiful, lustrous colour, but the flame doesn’t burn very well.
“The fire is much more like a fire at the end of a piece of paper,” explains Dr Robert Wysocki, from the University of Leeds.
“It doesn’t really go up and burn, but it is more intense and has a long life.”
Wood-burning stoves have long been used to heat up vegetables or other foodstuffs in the home, and the wood that is burnt releases a toxic chemical called nitric oxide.
The smell of wood is a strong scent in the house, but unlike in a traditional wood stove, wood-burning heat doesn’t create smoke.
When used properly, the gas also produces no carbon dioxide, so there is no carbon-dioxide buildup in the combustion chamber.
The gas is released into the atmosphere when a wood-fired stove is switched on.
But because it burns water vapour, it has an even worse effect on the environment than carbon dioxide.
Dr Wysocksi said the carbon-neutral gases in the gas make the gas more likely to leach into the environment and increase air pollution.
This gas can also make your home smell unpleasant.
“If you’re using a wood stove in a room with a lot of smells, like a kitchen or living room, you will get a very unpleasant smell,” he said.
“And you’ll want to switch it off.”
Dr Wiesocksi says the new gas could also have a bad impact on your health.
“Some of the people we work with, they think they have an improved health because of the carbon dioxide released into their lungs,” he says.
“But it can make your lungs worse and it can lead to bronchitis, asthma and even heart attacks.”
Dr Charles Taylor, an atmospheric scientist at the University.
said that when it comes to the impact of wood-oven use on the climate, “we can’t say that we can say definitively”.
“The only way we can get definitive evidence is to have a controlled experiment where people are exposed to wood-made gases for a year and see what happens,” he added.
The report recommends that the Australian Government should ban wood-fueled stoves and allow people to switch to non-wood burning appliances if they choose to do so.
“What’s really important is that people stop using wood-burners for cooking,” Dr Taylor said.
Dr Michael Stolley, from Australian National University’s Environment Institute, said that the study was very interesting.
“I think it’s important for the Australian public to learn more about the science behind the combustion process of wood, and then make up their own mind on whether or not they would want to continue to use wood,” he told the ABC.
But Dr Stolleys doubts the benefits will outweigh the environmental damage. “
That’s why we need a large scale experiment, and it’s also why we want to ensure that wood-cooking appliances don’t emit greenhouse gases.”
But Dr Stolleys doubts the benefits will outweigh the environmental damage.
“There’s probably not going to be any significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions in the future, so I think it is unlikely that there will be any real benefit,” he explained.