Which Is Better, A Catalytic or Non-Catalytic Wood Stove?

Given the very nature of catalytic wood stoves, they are perhaps more suited to people who enjoy gadgets and technology, and are sufficiently disciplined to maintain a catalytic wood stove properly, so as to maximize performance and longevity. Even then, catalytic elements, when spent, must be disposed of, causing an unnecessary burden to our landfills.

In catalytic wood stoves, smoke flows through a coated ceramic honeycomb device, contained within the firebox, where smoke particles and gases ignite and burn. This is comparable to the catalytic converter on your car. Even though catalytic stoves are capable of producing long, even heat output, there are many disadvantages to this technology.

First, many owners of catalytic wood stoves find that they need to “babysit” a catalytic wood stove until it heats sufficiently to activate the catalytic element.

Second, if at any time a catalytic wood stove is over-fired, or fueled with inappropriate material (such as treated wood or household trash), the catalyst may fail in as little as two years. Compare that to the six years which can be expected from a well maintained catalytic stove using only appropriate fuels.

Even under the best of conditions the catalytic element will degrade, and require replacement, which is not inexpensive. Burning paper printed with colored inks or a stray nail ends up in the combustion chamber will render the catalyst immediately useless.

Third, the mining and processing of catalytic elements is costly to the environment, not to mention there are the political considerations and risks of mining the catalytic elements in the volatile Middle East.

Katydid™ and Kimberly™ are non-catalytic wood stoves. Unforgettable Fire, LLC has developed the means to get catalytic action from a non-catalytic stove by use of gasification and proprietary technology.

Our non-catalytic Kimberly™ gasifier wood stove was EPA certified at 3.2 grams per hour particulate, well under the Washington State emissions standards of 4.5 grams/hour. Even more remarkable, our Katydid™ gasifier wood stove was EPA certified at 1.9 grams/hour, making Katydid™ one of the cleanest wood burning stoves available today and not only meeting, but exceeding the EPA emissions standards for the Year 2020.