Many urban and residential areas in Europe now have restrictions on permissible emissions from fires and heaters. Burning wood or coal is simply not possible in many areas. However, new research into an oxidation catalyst has given promising results. By using the catalyst in a wood-burning boiler, emissions such as hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide are reduced by up to 80%. Emissions are at their most during the early stages of burning, when combustion is not always complete. Because the catalyst ignites soon after the fuel itself, it is especially effective at reducing emissions during these crucial early stages. In addition, the catalyst remains active over long periods of time. This study of catalysts has been carried out in conjunction with research into the optimisation of the burning chambers in boilers. Wood-burning boiler manufacturers should now be able to simplify and improve the design of their equipment, while at the same time reduce unwanted emissions and help the environment.