BIOHER assessment

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Health and climate impacts of heat production in small municipalities (BIOHER)

This is assessment page of Bioher. Bioher is a research project coordinated by National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The duration is 2008-2011. Project includes five subprojects with 1) measurement of PM and greenhouse gas emissions, 2) chemical characterization and assessment of atmospheric thermal impact of emitted PM, 3) toxicological characterization of emitted PM, 4) assessment of exposure to and health effects of current residential wood combustion, 5) assessment of health risks.

Main study questions are:

  • How human risks differs between four heating scenarios/decisions?
  • What are the costs of emissions and health effects due to different heating scenarios/decisions?
  • What are climate change impacts of PM emissions and health effects due to CC?

 CLAIH/BIOHER analytica model



The purpose is to evaluate PM2.5 and green house gas (GHG) emissions of detached houses and small heating power plant, to assess exposure and health effects due to evaluated emissions and to define emission, heating and health effect costs. Assessment is going to compare four alternative ways to arrange decentralized energy production in communities with 2000 - 10000 inhabitants: light oil and pellets as fuel of detached houses and heavy oil and wood chips as fuel of small heating plants. In addition, environmental effects i.e. climate change (CC) of PM2.5 and GHG emissions is assessed with this model.


  • What would be the health effects of PM2.5 emissions of small power plant and individual houses in small living area (2000- 10000 inh.)?
  • What are GHG emissions of individual houses and small power plant and how emissions effect on CC?
  • What are the costs of different alternatives?
  • What is the optimal decision to produce energy and heat to houses?


  • Energy production (single house and small energy plant level, 1-20MW)
  • Population (2000-10000 inh.)
  • Exposure for PM2.5
  • ER-functions for PM2.5
  • PM2.5 emissions (->health effects)
  • PM2.5 climate effect (-> health effects)
  • Household heating scenarios:
    • Light oil and pellets
  • Small heating plant scenarios:
    • Heavy oil and wood chips
  • Atmospheric thermal impact
  • DALY
  • Impacts:
    • Climate change
    • Premature mortality
    • Costs


Scenarios include two different fuel types of energy production in detached houses and small power plant:
Detached houses

  • light oil
  • Pellets

Small power plant

  • Heavy oil
  • Wood chips

Intended users

  • City-level policy-makers in all sectors in Kuopio as well as everywhere else
  • International policy-makers related climate change
  • Policy-makers related health risks of fine particles and green house gases
  • General public
  • Scientists working on health risks of fine particles, green house gases and climate change
  • Other interested of topic



Other variables in the scale of Finland

Emissions in Finland:

Exposure in Finland:



  • Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses
  • value-of-information (VOI) analysis

See also

costs and future: