burning corn?

mithesaint Posted By mithesaint, Aug 16, 2013 at 7:03 AM

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  1. mithesaint

    mithesaint
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    I have a few questions for (former) corn burners lurking around here. I've had my stove two years, and got the multifuel stove with the special venting put in, just in case. With corn futures hovering in the $4.60 range (160/ton) I thought it might be time to start exploring options.

    My understanding of burning corn is that the gases are corrosive, which could affect exhaust venting lifespan. Apparently corn also likes to form clinkers? I also understand the rodent issues. Availability shouldn't be a problem for me.

    On the other hand, I can usually get Somersets for $200/ton or less, and if those aren't available, I've also burned Magic Spark, Pro Pellet, AWF, Greenway, Hardwood Heat, and Presto logs. I'm pretty happy with the quality and availability of pellets locally.

    It comes down to this: How cheap would corn have to be for you to decide to burn corn instead of $200 Somersets?

    What about mixing corn in? Does that help the output at all? I don't really want to have a gravity wagon sitting outside my house, so I don't think I'll go all in with corn, but wanted to get an idea what I could be getting into.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bioburner

    Bioburner
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    Corn can have a high density. My last load 2 years ago was 63 lbs per bushel. Standard bu is 56. Moisture was 10.5 % and burns great. Flame looks more like burning propane. It has a higher ignition temp. Stove designs with a deep pot or a covered tray to keep the burn area hotter can do well with corn. Most stoves can burn some corn but without a agitator things will clinker. Corn for us is out the front door. Pellets are at least 22 miles. Sometimes damaged corn can be had for very cheap to free. An overturned train car provided almost a seasons worth of corn when I used a boiler. I have everything to burn and handle corn. If I had to buy the equipment to handle corn, gravity box, screens, buckets, moth balls etc., I would stick to pellets or maybe add some corn to boost heat per volume.
     
  3. smoke show

    smoke show
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    I would entertain the thought of mixing some in for value, but it would have to be really cheap to go full blown corn.

    Bagged pellets are convenient.
     
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  4. jtakeman

    jtakeman
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    X2 Bulk is where I could save some(not much these days), But much more work for me. Buying corn by the bag makes them about the same cost as wood pellets and pellets burn cleaner. I do like a 60(wood) to 40(corn) mix.
     
  5. Bioburner

    Bioburner
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    When we started to burn corn it was less than $2 per bushel. Even with it being bagged was less than 90 a ton!
     
  6. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves
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    Hate to be a farmer in your side of Ohio. They are getting around $7 a bushel on the PA side of Ohio.

    Eric
     
  7. Bioburner

    Bioburner
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    Old crop vs new crop on futures is a big difference. Farmers, biggest gamblers out there.
     
  8. harttj

    harttj
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    Look at my thread below. I bought a ton at $200 and am holding on more off unless Menards has the $175 sale again.

    With the relaxation of the ethanol and bumper crop predictions the price may go lower.

    If pellets are 200 and corn 150 or less ill burn corn.
     
  9. Bioburner

    Bioburner
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    I am with you harttj. I just bought a ton of Lumber Jack premium 50-50 pellets for the Elena. Menards has a sale with 11 percent of or so I will stock pile. But we are working on getting a hole in a shed to put the gravity box in. May work for my neighbor harvesting this fall and will work out some deal. My Fathers bonus last year was 200 bu. The old countryside needs some major help:(
     
  10. mithesaint

    mithesaint
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    OK, that's what I needed. I already had a pretty good stash set aside for this year anyway, so I'm not in major need of anything.

    If I wanted to mix in some corn, say the previously suggested 60-40 mix, I assume I would switch the stove over to the corn setting?
     
  11. Bioburner

    Bioburner
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    It varies because of pot design. I've found most stoves can handle 10 percent without any changes. Get past that and your getting more clinkers and ash buildup. Some stoves change the air volume. My pc45 you change the exaust fan plate, install a different burn pot with a cover to raise the pot temp and stirrer to breakup the clinkers. I burn about ten percent most of the time. The Ecotek Elena will never intentionally see corn.
     
  12. imacman

    imacman
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    If I could get the corn cheap, that's the mixture I'd use too.....the corn does make things in the hopper slide easier.
     
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