1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

burning cotton seed

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by smirnov3, Nov 30, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    435
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    Hi, this is an oddball question (My specialty)

    has anybody tried burning cotton seed in their stove?

    I don't even know if its available in retail quantities, but it seems like the sort of thing that would burn well (and could be cheap, since it's a by product)

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia

    Hi There,
    I know this is an old question but I was wondering if anyone had tried it?
    We have a cornstove and routinely try different fuel blends. Cottonseed is a cheap product but not local so difficult for us to get. If we knew it had some potential we can organise to get some in and do some trials.
    Please let us know if you know anything.
    Cheers,
    Darron.
  3. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,138
    Loc:
    millinocket, north central maine
    my first thought is of the oil in the seed. surely would burn well. but would it leave residue in the stove, motor impellers, vents etc...?

    could that turn into a hazard for fire somewhere in the airway you wouldn't want it?

    then you'd need a screen for the burnpot i would imagine. fine enough for cotton seed and it may be prone to fouling.
    would an auger even be able to move bits that individually small?

    just off the top of my head thinking here.
    no experience with anything close to this. :)
  4. Normande

    Normande New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    SW New Hampshire
    I can't believe that we're having a discussion on cotton seed on a heating forum.
    1. Cheap would be a good question as they are highly prize as cattle feed and very greatly buy season and crop year.
    The last I heard they were around 350 a ton bulk.
    2. Second you would have to find out if they were delinted or not. Size would not be a big problem as they are about the 3/16" in diameter, having burned them in fires before they have a tendency to " pop" as the oil heats up, lightly rolling them to crack the seedcoat would be a good idea.
    All that being said if they are cheap enough and will feed through your stove burn'm
  5. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    Hi Guys,
    You bring up some interesting points and I will cover what I know to try and keep the discussion running.

    Hi Normande, we are in Australia so have wildy different prices. For example wood pellets retail for $700/ton.
    Cottonseed is only worth $150/ton as there is a giant glut of it. The delinting is an issue and I fear they will not have been at that price. This is where we will need to do more research.

    Hi St.Earl, seed size is unlikely to be a problem as we run the oilseeds as part of a mix so it is carried by the other ingredients. WE can burn a canola seed mix without any problem except the seed is too valuable. Gumming issues are controlled by carefully adjusting the ratios.

    The cornstove has a lower combustion airflow than pellet stoves so that help with finer fuels and we only have auger problems with overlength pellets. I am concerned that if we cannot get our hands on delinted seed it won't run or go up the auger and Normande do you think this linted seed would burn anyway? I don't fancy sitting around pickin the stuff off just so we can use it!

    Thanks guys, hope to hear from you again.

    Cheers,
    Darron.
  6. Normande

    Normande New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    SW New Hampshire
    Fuzzy cotton seeds 'as we call them here' tend to stick together and don't flow real well or at all plus thee can be large balls of fine lint or fibers in the bulk loads, a real PITA even when handling with large bucket machines. Delinted whole cotton seed flows much better but looses the fine fibers we want for feed and is more money than fuzzies, haven't checked that price lately, we now have a third option here called free flowing whole cotton seed, it's used mostly in the feed mills in specialty mixes but it was about 40 bucks a ton more. The lint burns real well like fine hemp twine if you have ever burned that. I've only burned it while cleaning up around the farm and barn. Baler twine make a great fire starter, especially the untreated stuff.
    Free flowing is fuzzy cotton with a starch coating so the seed fiber don't stick to each other it's not delinted
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Welcome to the Forum Darron... Lots of good info there.

    What type of stove are you running? There is a feature called "Signature" that you can set-up and provide all the Hearth related items you have.

    Again, lots of good stuff you posted above. Welcome.
  8. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    Thanks Dexter,
    I have added a photo but havent worked out how the profile adding works yet.

    Believe it or not but we import the SnowFlame/Pinnacle cornstove from S.C., also we are trying out the Seraph 108 in our next shipment.

    We love the SnowFlame because it is so simple. There are no other sellers of cornstoves in Australia so we have to do a lot of educating to get people interested but things are moving along.

    I see Normande is a farmer. So am I. We have a 2,000 acre mixed family farm near Ballarat Victoria. We run potatoes, beef cattle, wheat, and I manage our 40,000 hen free range egg farm. The stoves are a sideline for now.

    We have also developed the crushed olive pit fuel for use in pellet stoves. There have been pellet stoves in Australia for about 20 years but most are not being used as the price of pellets is just nuts at $700/tonne. We have only just started producing the pit fuel and even using contract drying, grading, and bagging services we can retail for $400/tonne. If we can get users to try them and we can get some volume going we will produce inhouse and reduce the cost by about half.

    As there is no-one else testing these stove in Australia we are just trying whatever we can to find the ideal fuel for the cornstove. THe pellet stove fuel is straight crushed olive pits, we cannot beat that and we have a supply of 2,000 tonnes p/a with 10,000 tonnes in stockpile so we are not going to runout anytime soon considering there is probably only 1,000 pellet stoves in the whole country! I do believe, however, that corn/pellet stoves have a huge future in Australia as our energy cost are going through the roof. Our electricity is $0.25 kwh and lpg is $1/liter so you can see corn/pellet stoves are very cheap to run in comparison.

    The cottonseed idea is really for the cornstove to bump up the calorific value of the fuel without blowing out the cost. Obviously it needs to work though. We have done it with safflower and canola but the cost is too high. If we can do it with cottonseed then we might have a winner. As Normande points out the fluff is going to be the issue and as we are about 300 miles from the growing area we need to do more research as we cannot just get a bit from a neighbour. We can mix products so the "free flowing" fuzzy cotton might be an option.

    See, we are learning from you guys already.

    Cheers,
    Darron.
  9. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Wow...... All good stuff. Sounds like you have been burning for quite some time..

    As for the profile changes. Just click on your Screen Name at the top right hand corner of the page.

    (Yours would say. / Chickenman - Inbox - Alerts - Logout). Click on your Screen name and from there you can add a Signature line, change your preferences, etc.

    Again, welcome to the Forum. You sound like your gonna bring a lot of Multi Fuel experience, to the table.
  10. Normande

    Normande New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    SW New Hampshire
    Had a thought this morning, crush the whole seeds for oil/ bio-diesel production then pelletize the rest for fuel/ feed we already due that with a lot of oil seed products here
  11. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    Thanks Dexta,
    With your help I am getting the hang of this techno stuff.
    Normande we have tried what you suggest with safflower and canola. Surprisingly the resultant meal refuses to burn in the corn stove. You would reckon that the left over oil would be enough but it is not. Even if it did burn we have a problem with the oil because the government here is red hot on stamping it out. The taxes and BS you have to go through to get permits is mind numbing.
    The poking around I am doing is casting a great amount of doubt over getting delinted seed at a cheap price which is the basis of the trial as with all fuels, $/btu is the main criteria.
    I will keep on digging and let you know how I go.
    Cheers,
    Darron.
    smoke show and DexterDay like this.
  12. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Interesting for sure...

    Blowhard??? [​IMG]
  13. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    Thanks Smoke Show.
    Yes Blowhard. If you check google maps you will see that it is actually a place and not just a description of me!

    From the name you can guess it gets pretty windy (and cold, for Australia at least) here.
    Cheers,
    Darron.
    Northwoodneil, ScotO and smoke show like this.
  14. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Stick around. Your alright. ;)
    Northwoodneil and ScotO like this.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I agree..... Seems like a good dude that actually knows his Chit (unlike us ;) ).
  16. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    Thanks guys, we are trying....
    It is good to share experiences as the better we all do the better it is for the environment and our pockets.
    ScotO likes this.
  17. Normande

    Normande New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    SW New Hampshire
    Funny, your government is trying to stop it and ours has been encouraging it the last few years. I can see why safflower and canola wouldn't work so well that way, but cotton is enough different physically it might work, if oil is not useful then maybe just pellet the as whole seed and let the pellet reabsorb the oil, I seen extruded soybeans suck the oil right back up after pressing. Pelleting would deffinately help with the lint issue
  18. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    We are trying to avoid pelleting if possible and just use raw materials. 2 reasons; THe pits (which form the base of our fuels) are just too hard to pelletize, and it adds about $100 to fuel costs as there are no local plants to utilize. Plus we use the "natural" tag for competing against the "manufactured" pellets which are being imported from China.
    I have emailed a cotton processor to try and get some pima seed which is supposed to have the least amount of fluff. They are not hurrying to answer, I guess we are not that important....
    You guys should have a play with pits or other fruit stones. We find the crushed pits work perfectly in pellet stoves. All you need to do is put a plate in the bottom of your burn pot with smaller holes so the pits do not fall through. If you mix the pits with pellets you don't have to make any changes.
    You can get the crushed pits from larger olive oil factories where they are actually removing the pit from the marc (the skin and flesh). The marc is valuable as compost and stockfeed, the pit has no value. The cost is getting it dry.
    I think California is the olive oil capital of the US, but I might be wrong.
  19. Normande

    Normande New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    SW New Hampshire
    Cherry pits are becoming more popular as fuel, they say that there is btu's in a ton of cherry pit vs corn or wood pellets I've never used any of themas I have an oil boiler I'm looking at replacing. A freind has a corn burning furnace and he mixes 2 parts corn to 1 part hard wood pellet for the best results. California would be the olive growing region is the US.
  20. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    Yep cherry pits would be much the same. Not many of them out here though.
    Pellets would be cheaper than corn in the US?
    Pellets are around $150-200/ton in the US aren't they?
  21. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Pellets range from $169-$350 depending on location and quality of Pellet.

    $175-$250 is a good average in my area. Thats $5 a bag at its highest.

    Our Corn is quite high right now. Because of advances in Ethanol, the price is much higher than years past. Corn per bag (50 lb bags), is about $6-$9 for semi clean corn. Making wood pellets a much cheaper and viable fuel source at the moment.
  22. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,138
    Loc:
    millinocket, north central maine
    nutshells are also used.
    member snowy rivers here uses them and gets them damn cheap.
    she lives out in my home state of oregon.
    they grow hazelnuts (filberts) on a large scale there.
  23. AbetterChimneynm

    AbetterChimneynm Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    Loc:
    SIlver City, New Mexico
    Pecan pellets were popular down here for some time and just faded away.
  24. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    Even pellets must be a bit expensive once they are over $200. Wouldn't oil or propane be cheaper at these kind of prices?

    Over here we keep getting told that energy prices in the US are low. How do they compare to Aussie prices:

    Electricity $0.25 per kWh
    propane $0.90 per liter
    petrol (gas) $1.45 per liter
    pine pellets $15 per 50lb bag
    feed wheat $2-5 per 50lb bag

    So our wheat is cheap and our pellets are dear. The problem is transport. Wheat is everywhere, pellets are imported from New Zealand or China.

    We have tried nutshells in the SnowFlame and find the ash level to be too high. We expect the Seraph 108 to fix that problem as it has an advanced pot stirrer/ ash removal system. There are a lot of almond shells here so that is what we are looking to burn. I don't think we have pecan nuts here.

    We are trying to bypass the pelleting process with our fuels. This works fine with the crushed pits as they flow as good as pellets. I have some concerns that crushed nut shells will not flow down the hopper so good. One of our dealers has tried hammermilling whole olive pits and the dust in the resultant fuel stops it from flowing. I think the oil extraction process of our supplier is removing the fine particles and sending it out with the marc leaving us with a good 3-5 mm particle size only.

    Our supplier is the largest producer of olive oil in Australia with 45,000 acres of olive trees. They produce 4,000 tonne of crushed olive pits p/a. We have bought 40 tonne and have sold 6 tonne. I dont think we are going to run out in a hurry.

    We will have to sell a ship load of stove first!!

    Chimnynm teach me how?

    Cheers,
    Darron.
  25. chickenman

    chickenman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Blowhard Victoria Australia
    We also have one owner who runs peach stones through a Chipper chopper and burns them in a mix with wheat. He says it works fine, I cannot see why it wouldn't.
    Who needs the multi-national oil companies? They can all go and get stuffed!!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page