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Burning Spruce in my Gasifier?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by James Reimer, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. James Reimer

    James Reimer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Winker, Manitoba
    Hi all,
    It's getting to be wood cutting season again and I have been given access to a stand of Colorado spruce. What are your thoughts on burning this in the Portage and Main Optimizer 250? Does spruce coal well for good gasifier performance? Will the tars and sap cause problems in the heat exchanger tubes?
    Thanks!
    James.

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  2. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
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    1,006
    The wood that you are about to cut and split . Do you plan on burning it this season or next?
  3. James Reimer

    James Reimer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Winker, Manitoba
    I would be sure to season it a year or two first. I wouldn't be burning it wet.
  4. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
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    1,209
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I burned hemlock in mine last year. Not the best (coaled up a bunch, bulky in the upper chamber, and needed a bit more tending than I liked)

    Other than that.. It's DRY.. it's FREE.. It'll burn fine!
  5. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    If it is seasoned I would try it.

    I burn any and every kind of wood I've been able to get my hands on.
  6. skfire

    skfire Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    309
    Loc:
    NEPA

    I agree and had the same experience with 2.5 year dry hemlock, ultra fast burn, huge coal stacks in the upper chamber. I literally have tons of hemlock(I am surrounded by 100footers..whole forest) so I use it, but do not count on it in dead of winter, use in shoulder seasons.

    But like it says above: DRY & FREE, GOOD FUEL
  7. Pretty much all I burn is pine/spruce/hemlock/cedar etc. It all burns fine. But I do batch burning with 1000 gallons of storage. Not sure if it would go as well if the boiler was ever idleing.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    49,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Is this high altitude spruce? If so it should be very good fuel. It grows a lot slower and denser than low altitude spruce.
  9. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I cut up a whole pile of spruce blowdowns a couple of months ago because I was behind in my wood pile for this season - have no doubts it will give me lots of heat. I'll just need more of it that I would if using dry hardwood. Did burn a bit of it scattered through my pile last year - no problems. As long as it is dry, these things will burn any kind of wood. I think.

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