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Dont burn Bio Bricks in your Jotul.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by MountainStoveGuy, Oct 27, 2006.

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  1. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Got the Email today from Jotul.. a little cut and paste.

    "We've conducted a test of some of the biomass bricks available as fuel for
    woodstoves that are currently available on the market. The results of the
    test indicate that there is a likelihood that over firing of a Jøtul
    woodstove can occur with the use of biomass bricks as a fuel in Jøtul
    woodstoves. Jøtul recommends the use of seasoned natural cordwood as fuel
    for it's wood-burning products. If you sell these products please be aware
    of the potential for over firing."

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  2. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    It seems like this could be a pretty interesting topic.

    Are modern EPA, UL, stoves generally designed to be difficult to overfire with natural cordwood?

    I have not been able to get the Mansfield above -just shy of 600 degrees F- so far in the early part of my burning career. (Not that I tried too hard)

    I'm sure chimney varations have a big impact on this but I wonder how wide a range of non approved fuels (like coal and kilm dried lumber) could be burned if you knew what you were doing.

    Any opinions?
  3. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    We ALWAYS tell our customers to burn no more then 3 of the 8lb energy logs at a time for this reason in all woodstoves or fireplaces.
    Thomas
  4. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    What ever the outcome .......i know as we speak that the "biomass bricks" are getting worded in to the Disclaimer of the Jøtul Warranty . Its an easy way to say "VOID"
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My bet would be that Jotul never dreamed anybody would be able to pack a firebox as densely as you can with the bricks. Pack an Oslo full of the things and you probably have as much wood in the stove as would be in my old Sierra 4.2 cubic inch firebox packed full using cordwood. Strong draft and match and bingo. Blast furnace.

    Anybody using anything as dense as the bio bricks should build up slowly testing fuel loads before "loadin'er" and setten'er off". There is some cooling taking place with cordwood shucking moisture in the firebox. Not so with those bio-babies and the stoves probably can't transfer heat fast enough to hold down the temp.
  6. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Once again, common sense prevails. You have to use that stuff in moderate amounts. Maybe this thread will educate some of the users of biomass bricks on how NOT to use them. Moderation is key. Jotul is making a blanket statement because some people will pack the firebox full and fire it off. That could be dangerous in any stove.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah and some responsibility falls back on the makers of the bricks. They all brag about how tight you can stuff a stove with the things.
  8. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    If you read thru the info on furnaces for boilers 100 to 150 years ago you will find it was common to spray water on the fuel (wood chips, and even coal) as it went into the firebox. Also some furnaces had steam jets blowing into the firebox to better mix the fuel gasses with the secondary air supply. When it comes to burning stuff a fair amount of what is claimed to be new technology would be common knowledge to your great great grandfather.
    _____________
    Andre' B.
  9. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Exactly, I read here on a post to load them up. I cringed when I read that and then thought to myself they might not burn as hot as the 8lb energy logs. We have known about this for 10 years now. The manufacturer should have this in print on all literture as the only warning besides storing where dry.
  10. recppd

    recppd New Member

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    I burned Home Prest Fire Logs last year (5 lb. compressed log) and they burned great. Never had an overfire, even with 6 or so burning at once. They're almost like a time-released tablet.

    I haven't burned the BioBricks yet, although I'd like to try them. From what I've read, they burn quicker and break apart as they burn - which probably results in greater heat output. I surely would not "pack" a stove full of them unless I had the air turned WAY down!

    Ironically, I just had the top surface of my Jotul up to 709 degrees the other day after I started a fire and left the air open for a little too long. No glowing red or anything like that, but it did get hot! Seemed to take the heat with no ill effects, although I won't be letting it happen again!
  11. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    Quote from another thread by a manufacturer of BioBricks:

    "I consistently get very long burn times. The reason for this is the size, shape, moisture content, makeup and density of my BioBricks. Many people initially say “hey, can’t you make these look a bit more like a log?” well indeed that is exactly NOT what is needed. How many of you have been frustrated by empty space inside your stove because of a log that only fits 2/3 the width of the hearth. Because my Bricks are flat sided and the size of house bricks you can pack them tight together to minimize airflow through the stack and fill every nook and cranny of the stove. Doing so at my home allows me to achieve burn times as long as 20 hours.

    That’s why I like to say my fuel is “a new look at firewood”. Of-course it is not such a new look. The machines I use have been spitting out Bricks for 20 years and nearly every gas station in Scandinavia has a pallet of Bricks out front."

    I think I can see why Jotul is worried!
  12. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Once they start burning and expand...If you touch them with a poker, they fall apart and the firebox becomes an inferno.
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    "I" as in "I" * would think that if you (owner in general)* had to pack said* stove to the point of needing bio brick style fuel to get , thus.... more heat or longer burn time then the stove is too small or the wrong stove in the first place.

    * O' He(( .....I think its contagious. :lol: ~ ;-)
  14. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Mmmmm.... infinite octane.... der wunderkraftstoff.

    -- Mike
  15. BioPellet

    BioPellet New Member

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    My BioBricks(tm) are an intelligent high density, high btu per pound fuel source that has been used in Europe for 20 years before I brought it over for North America. If you use soaked cordwood with 21% moisture then you will be real safe (assuming you can even start and sustain a burn) and real inefficient. BioBricks make your wood stove almost as easy to use and efficient as a pellet stove.

    If you drive your car down the highway in second gear you will burn up your motor. If you feed too much air to my fuel you may overfire your stove. If you feed the same amount of air to properly seasoned cordwood at below 13% you will overfire your stove for sure because the density is less than my BioBricks(tm) and the surface area is much more.

    I hope that I have not overestimated the capacity of Americans to understand what Europeans are up to in thier attempts to mitigate global climate change with alternative energy sources like my BioBricks.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." -
    -- Henry Mencken

    Hopefully, the inverse is not also true.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And so the reason that a Norwegian stove manufacturer is saying not to burn your bricks in their stoves is?
  18. BioPellet

    BioPellet New Member

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    ...becuase it's Jotul US not Jotul Scandinavia
  19. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    I'm willing to test them in a Hearthstone mansfield... how do I get some of them to Pittsburgh?
  20. BioPellet

    BioPellet New Member

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    I'm trying to set up production in PA, until then it is an expensive proposition.....I should have production occuring by March next year...
  21. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    If you don't poke them, they burn fine for a very long time. If you pack your stove with them, only the surface burns (with some difficulty) and I'm not sure the firebox temps are as high as needed for quite some time to achieve a smokeless burn.

    Consider this. Pack your stove on top of a good bed of coals with a chunk of something almost as massive as coal (biobricks will sink in water), all at once, surrounded by a burnable surface. This is exactly what you get with them. What happens to the temp of the stove? The the bricks and the stove reach the average. So 70 degree bricks, 500 degree stove...you get instant firebox temps of something around 300 degrees. Now only the surface can burn. Takes a while for the stove interior temp to reach secondary combustion temps.

    If you pack them more loosly, the problem is solves due to surface area. I think it's like anything...You have to play with it to achieve the best results.

    Some observations: I do believe is that they burn very clean, almost no ash, No bugs, and you can get very long burn times out of them. They're expensive, they also don't burn very hot for a while if packed tightly, they are not any cleaner than wood since they do shed, and you burn your hands putting them in the stove in order to pack them correctly...Use gloves!!! Overall, a nice alternative to wood if wood is hard to come by.

    An alternative perspective is that Presto logs (same technology, different shape) also work VERY well.
  22. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Where do you get Presto logs?
  23. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Pacific NW.
  24. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Bah, that does me no good :p
  25. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Sorry Don...I have a sister who lives near Seattle and that's all she burns...been doing it for 12 years. Took one look at my stack of wood and said..."well, there's an aspect of wood heat that's very different from my world"
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