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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. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    The only way to compare here is on the price / million BTUs, not weight or size of stack (cord or pallet)

    Using Spike's numbers

    for oak, a cord of oak bring 27.5 mil btu/cord @ $140.00, doing the math of 27.5/140 to get BTU's/ Dollar = 196,428btu/dollar

    With Bio 16.5 mil btu/ pallet @ 299.00 (wow what a mark up!!) 16.5/299 = 55,183 btu/dollar

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  2. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I'm thinking of a new moniker for especially snippy posters. I'll call it: HOT-HEAD.

    One thing I know, this BTU per pound vs BTU per cord on top of the 6 - 10% moisture vs 10 - 25% moisture and the corresponding BTU loss from evaporating that moisture can get pretty tricky to calculate and to understand in my case. My head is still reeling from when Jonas' brother Chris (the engineer and WOW pellet master) gave us an explanation last year.

    The cordwood vs compressed wood debate has now taken on the same character as the cat vs non-cat stove debate. Don't expect to be convinced one way or the other anytime soon. Strange that two years ago, the subject hardly even came up. In fact, only one or two people on this board admitted to having tried them at the time, and one was a stove store owner. It's nice to have so many people interested in these things. They definitely have their place.

    I can say this, I have loved burning all the compressed wood products I've tried in my cat stove and I've tried three different logs. I reviewed them last year, so you can probably search my posts if your interested. I have not tried the biopellet product, but I would if I could buy them around here. Products like these are especially valuable if you can't (or don't want to) cut wood for yourself and still want to burn the woodstove. Sure beats buying wet wood from the WoodMan. Lots of other benefits as well.
  3. recppd

    recppd New Member

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    As a current burner of "compressed" wood products I can attest that they burn MUCH hotter and for LONGER periods of time. I can put 4 compressed logs in my stove at 10 P.M. and wake up at 7 A.M. with hot coals. Can't say I EVER got that with 4 pieces of oak, maple, etc. I've only burned Home Prest Fire Logs (approx. 5lbs. each), so I can't attest to the Bio Bricks. This year I went back to cordwood because of the price differential, but I am regretting it....
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    All the "blind men" feel the same elephant and describe it as something different.

    Where my shop was (Phila area), the average person we sold a stove to burned 1 to 1 1/2 cords a year. Many less, many more. But for the casual burners, the bios would be a nice fill-in. I would not suggest for a northern maine 100% house heater to use 'em continually.

    Why is it so hard for 6 cord a year people to understand that everyone (in fact, most people) don't burn that way?

    It's exactly like the car/truck debate. If you only drive 5,000 miles a year, having the most efficient car (MPG) is not as important. We've all seen the example where a wood stove saved $1000 and cost $52,000 (after injuries, etc.).

    What is the largest selling (in dollars) residential solid fuel in the country? I say DuraFlame! Maybe that should tell us something.

    Using "price" logic, Ross would be eating only soybeans, which would be 15X as efficient (and about 1/15 the cost) of a good steak! Folks can play with numbers all they want, the market speaks louder than each of us. Where bio is located (CT) is a very "surburban" market.

    In fact, using price logic the pellet stove industry would probably be 1/10 the size! Gas logs would not exist -instead of selling by the million, and SUV's would soon be gone.

    Here's another strange one for ya...where I lived in relatively warm south jersey folks did not take well to pellet stoves. But when I traveled to the middle of the NY Mountains, woodstoves were "dead" and all the folks were using pellets - same with Mass. - even though they have millions of acres of firewood all around them. Explain that....well, actually I can - I suppose that many former wood burners have gotten older and still like the idea of wood and renewables, so they use pellets. Of course, there is also a fad factor and some misinformation.
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I dont have a problem with anybody burning what ever they want or want to pay, so thats a non issue.
    The #'s are now here so people can choose the best fuel for there needs.
    I dont think there is a debate here except for the fact that the claim of Bio is a better value in $$ and we can see there are not over other fuels.
    The thread came up about BioBricks and BTU ..........as of before i seemed to care less until it was asked so i did the research and come up with some #'s so the poster can choose what is best for him/her .

    Its kinda funny to hear a statement about the cost not being the big issue when that is one of the biggest reasons we are all here and burning other fuels to heat our home.
    For me and value it would be cheaper to heat my home with Natural Gas and also have a gas fire place then the cost of the BioBricks , again , this for me and heating my home.

    We know that there are millions of homes built and being built with fireplaces in them so my guess would be that is where a lot of Duraflame logs are being used as well and for fire starters , i dont think people are actually buying Duraflame logs by the pallet to add extra heat to there homes in there fire place.
  6. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Hey, I just bought them to as an easy, clean supplement to my cord wood. Heck, I've even just started out with the Bio's to heat up the firebox and get a coal bed, then put my cord wood on top. Works pretty well.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My apologies to all. Follow the directions, take another hit off the bong and go up stairs and sleep well.

    "BioBricks are ideally sized for wood stoves. Packing density is optimized. You can fill every corner of the stove with high-density fuel and extend your burn times greatly. Consistent size means more complete combustion. They generate 150% more heat then cordwood!"

    But not in my stoves ya won't.
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    It is a lot like me dealing with Pine. For the effort, I could spend my time and energy a lot better. Same energy devoted to processing a cord of pine would result in I'd guess about 5 cords of ash. Do I burn pine...yup.. it was free and delivered. But the stove is cranking on a big ol peice of that fat wood and the livingroom is 80 :cheese: and I'm a happy camper.
  9. BioPellet

    BioPellet New Member

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    1 lb BioBricks(tm) = 1.7 lb typical cordwood --- it's all the math you need
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Ross, Hearth.com readers do everything from use gas logs to pellet stoves to wood stoves and much more. A varied lot, for certain. Certainly some hard core woodburners in the forum, but a bunch of everyday joes and janes simply reading.

    Our fuel price calculator will evaluate biobricks by using either the softwood or pellet calcs....since softwood does have more moisture, we can figure that a cord of softwood at 20% and a ton of bios are probably roughly equal. You can adjust efficiency also in the calculator, so as to make an accurate comparison. Use 80% if a modern stove and bios if you want to be a nice guy!

    http://www.forfuel.com/calc/index.html

    While I am the first to promote "BTU for BTU" comparisons, I do learn new things everyday. For instance, I have the pellet corn stove in my shop, and I have only used 5 bags of fuel (40 lbs each) so far this year - because i can run it very low and start it easily and also stop it the same. I can tell you for certain that a wood stove would have taken my a LOT more pounds of fuel to do the same thing. That is just one example where one feature outweighs another.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That is the one thing that makes me wish that we had gas available. Ya can turn it down and ya can turn it off based on temp in the house. Kinda hard to turn off a wood stove that is kickin 700. The wood just keeps on going away. The gas meter stops.
  12. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Its the "typical cordwood" part that is untrue and misleading consumers about the product.
    BioBrick may be higher-density than low value pine but are the same BTU as 1 cord of pine but at 3x - 4X the price.

    The 2700 lbs of PINE/COTTONWOOD that your product that is equal to and compared to is any thing but "typical cordwood".

    Thats what made me loose any and all respect for the BioBrick product.
    But hey, if "car lot salesman advertising" works for you and you can B.S. enough customers then happy selling to you. It might bite you in the end but good luck for now.

    NOTE: As a side note to BioBricks , I have no issues with the product of BioBricks and how the product works. I am only stating the "real world" value of BioBricks compared to cord wood (and what cord wood it is equal to per over all BTUs ) and the price value to cord wood. I'm done.
  13. BioPellet

    BioPellet New Member

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    If your cord weighs 2700 lb then it will take 1.25 cord of that type of wood to equal one pallet of my BioBricks(tm)

    --- 1 lb BioBrick(tm) = 1.7 lb typical cordwood --- it's all the math you need
  14. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    You advertise your BioBricks at 2200 lbs to be equial to 2700 lbs of seasoned cord wood.
    ( see link below )
    Now your saying 1 pallet of 2200 lbs equals 1.25 of that same cord ?
    Something is not right.

    http://www.finesthearth.com/bio_bricks_biomass_fuel_alternative.asp
  15. BioPellet

    BioPellet New Member

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    That's Finest Hearth's add - not mine. But if my pallet weighed 2200 lb (which it does not, it weighs roughly a ton) then it would be equiv to 1.38 cord of your 2700 lb per cord wood.

    1 lb BioBricks(tm) is equal to 1.7 lb typical cordwood

    Would someone PLEASE get this guy a calculator? My fingers are getting tired!!!
  16. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    I probably shouldn't stir the pot on this thread, but something that keeps jumping out at me...

    Around here - which is pretty near BioPellets home base, cordwood is typically running ~$300/cord plus delivery ($50). That is called "seasoned" but of course isn't really ready to burn - at least not cleanly. For those of you that can buy split cordwood for $140 a cord - why are you cutting and splitting yourselves?

    Last time I talked to him, the local BioPellet dealer was selling at $270/ton, so a ton of biobricks - which I can pick up pretty easily - are less costly than a cord of delivered wood.

    As the point has been made earlier - BTU's per lb aren't the only measure of heat - it's really what comes out of your stove that matters. So far on this forum I have only heard from users that were very impresssed with the product (other forms of compressed logs included). And we all know that bad news travels much faster than good news.

    I come from the don't knock it til you try it club - and I'll be trying these.
  17. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm going to close this thread - I think the issues are clear....

    That pellets and compressed wood at low moisture are not the same as 20%+ moisture wood
    That on a BTU basis, pellets and compressed logs are usually more expensive..sometimes MUCH more. Depends on where you live and how much work you are willing to put in.
    That convienience and the use of renewables figures in also
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