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Envi-Blocks instead of BioBricks

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Cath, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    This is an update to my earlier thread on BioBricks:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/9889/P0/

    My husband and his mother have been generally pleased with the BioBricks. The heat is not as intense as cordwood, but it does seem to burn longer. And there is less ash. There are some other advantages that I won’t re-hash here.

    Unfortunately, our local BioBricks supplier --Ken of South Shore Wood Pellets in Holbrook, MA-- has run out and he can't get any more. However, he is committed to buying 3 truckloads of "Envi-Blocks" from the manufacturer that bought its equipment from BioBricks. If I understand correctly Tom Engells of BioBricks oversaw the installation of the equipment and did the training for Envi-Blocks. The manufacturer of the "Envi-Blocks" is “Barefoot Pellets”. Ken believes they've been making pellets for 10 years.

    The first truckload came in yesterday morning and it’s already sold out. Given how quickly the BioBricks sold out he doesn't know if he'll be able to sell "single" packs or how much they would cost ... since he doesn't know how many there are per pallet.

    Because Envi-Blocks is further away (Pennsylvania instead of Connecticut) he will have to charge $10.00 more per pallet than he did for the BioBricks ($255.00 rather than $245.00). The pallets are the same size.

    I couldn't find a link for the manufacturer but here is a link to South Shore Wood Pellets.

    http://www.southshorewoodpellets.com/envi-blocks

    620 South Street
    Distribution Facility
    Holbrook, MA 02343
    1-617-590-1788

    I'm optimistic they will burn comparably to the BioBricks.

    Ken also mentioned that BioBricks may be building two more plants. One may be located in Maine which should reduce the shipping costs; therefore the price should be lower. Who knows when that might happen.

    When he received the first truck load Ken learned that although the pallets are shrink wrapped that there are no smaller packages or sample sizes. The individual Envi-Blocks are loose once the shrink wrap is taken off of the pallet.

    I'm guessing they were in a rush to fill the void in the market. They should have better packaging at some point but it could be awhile. It's something to take into consideration since it affects some of the convenience of the product in terms of unloading and stacking it.

    He did sell me a small amount out of the one pallet that he opened but I suspect it will be difficult for him to sell smaller amounts in any real volume.

    The delivery charges for 2 to 4 tons are as follows: up to 25 miles $36.00; 25+ $40.00. The rate probably drops for 5 tons or more.

    The Envi-Blocks are significantly larger than the BioBricks: 4.5 x 4 x 10.5 versus 3.5 x 3.5 x 6. There are 300 per pallet.

    Again, the cost per pallet is $255.00. I paid $1.00 per block for the Envi-Blocks I got yesterday.

    We put one in my Dad's fireplace, which isn't much of a real life test but for what it's worth it did hold its shape for quite awhile.

    I'll post back when we have a chance to do a test fire.

    I'm guessing the other two truckloads load will go quickly despite the packaging. He got a couple of phone calls while I was there and he was careful to explain that only the pallets are shrink wrapped but one caller from Cape Cod was going to make the trip anyway.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, South Shore Wood Pellets does in fact carry wood pellets. What may be noteworthy is that he currently carries 2 brands of premium pellets and he's working on a third.

    Apparently he doesn't want to be too dependent upon one manufacturer if they run into production problems.

    He did carry a corn product but no longer carries it due to quality issues.

    Craig,
    Let me know if I should cross post this in the pellet forum.

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  2. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

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    Cath,

    copy & paste it into the pellet room. Good info on where to get pellets is always usefull.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Even better, post it in the Fuel Price guide (at least the pellet prices and there is also a Biomass log submittal)....

    thanks for the helpful post. I really like the idea of biomass logs (in general), because there are so many more stoves out there (hand fired), than Pellet Stoves, so the potential market is probably quite high. Still, it takes a big investment and a lot of work to make them, and it is very seasonal.
  4. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    have you seen the hearthwise logs??
    evry time i go to leominster i pick up some and they are awesome they burn longer than wood
    http://www.hearthwise.com/page/page/4064628.htm
  5. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    Iceman,
    Unfortunately I'm never in the Leominster area. From their website, it doesn't look like they have any distributors in the Boston area.
    ~Cath
  6. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    Cath i am sorry to hear that maybe a friend could stop by??
    but i was really asking our webmaster if he has heard or tried them.....
    i am hardly down there but if i get within distance i try to grab at least ten of them.. the good thing is as long as they sta y dry they are good so even if its summer i try to pick up a couple as they do not require alot of space
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  8. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Any News??
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No response from either the US distributor or the Canadian manufacturer.
  10. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    A pellet distributor i talked to yesterday told me they have the Bio-blocks and The envi? blocks. I was just wondering if there better then the bio.

    John
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No news, cuz I'm in the wrong thread. Doh! This was in reference to the SmartLogs.
  12. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    It happens LOLOL
  13. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    im very pleased with bio bricks i plan on buying a pallet next year, they rock....
  14. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    im very pleased with bio bricks i plan on buying a pallet next year, they rock.... now im trying landman earth friendly logs got them at lows a little expensive but seem to burn good. stove safe....
  15. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Thank you. John
  16. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    is this your product?
  17. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    If this is directed at me-- No its not my product.I like to hear from the end user before i try something. thats why i will give my experiences to others.
  18. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    Argus,
    A representative of this company is a member of this forum. I believe his member name is "BioPellet".
    ~Cath
  19. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    I asked him or her a Question and never got a response? The envi bricks do look bigger. i'm just not sure they are better???This is a great alternative to wood.
  20. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    johnnywarm,
    Did you actually PM him or did you simply post a question here hoping he would respond? Either way I wouldn't be surprised if he is to busy with production to participate here. I know they are having trouble meeting demand. If you really want to hear from him but haven't PM'ed him yet then I would try that.

    My inexpert impression based on what I've read here is that BioBricks are better. But that Envi-Blocks aren't bad and are significantly better than the "Smart Logs" that someone mentioned recently.

    I do know that BioBricks sold Barefoot Pellets (they make the Envi-Blocks) the equipment. In fact, the Hearthnet member "BioPellet" reportedly went out and trained them. Part of the agreement was that the size had to be different (not necessarily bigger but different). From memory, visually, it looks like the BioBricks either used smaller wood particles or they are slightly more tightly compressed. Which could help explain any minor difference in performance.

    The larger size might make it harder to use in a small stove without overstuffing it.

    For more info you might try the thread I linked in my first post in this thread.

    ~Cath
  21. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Thanks cath. I did do it in a thread. I hear that the bio-bricks bend or U when they are heated up or are burning. Did you see this when you used them???

    John
  22. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    johnny,
    Don't feel too slighted. I threw in a casual question in a thread he was participating in fairly recently and never got a response. Again, I assume he's a little pre-occupied with production.

    I didn't scrutinize the BioBricks while they were burning but my husband reports a long slow burn when properly packed, which would seem to rule out the "accordion" effect you are asking about.

    We still haven't run our stove with the Envi-Blocks yet but we did put one on a fire at my Dads over the holiday and I made a point of watching to see how well it held its shape. It outlasted the small to medium sized logs on the fire for quite a long period. From this I would have predicted performance as good as the BioBricks but at least one person on these boards has said that the BioBricks burned better.

    ~Cath
  23. chaynes68

    chaynes68 New Member

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    I have a ton of envi blocks in my basement (well 3/4 ton now)....i am very happy with them. I bought several packs of biobricks to test out the concept of manufactured firewood and was pleased with the results overall. I like the envi block form factor better than biobricks since its a lot more like adding logs to the fire....envi blocks are longer than biobricks and stack more like cordwood. I use a base of pallet wood with 3 blocks stacked on top and get 6-8 hours of burn time (I always have coals left in the morning....stove at 180-250). On cold nights I use 4 and open the stove up a bit more.

    Obviously I would prefer burning the stack of free (green) wood under my porch but I will just have to wait till next year. I like both the biobricks and envi blocks and would have no problem buying another ton of either....if given the choice I do prefer envi blocks tho.

    Chris
  24. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    I understand about him being busy.I'm learning more from the end user lately so the delay is no problem.


    This is a great way to burn and store wood.

    John
  25. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Chris thanks for the hands on report. Awsum. When you say"Open up the stove a bit more" are you talking about the door or the vent or "Flue"??

    Do you know what the temp is at peak??? Hows storing it then wood HaHaHa.

    John

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