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Grass Pellets on CL. Gasification video too.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by imacman, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Grassman

    Grassman New Member

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    eastern NY
    It is true that ag. energy crops draw a lot of unwanted elements from the soil. Most of witch have to be dealt with when burned and the temps rise above 500 F. One of witch is Cl, it becomes a aerosol bonding with H and you have a spray of HCl going up your chimney. Luckily there are stainless alloys that can resist these acids. We use field retting to wash out the elements that will cause problems when burned, by leaving the cut grass in the field for 30 plus days and hopefully letting 3 to 5 inches of rain wash the grass. By doing this you can greatly reduce the elements in the fuel that will cause corrosion in your stove and chimney. Cl is highly water soluble and is easily washed out. But as mentioned in previous posts always be safe check your chimney and stove to be sure that they are made of materials that are rated for ag. fuels. DJ

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I kind of hit a little something with my mix last week. I have been burning 50% decent hardwood pellets/25% hot burning softwood pellets/25% grass pellet mix. I have been getting very good temps over 240ºF on medium setting and less than 1% ash total. Ran the stove for a whole week and hardly noticed the difference from a mediocer low grade wood pellet. Except the heat was a lot better!

    Today I tried something that might please both the corn and grass farmers. 40% hardwood/20% softwood/20%grass/20% corn. A bit early to say but the heat is again very good and so far the ash content looks good! I got a high temp of 246ºF :) :) . I am going to burn this mix for a few days to see how it goes. But I like the heat. This mix will do even in the extreme cold weather for me. :) :) :)

    I am not letting this grass pellet beat me! even if it takes some corn and wood mixed in to get the heat up!
  3. andyc

    andyc Member

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    n.central ct
    Jay, how are you guys going about getting a consistant mix when blending the various pellet types? I would think you would also be increasing the amount of fines into the mix. I understand you are not in a large quantity/production vs. a testing situation, but for each auger drop do you feel you are getting the same ratio as your starting batch ratio.
    Another thing I have been thinking about lately is has anyone ever tried using shredded paper to make pellets, I have not done any research on btu output, I would think ash could be a concern but with the amount of paper waste in this country, could it be viable. Just thinking. ....Possibly DJ has already tried it or might consider it.
    Andy
  4. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    There used to be a place up in Wisconsin that sold paper pellets. they were 'industrial' grade: very high ash, about 2" long, and bendy.
    no way those babies would work in a pellet stove.
  5. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

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    Central NY
    We somehow ended up with 2 bags of cardboard pellets. I burned them in our countryside and they worked fine. A little bendy and soft, lower heat and a lot of ash, but they burned.
  6. Grassman

    Grassman New Member

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    Jay has discovered something really interesting with his multi pellet burns and the increase in temp. He may have discovered the so called sweet spot . I am going to make a wild guess at what could be happening, with the different pellets you have a range of densities from softwood at roughly 35lb. to corn at roughly 50lb. So the burn would start at softwood go to grass then hardwood and finally the corn. This could make a long smooth high temp burn. I have heard from other people burning the grass that as little as one kernel in the burn pot makes a deference. Getting to the paper pellets yes lots of ash, I have also heard you may have emission problems with ink. DJ
  7. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Andy,

    I am just mixing pellets in small fiber barrels( like cardboard size=7 gal.). They toss them out at work. So free for me. I blend by wieght to get my percentage real close. Blend is basically just dumping from one barrel to the other. After the blend I screen it with my corn screener. I have multiple screen sizes so I screen with 1/16 inch just to remove the fines. Its crued but it works.

    I like this corn/grass/wood mix. I actually turned the stove to the 2(medium low setting) and its still has plenty of heat to raise the temps in the shoulders. Ash level looks pretty decent but still more than just straight clean wood pellets. Will have to see how the prices fair for spring buy, Before I make any firm decisions on whats next for purchasing. On the fence for now.

    jay
  8. asabatelli

    asabatelli New Member

    Joined:
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    CT
    I'm looking into buying a stove to burn the grass pellets in. Right now I'm leaning toward the Harmon P38--the bottom feed feature should push the excess ash out of the way. The P38, though, only has two control knobs--a feed rate and a fan blower speed (no draft/air control), which worries me a bit. The P43 has more controls (and auto ignition), but is also pricier... Just wondered if anyone had any opinions. DJ tells me the Harmons all do a great job with his pellets. Thanks,
  9. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I was the OP of this thread, as I was the person who "found" the grass pellets for sale. I, along with Jay Takeman and Schoondog, did the initial testing for the forum. Between us, we all successfully burned the grass pellets in the following stoves:

    Englander 10-CPM
    Enviro Omega
    US Stove 6039 insert

    Not sure about Schoons US Stove, but the other 2 are Multi-fuel units. My 10-CPM is considerably less $$ than the Harman. Not sure about the other 2.
  10. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Personally, I would opt for a true multifuel stove along with the proper vent to match. A Harman PC45 or a Quad Mt. Vernon AE. Look at some of the Enviro's like the M55. You could check out the US Stove 6041 or the Englander 10cpm. If money is tight! I in no way would ever recommend anyone burn these in a "non" multifuel appliance! The grass pellets contain about 3x the amount of ash than a bad wood pellet or corn! More like 6 times that of a good wood pellet. Be prepared to do lots of cleaning!

    If you do opt for the Harman P38/P43. Please use the multifuel rated vent. Make sure you tell the installer your plans to burn grass pellets in it. I would also bet you $1.00 that if you have issues they will not warranty the issue do to burning a non rated fuel. I would at least ask the dealer and get something in writing.Down load the manual and look at what voids the warranty. Most pellet only stove say that burning an unapproved fuel does so! Just FYI tis all.
  11. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    http://grassbioenergy.org/res/pellet_stove_demo.asp englander 25pdvc not mentioned but i think, from the way the firepot is designed, would wok----with daily or so semi- cleaning/
  12. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Blimp, you could burn the grass pellets in ANY stove, but most non-multi-fuel units would require a cleaning AT LEAST once a day.
  13. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    excess silica/clinker from real grass pellets builds up like on the link. a pot stirrer may break it up but is the silca gonna get out of the burnpot? seems it will per link, duh
  14. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Love to see you try!
  15. imacman

    imacman Guest

    We didn't have any silica build-up problems with the pellets we got from DJ...he field retts them to leach out minerals & nutrients.
  16. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    me2= no grass pellets here. i'm thinking once a day spatula play with burnpot
  17. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Yep, Only small glass pebbles, But LOTS and LOTS of ash!
  18. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    You pay shipping I will ship you up a 40 lbs. sample! Or 20lbs. if your a bit frugle!
  19. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    100% grass pellets? or mix
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    100% grass or Goldenrod/grass mix(mixed in the pelletizing process, Each pellet has 50% grass and 50% goldenrod) which gave us more heat output.

    I have the goldenrod here, I would have to go get some grass. Whatever you prefer!
  21. schoondog

    schoondog Feeling the Heat

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    My 6039i is a multifuel stove. Has a stirrer in burn pot. I was able to burn grass/goldenrod for about 3-4 days before stove had to be cleaned. I would also strongly recommend, along with Imacman and Jay, a multi fuel stove to almost anyone buying a new stove today and especially if you want to burngrass. The new US Stove 6041 is a multi fuel and has an igniter now along with a few other improvements mine doesn't have. It is half the money as the Harmon. I saw one at the local TSC for $1699. I just saw a Harmon running at the county fair last month and it loks great and ran nice. All about the money!! Harmon is a nicer stove, but I have had no issues with my US Stove going into 3rd heating season. I will be mixing grass with Hardwood Heat pellets this year.

    Schoondog
  22. asabatelli

    asabatelli New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! Very helpful. The P38 is a semi-multifuel (can burn up to 50% corn). The thing that impressed me after lots of research, and after contacting DJ the grass guy is that the Harmon's have a very unique burn pot. The auger feeds the pellets in from the bottom, and all the ash material is pushed out and over the lip of the burnpot by the incoming fuel. One review states: "... engineering is the basis of Harmon's success. They are the only company currently making pellet stoves with a bottom feed. The major advantage of this is that unburned pellets push ash out of the way as they enter the burnpot. Because of this, Harman stoves can burn pellets of any ash content as well as other fuels such as paper pellets and biomass pellets made from grasses although a better fire will always come from low ash fuel...." I found the stove for 2100 with a free ton of high-quality wood pellets (or an additional $200 off), which seems pretty reasonable. One of my big concerns with the P38 is that it just has the 2 adjustments--feed rate and blower fan speed, with no way to adjust the damper. The P43 has the auto-ignition and more control of the flame, but then it costs $600 more.... Another concern is the space where I want to put the stove, and the P38/41 are relatively small units and we won't have to trip over them on the way through our family room.... Anyway, I'm mulling all this over. I did get to see a Harmon in action today, and I was impressed with the way it pushed the ash up and out of the way as new pellets came in from below. From what I hear, clinkers/silica are not as big a problem with DJs pellets. Thanks again,
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    That's the first time I heard that, "semi multifuel". But that would be a mix of corn/wood. So at best its would be a mix of wood/grass. But your planning all grass?

    Just make sure you use the right venting! There are more corrosives in the grass pellet.

    Looks like your going with the Harman. Spend the extra coin for the P43 and its adjustability. Your going to need it! Keep us posted on the progress and results of how the Harman handles the grass pellets.
  24. asabatelli

    asabatelli New Member

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    Thanks. Dealer tells me he only uses "all fuel" vent pipes. I'm not 100% convinced about the Harmon, yet.... Just trying to do my homework and make the right decision. If space weren't an issue, I'd probably spring for one of the Enviros--Omega or M55.... Harmons also say they only require 2" of rear clearance, a big +. I may well end up mixing wood/grass, though I'd prefer all grass...
  25. libberly

    libberly New Member

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    New Paltz, NY
    Check out Hudson Valley Grass Energy, they have a mobile mill that does 2 tons/hr grass pellets. Samples are available too.

    www.hvge.org

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