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ok, you corn guys....

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by HarryBack, Sep 19, 2006.

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  1. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Had a guy come to us the other day who wants to blend corn and pellets together, first just as a corn/pellet mix, then possibly make a composite pellet of wood/corn. What do you guys who burn corn think of this? Oh, also, whats the typical accepted BTU/lb of the corn you burn....pellets are around 8300 BTU's/lb.....

    thanks in advance for your input.

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  2. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Do you mean he wants to produce a bagged product?

    Since the moisture content of corn is higher the approximate BTU/lb is 6500. The available caloric value may be similar but pellets are dry and corn loses a lot in the process of moisture evaporation. I would imagine a mixed pellet would also have higher moisture content than wood pellets. It is my understanding that some pellet manufacturers are already experimenting with producing various biomass pellets, including corn mixes. Should be interesting to see what happens. I think it might be easier to store and handle than bushel corn. Maybe the BTU/lb will go up in the process.

    Sean
  3. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    The nice thing about corn is if you're in the grain belt, it's a cheap alternative. I spent less than $70 this year and have 3500 lbs in the garage. I burn 50/50 mix most times, if it's really cold and the stove is running full time I'll burn 100% corn. What would be the benefit of making a mixed pellet? I'd assume the plan would be to cut costs of raw material, but it would still be the same overhead in making pellets regardless, correct? Nature has already pelletized corn, I would not be interested in buying a mixed pellet. That said, I'm in MN where I can drive to the elevator in 5 minutes too. I would also be concerned about the moisture issue, I've had 3 year old extremely dry corn (< 7%) and it did not burn as well as the 12% I have now, may be just the corn tho too.
  4. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    On BTU's, not really sure. I've heard everything from 6000-8500, but I'll only speak from experience. For some reason the corn seems to burn hotter than the pellets I've burned, not sure if it's just wishfull thinking on my part. I've heard that it burns quicker and therefore hotter, but again I'm not sure. Anyone care to explain this? Thanks!
  5. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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    I have found if I increase the combustion air mix and turn up the feed rate I can burn corn alone.
    If the outside is in the 30's or more I need to mix pellets to keep the corn burning.
    I guess corn needs to be burning as opposed to a lazy flame.
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    It was always my understanding that corn burns hotter than pellets. Though I almost exclusively burn corn I have burned a lot of pellets. I feel a noticeable increase in heat with corn than with pellets. Another thing that leads me to believe this is true is the limitation of heat settings using corn. I can run on 5 with pellets but am limited to 4 with corn according to the Countryside manual so the corn must be hotter. Thus I think your BTU numbers are backwards. I really can't understand why anyone would burn pellets when he can burn corn or a corn pellet mix and the price of corn is so much less. Its just pure economics. Really I can't see much difference between the two beyond corn burning dirtier and leaving more ash around to clean up. Of course I have a grinder stove love em or hate em as it may be, which eliminates the cliniker problems. Your partner really should take this up on iburncorn.com forum and he will get all the answers he could use. There has been a lot of experimenting among our litttle tribe and many novel ideas hatched. One thing I constantly have to point out with corn is just how little issue the varments cause with it. I have several bags sitting on my basement floor since March and no mice issues. The horses will steal it out of the truck if its parked near them but thats ok. I literally leave mine out in the weather with a sheet of plywood over the truck box in the winter sometimes. Its isn't adversely affected.
    In answer to the lazy flame thing try mixing a cup of cheap veggie oil in each hopper stirred in. It really does make a difference with stoves going out on low settings as does adding pellets to the corn.
  7. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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