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wood gassifier for making maple syrup

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by emesine, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. emesine

    emesine Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Indiana
    Most wood fired units to boil down maple sap to maple syrup are low tech and appear very inefficient. Basically, there is a pile of wood under the pan, and that's your heat source. I can't image they get more than 30-40% efficiency.

    Is there a way to rig up a wood gassifier to boil maple sap? I am thinking running a hydronic system with oil instead of water. Run at ~275F. Pipe the hot oil through copper tubing coiled in pots to boil the syrup.

    Has anyone ever considered this?

    Andrew

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  2. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    There are woodchip-fired gasifiers for maple sugaring.
  3. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
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    1,611
    Loc:
    Cayuga County NY
    I'd say it would be more to the point to find out for sure whether the wood fired units you've seen are indeed inefficient, and if they are, attack the problem head-on and improve the combustion efficiency and the heat transfer efficiency.

    The ones I've seen in the northeast would be pretty hard to improve on with all the preheat, economizer circuits, primary and secondary combustion control, insulated fireboxes, and very specialized systems for routing and controlling flue gas flows and temperatures.
  4. emesine

    emesine Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
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    185
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I am here in Indiana; not a lot of sugarbush operations around here. Do you know the brand of evaporator you saw in action that had good air control? It sounds like they have their act together.

    Andrew
  5. canyon

    canyon New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    Homer, Alaska
    For efficient low tech check out rocket stoves (particularly rocket mass heater style). :)

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