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Would fuel briquette venture be worth it?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by boardmaker, Feb 3, 2009.

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  1. spirilis

    spirilis Minister of Fire

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    Cool stuff, I wasn't serious about doing anything with this but I was kind've curious what kind of machinery it would take. Over 100 tons of pressure is insane, I wonder what kind of cost you net per-brick in both fuel and machine wear & tear manufacturing those things? Another random food for thought...

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  2. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Boardmaker (and Spirilis) - do you burn these bricks yourself?
  3. spirilis

    spirilis Minister of Fire

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    I'm pretty new to wood burning, planning on using them as my main fuel source this winter for my stoves. We'll see how that goes.
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I think you are twisting force and pressure all around. Let me see if I can sort this out:

    To make a brick you need 24,000 psi (we'll take this as accepted fact)

    3"x3" brick = 9 square inches @ 24,000 psi = 216,000 pounds force

    Most log splitters don't put out 70,000 psi - this should be pounds force. 70,000 pounds force = 35 tons

    Most log splitters run 3,000 psi - True as an absolute maximum, though most pop off at ~2500-2700psi to reduce stress on components you would have to multiply the hydraulic pressure by the cylinder area to get pounds force.

    an 8" dia cylinder = 50 square inches x 2500 psi = 125,000 pounds force, or x 2700 psi = 135,000 pounds force

    As a basic rule - it seems you're looking for 24,000 psi on your brick. Most hydraulic systems would be conservatively 2400 psi, so you would need a a hydraulic cylinder area ~ 10x the area of the brick you wish to make
  5. spirilis

    spirilis Minister of Fire

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    So you could make one by hand..... if you had a really big hydraulic press and a lot of wheaties for your crankin'.
  6. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Yes - I suppose you could - if you worked out the ratios right and didn't mind either working a lot to pump up a big hydraulic ram or a very small bio brick.

    100 ton bottle jacks can be had, which would give you 200,000 pounds force - that would almost make you a 9 square inch brick @24,000 psi though jacks that big pump up pretty slowly and you'd have to take into account compressing the initial pile of sawdust down to the brick, too.

    Conversely - a decent sized guy weighs ~200 pounds. If your bio-brick was .090 inch x .090 inch (.0081 square inches) and you stood on it, (200 pounds / .0081 square inches ) still about = 24,000 psi, just over a lot smaller square inches - but that would be one tiny biobrick!
  7. boardmaker

    boardmaker New Member

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    No, I don't burn briquettes. If I made them, I would.

    Cozy Heat,
    You are correct about the force vs. pressure. You know how when things seems clear in your head, but when you explain them it's not quite correct. I like your human force analogy. So, You wanna make toothpicks. LOL. There are some nice presses out there, but they are all in Europe. And very$$$. Any more ideas?
  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I have a freind who is interested in making Biobricks or whatever. He has a facility, capitol and a source of waste wood. Any leads on equipment manufactures to help him start looking?
  9. Scoop

    Scoop New Member

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    A neighbor of mine tried this in a big way in Ontario Canada. He bought a defunct particle board mill in Bancroft Ontario and set it up to produce a compressed round fireplace log, with no additives, just pressure holding them together.

    I tried them in my fireplace and they were no hell. He only managed to get one big customer for his fancy logs, I believe the Rona hardware chain.

    Coincidentally, shortly after his new idea was in production all kinds of similar no name unlabelled logs (likely from China) started appearing at Home depot and other chains.

    His business never got off the ground and he is still looking for other uses fopr the factory.

    Its a very competitive business and you may really need a good fire after you lose your shirt.
  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yeah...thanks.
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