'Crush' or 'Squeeze' moisture out of firewood

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MichaelAL

New Member
Sep 26, 2019
43
Rhode Island
This is probably the 1,000,000th poor idea for a way to quickly dry wood that isn't a kiln, and maybe it's already been considered but I can't find evidence of it. Theoretically, wouldn't it be feasible to squeeze or crush green firewood to get the moisture out of it? Think about wringing out a wet towel/shirt. Something like (literally) driving a steam roller over a single layer of split wood. Obviously this would require some sort of industrial machine, but if you could find a way to quickly dry wood it changes the supply chain math on a big firewood operation... Has anybody ever considered/pursued this idea??
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,537
Eastern Long Island NY
This is probably the 1,000,000th poor idea for a way to quickly dry wood that isn't a kiln, and maybe it's already been considered but I can't find evidence of it. Theoretically, wouldn't it be feasible to squeeze or crush green firewood to get the moisture out of it? Think about wringing out a wet towel/shirt. Something like (literally) driving a steam roller over a single layer of split wood. Obviously this would require some sort of industrial machine, but if you could find a way to quickly dry wood it changes the supply chain math on a big firewood operation... Has anybody ever considered/pursued this idea??

I would surmise that the binding of water in the wood fibers is too strong for any reasonable mechanical compression to overcome this.
 
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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,677
WI, Leroy
if you want to go through that kind of process might just as well grind it all up into small chips - in other words, just buy compressed wood blocks. Make your own ( only about $60k to set up a decent machine- just the compression stage). The raw material used for those is also heated to drive off excess moisture as well as the dies being held in a specific heat range - this to keep the lignin in the bondable state. Also applies to pellets. Compressed wood blocks being giant pellets.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,398
Colorado
Could not you put some pieces through a wood grinder like they do when they trim your trees or what they call maybe "mulch" or something and then dry those out by laying them on a drying surface for awhile or something that would get hot like maybe aluminium or something.. Just wondering and MichaelA has a good question at least for me too..mrs clancey
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,071
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
You'll never get all the water out that way, there wood still be water retained within the cell walls of the wood fibers.

I think a kiln is the fastest way to dry wood, maybe a variation like putting the kiln under vacuum could speed results, but it seems all wood drying requires both heat and time.

There is a small lumber operation up in the Yukon that uses a small site fabricated kiln to dry the lumber, it uses the wood scraps and sawdust from the mill to fuel it. I'm sure something similar could be accomplished for firewood.
 
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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,677
WI, Leroy
various threads on make shift kilns using plastic wrap or cheap tarps and skids. Sun does most of the work.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,332
Lackawaxen PA
Freeze drying uses a process called lyophilization to gently freeze the specimen, and extract the water in the form of vapour using a high-pressure vacuum. The vapour collects on a condenser, turns back into ice and is removed. A gradual temperature rise extracts all remaining 'bound' moisture from the specimen.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,677
WI, Leroy
Around my parts we call that winter.