Home made pellets

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Pallet Pete

Guest
I had an idea regarding making pellets!! Haha
We produce lots of dust from high density mdf at my job and I am curious if it is possible to make pellets out of the dust in order to heat . I was looking at a pellet maker some time back and I was wondering if any of you have ever tried something like this or now about it.
Thanks guys and gals
 

76brian

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2011
394
Ottawa, Canada
gplus.to
It's been covered ad nauseum on here. It might work for some, but I think the general consensus is that it's simply too time consuming to be worthwhile on a small scale (1, 2 or 3 homes worth).

The machines are not cheap, and the ones that are in the few grand range are not reliable from what I have read.

It is a nice thought, if I had a source of sawdust and the spare cash to drop on the equipment, I might give it a shot. Maybe it will work for you if you have the material to use.
 
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DexterDay

Guest
A lot harder than just dumping fiber into the machine. The YouTube videos leave much for the imagination. The Fiber must be at a certain moisture level, then the Pressure at which they sre extruded, then they should be "dried" and cooled on racks before bagging or storing.

Do a search here. There are some that do it. I live next to an Amish saw mill and could get 100% Oak sawdust, but I dont think I have the time nor the other resources to do so.

Somersets are $152 at a Lowes around my house (kinda) So $600 for 4 tons of a good pellet os hard to beat. A pellet that I know burns good. Unlike the pellets that will take much trial and error on my part.

Looking forward to what you find out and if you end up doing it, what your results are?
 

hemlock

Feeling the Heat
May 6, 2009
455
east coast canada
Don't under-estimate just how much sawdust it takes to produce a decent amount of pellets. A few guys around here tried one of those small mills, and were astounded at how much raw material they really needed. They ended up giving up, and selling the mill.
 

mascoma

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2008
326
Upper Valley NH
I think MDF pellets would give off all sorts of funny stuff when burned... No?
 

mascoma

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2008
326
Upper Valley NH
hemlock said:
Don't under-estimate just how much sawdust it takes to produce a decent amount of pellets. A few guys around here tried one of those small mills, and were astounded at how much raw material they really needed. They ended up giving up, and selling the mill.

If the dust is already dried, I would bet it takes about 1ton of saw dust to make a ton of pellets!
If the dust is wet you would need to adjust for moisture weight.
 

hemlock

Feeling the Heat
May 6, 2009
455
east coast canada
mascoma said:
hemlock said:
Don't under-estimate just how much sawdust it takes to produce a decent amount of pellets. A few guys around here tried one of those small mills, and were astounded at how much raw material they really needed. They ended up giving up, and selling the mill.

If the dust is already dried, I would bet it takes about 1ton of saw dust to make a ton of pellets!
If the dust is wet you would need to adjust for moisture weight.
Thats just it. Unless you have a lot of room, 1 ton of dry sawdust is quite a bit by volume. I recall reading somewhere once when I had begun looking at this that it actually takes between 1.5:1 to 2:1 ratio to manufacture pellets, depending on the quality of the raw material. Either way - lots of sawdust in bulk form.
 

kinsmanstoves

Minister of Fire
approx 1.3 tons of kiln-dried dust to make a ton of pellets.

Eric
 
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Pallet Pete

Guest
Thanks guys yes the dust is already dry however it may be too dry from the sound of it. Maybe the answer is to find a existing pellet maker and test this theory out. My idea was to make them as I needed them because of the unllimited mess of dust at my work. :ahhh: its everywhere! However if moisture control is a problem I need to do alot more research.

Thanks All, keep the ideas flowin :exclaim:

And yes i just figured out how to us smileys :snake:
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,639
Northern NH
I cant remember the details but MDF scraps is not good to burn. I think the binders may be urea based which can cause high NOX emissions. Not a direct issue for a homeowner but would be for a commercial operation.
 

TLHinCanada

Feeling the Heat
Feb 7, 2011
257
Canada
Last year there was a thread that had a good look at the problems. He was Australian and had some pictures of his finished product. If I'm not mistaken 1.3 to make 1.0 would be 600 lbs. of waste. I would be interested in knowing if they were sqeezing that much liquid out of the wood dust.
 

tjnamtiw

Minister of Fire
Kiln dried lumber has 6-8% moisture; however, as dust particles will have a lot of surface area to reabsorb moisture, that % should go up. How much water is driven out as the pellets are compressed and heated is the question. You also need to buy binder since the temperature on the small mills never gets hot enough to bond the natural lignite in the wood. If you want to contact a US pellet machine maker, try Buskirk Engineering to see if they would do a trial.

From the Web > ''MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is made from waste wood fibres which are glued under heat and pressure. It is very versatile, but can be dangerous to use if proper safefy precautions are not adhered to. Most MDF slowly releases urea formaldehyde which is an irritant to the eyes and lungs. This can be sealed in with proper preparation and painting. The dust produced when sanding or cutting is another matter, and masks and goggles should ALWAYS be used when machining or cutting this material, and adequate ventilation should be present in the work area.''

It sounds as if this may not be a very good idea considering that there IS dust associated with the process.
 
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Pallet Pete

Guest
Well this idea is out the window! It turns out according to the epa that MDF emits harmful EXPLOSIVE gas when burned or as they put it super heated. Thanks for all the help guys I have decided to look into woodstock now, I love wood splitting anyway.
 

raygard

Member
Nov 5, 2011
88
Columbia, MD
Pete1983 said:
Well this idea is out the window! It turns out according to the epa that MDF emits harmful EXPLOSIVE gas when burned or as they put it super heated. Thanks for all the help guys I have decided to look into woodstock now, I love wood splitting anyway.
Sorry, can't resist. "Explosive" is good, right ? :cheese:
 
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Pallet Pete

Guest
rayg said:
Pete1983 said:
Well this idea is out the window! It turns out according to the epa that MDF emits harmful EXPLOSIVE gas when burned or as they put it super heated. Thanks for all the help guys I have decided to look into woodstock now, I love wood splitting anyway.
Sorry, can't resist. "Explosive" is good, right ? :cheese:
Ray that's a dumb question lol of course explosive is good to a guy!!!! My wife on the other hand no so much :lol:

Pete
 

Trickyrick

Feeling the Heat
Oct 23, 2009
285
Western MA/ Eastern NY
One thing to really consider guys is that dust, fine chips etc are very explosible. Ask anyone who has seen a silo explosion will attest. This is very very dangerious raw material and not something I would have around my home in the quantities required.
 

tjnamtiw

Minister of Fire
Explosion followed by a huge sigh of relief will drive my wife into the back room............. :)
 
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DexterDay

Guest
j-takeman said:
tjnamtiw said:
Explosion followed by a huge sigh of relief will drive my wife into the back room............. :)
And most of the group offline for at least an hour! :cheese:
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Wow!!!! ;-P
 
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