Safe to burn MDF?

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mass_burner

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2013
2,645
SE Mass
Subject says it all.
 

Oldman47

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2015
1,011
Central Illinois
MDF contains more glue than plywood or OSB so no way is it a good idea. If you have a cat stove it will ruin your catalyst.
 

mass_burner

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2013
2,645
SE Mass
How do they keep MDF out of pellets, since it's used widely to make furniture.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,484
Nova Scotia
I've burned small odds & ends, in my gasifier. Would be curious on the gasses it releases, then the combustion temps of those gasses. Can't see there being much nasties left after 2000°.
 

iamlucky13

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2015
652
Western Washington
I've burned small odds & ends, in my gasifier. Would be curious on the gasses it releases, then the combustion temps of those gasses. Can't see there being much nasties left after 2000°.
As far as I've been able to find, the glues used are formaldehyde based, which at low temperatures allowing partial combustion can have some nasty by-products. However, it's an organic substance like wood is, so it seems at high temperatures, you just get CO2 and water vapor.

I've burned a few small scraps of various engineered woods in my non-catalytic wood stove, but only on reloads, and I stick it in the back after raking the coals forward, with the goal of it being the last to catch and its vapors circulating forward through the heat of the rest of the wood burning to ensure complete combustion.

I would definitely not burn it as the primary fuel, or even a significant part of a load, since I can't entirely control smouldering at the start of each load.
 

Kristen

New Member
Jan 4, 2016
80
UK
Is there any issue with burning materials like this (including pallets made from treated wood) that the by-products of combustion are bad for the boiler? e.g. corrosive. I seem to remember my installer warning me about that (including things like coloured, shiny, printed magazines)
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,347
Northern NH
Safe for you not so safe for the environment. MDF typically has to be landfilled. Commercial wood fired power plants generally can not get permitted to burn MDF due to some potential nasty byproducts that form.
 

mass_burner

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2013
2,645
SE Mass
How do they keep MDF out of pellets, since it's used widely to make furniture.
Has anyone ever examined random pellet brands microscopically to see what's in them?
 
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