Wood chips in pellet stove (youtube video)

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monteville

Member
Nov 23, 2019
152
Dallas
Wondering when you'd chime in.... I have 7 ton of bagged corn in the barn and 3 ton of pellets but I'm too lazy to mix any up right now....lol Besides, the thermostat on the propane furnace is much easier to deal with...lol
I guess pellet stoves are neither designed for corn, but it just works.

Animal stomach is natural's grinder. I would feed the corn to a few cattle along with hay and pelletize dried cow dung for burning.

I believe the small extruders don't press materials as hard as commercial pellet mills, but we can figure out some adhesive additive to make better glued together pellets. What's your extruder's normal operating temperature? Can we heat the raw material to 400 deg F?

If you have a source of waste HDPE, PP or PET maybe grind them down and mix 5% by weight into biomass stream, because these resins would enhance cold strength and rigidity of the resulting pellet.

 
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monteville

Member
Nov 23, 2019
152
Dallas
Great, that's all people need. Other people burning plastics.
I fully understand you have a bad impression of plastics because stupid people burn them open pit releasing stinky unburnt hydrocarbons.

In a fire, plastics are first pyrolyzed into free hydrocarbons, if there is not enough oxygen around or not enough time to burn before it dissipates, it will dissipate into the air unburnt.

Burning plastics in an open pit is quite different from burning plastics embedded in 95% of biomass in a pellet stove. Pellet stove is high temperature, oxygen rich combustion. The biomass also slows down plastic decomposition into hydrocarbon, giving them more time to completely burn.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,216
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
While I agree that it makes sense to burn waste hydrocarbon plastics in place of other fossil fuels, a basic pellet stove is not the place. Nevermind the possible mess that melted plastic could make, there are no pollution controls to ensure the plastic gets burnt completely.
 

monteville

Member
Nov 23, 2019
152
Dallas
While I agree that it makes sense to burn waste hydrocarbon plastics in place of other fossil fuels, a basic pellet stove is not the place. Nevermind the possible mess that melted plastic could make, there are no pollution controls to ensure the plastic gets burnt completely.
The point is not burning the plastics, but to use it as an adhesive to bond biomass particles better together. Plastics are better recycled than burned.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,216
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
The point is not burning the plastics, but to use it as an adhesive to bond biomass particles better together. Plastics are better recycled than burned.

Except in this case the plastic is being burnt. I agree that plastic should be recycled, but the reality is there isn't a large enough market for this recycled plastic and much of it ends up in landfills or the ocean. Burning it in place of other fossil fuels solves 2 problems.
 
Jan 29, 2021
147
VA, east central
Except in this case the plastic is being burnt. I agree that plastic should be recycled, but the reality is there isn't a large enough market for this recycled plastic and much of it ends up in landfills or the ocean. Burning it in place of other fossil fuels solves 2 problems.
Recycling plastic is difficult at best for a myriad of reasons. Same applies to several other types of waste and single stream recycling, although convenient is one of the dumbest ideas ever. Not very cost effective and reduces the quality of other items more easily recycled, like paper.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I guess pellet stoves are neither designed for corn, but it just works.

Animal stomach is natural's grinder. I would feed the corn to a few cattle along with hay and pelletize dried cow dung for burning.

I believe the small extruders don't press materials as hard as commercial pellet mills, but we can figure out some adhesive additive to make better glued together pellets. What's your extruder's normal operating temperature? Can we heat the raw material to 400 deg F?

If you have a source of waste HDPE, PP or PET maybe grind them down and mix 5% by weight into biomass stream, because these resins would enhance cold strength and rigidity of the resulting pellet.

Only is China... Surprised they aren't pelletizing corpses.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I guess pellet stoves are neither designed for corn, but it just works
You guess wrong as usual. Some are. most aren't. Mine is. So is Firepot Pete's.

Until the cost of commercially made wood pellets exceeds the threshold of economical compared to other types of fuel (propane, fuel oil or NG), pellets will remain the viable, economical fuel source and for those of us who own corn capable units, so long as the corn is reasonably priced, corn will be a viable, cost efficient fuel as well.

Keep on dreaming, it's fun to read your comments even if they don't apply to real world practice.

Far as storing dried wood chips under a tarp or in a building, unless they are encapsulated in something moisture proof, the chips will absorb moisture to the rate of the ambient RH wherever they are stored, so that don't work either but keep on dreaming. I'm pretty sure no one on here takes you seriously anyway.

If you can build a better mousetrap and PROVE it works as designed, you might have something. Until then, all your postulations are nothing more than dreams. So dream on, it's fun to read but from a practical application standpoint, strictly fantasy.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,615
Northern NH
Yup, we have been there done that with our friend in Texas. Pellets are bone dry, wood chips typically are not. When spending capital, plan on a O2 sensor and feedback control. Pellet units assume a known BTU content/unit volume of fuel, BTU content of wood chips are variable. So there needs to be a far more sophisticated fuel air control system. Sure the wood chips may burn but not optimally. That means lower efficiency and high emissions.

At some point its easier to grind up the nin uniform wood, dry it and extrude it as uniform pellets which is why wood pellets came into existence.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Just like the Hurst biomass boiler in my signature picture. You want to talk about very complex electronic controls, it had it's own control room where sensors constantly monitored the fuel and constantly adjusted the feed rate and combustion air to provide an optimal burn because we burned wood chips from tree companies. The dumped their chips in a large Clearspan hoop building, open on one end and we used a front end loader to move them to a walking floor building next to the boiler and the walking floor fed the boiler's chip clarifier which separated out oversize chunks that could jam the feed augers (and other stuff like chainsaws, rakes, hammers and other things) in the chips and then from the clarifier, they went into an enclosed feed system where there were moisture sensing probes that kept track of the moisture content and those fed the computer which adjusted the feed rate as well as the combustion air to provide an optimal burn. Very complex system but it had to be to control the output of the boiler. It was constantly adjusting feed and combustion air rates and you could see it as it ran a paper printout of the firing parameters constantly.

No way to do it manually, had to be computer controlled. We sure collected a lot of non chip stuff too. Even got a stopsign one time. The clarifier also had an electromagnet inside the pulled out metal.
 
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