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biomass briquettes/logs

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biomass briquettes/logs

Postby smeagol21b » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:03 pm

Ok ive been building shed/workshop out of pallets and when finished will be putting in a stove of some sort, i have some fire wood Stacked and dried but this wont last foreve and i dont have a way to gather more (no way to haul it)....a friend of mine mentioned biomass briquettes or logs so i started looking up the process and it seems very straight forward and i have access to large amounts of newspaper and sawdust/wood turnings.... has anyone had any experience with this? How well do they work? And rough ideas on heat output compared to wood logs? Again this is for an outdoor workshop measuring about 18'x21'x12' so im not looking to have it warm enought to work in the buff just comfortable and not freezing off my jingle bells!
I plan on making a press using a section of pvc pipe and a caulking gun so i will touch back from time to time to report my progress/failures with this project! Any knowledge and advice is alway welcome!
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby Das Sheep » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:20 pm

You can use wax to help bind the wood and paper together, and it also waterproofs them. Paraffin wax works well.
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby smeagol21b » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:23 pm

Das Sheep wrote:You can use wax to help bind the wood and paper together, and it also waterproofs them. Paraffin wax works well.

Now im assuming you do this after drying,do you just dip them in the wax ? i read that it takes like 3 months to dry a 3x6x1 inch briquette....this cant be right can it? Also read about using bio disle instead of water to soak the papers in i guess it make them burn better?
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby Ronin4hire » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:13 pm

I sorta recall seeing saturated newsprint "mud" put into a PVC tube and having the water compressed out of it with blocks squeezed by C-clamp?
Methinks it was on one of the NatGeo prepper style shows... Once dried, the result was 4inch "puck" that could be used in stove/ovens.
Id guess you can mix in sawdust or tiny lumber scraps as well.
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby jean11 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:16 pm

Last April my hubby made a bio press using pvc, 1 ton jack and a 2x4 press frame. Youtube has several video's titled "Peterson bio press". We use newspapers, brown grocery bags, used paper plates and egg cartons. We soak these items for about 4 days and after tearing them in small, more manageable pieces we work together to use the press and we can make about 30 "donuts" in about 40 minutes. The donuts are about 4inches x 2 1/2 inches and we can make 3 of these at a time. We live in a dry area and it takes about a week for the biomass donuts to dry. I think they are good for starting fires, or to fuel a small cooking stove. But I don't think you'll get the "heat" you'd need to warm a room. One of our donuts will burn in about 7 minutes.
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby Das Sheep » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:53 pm

Mine are made for cooking, not heating. I also use saw dust, dryer lint and cardboard but not like mail and stuff. I am not sure colored paper is good to burn when you are using it for cooking. Chemicals and such. I also lack any sort of fancy press machine.

Anyway I dont use water at all. I just use a big pot on the stove with melted Paraffin wax and stir in as much saw dust, lint and little carboard pieces as I can fit and still be a little waxy. You want all the particles to be coated in wax, but not to have like a lot of just liquid wax. It should sort of be like the consistancy of oatmeal cookie batter. Its best to melt the wax first and stir in the saw dust/lint/cardboard a little at a time since its really hard to get more wax to melt once you have it all going. Well not hard, just time consuming. Afterwards I smoosh it all onto a cookie sheet which I have lined with wax paper (it wont easly come off the cookie sheet if you dont have the wax paper there). Once you have it sort of even on the cookie sheet, put another piece of wax paper on top, take it outside, put a sheet of plywood on it, and stand on the plywood. I wiegh 190ish and I have not broken any of my steel cookie sheets doing this, though it probably would break thin dollar store ones. You have to go sort of fast as once the wax starts cooling your stuff becomes solid really quick.

The wax never fully comes out of the pot or off the spoon, so dont use ones you want to use for anything else, and dont wash them in the dishwasher or it might melt the wax only to have it harden again in your pipes.

Other options I have considered, but not tried, would be using a cupcake tin and putting cupcake paper things and scooping the wax/wood mixture into them and having cupcake shaped cooking blocks.

I dont know how long it burns for in total, but one square block burns for more then half an hour, usually. Never really timed it. I store them in the wax paper, sort of wrapped up. In theory they should be water proof. I figure I would break my big pieces into little pieces for cooking.

I was inspired by the ready stove disk things, and being cheap.

EDIT:
Here is a video by some people doing it wrong that sort of shows the concept. I would make my own video but I am super lazy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSjDTddZoRk

They use too much wax, or really not enough shavings, so they have trouble getting it lit, and dont put wax paper down, so they probably have a (Censored word. I'm a potty mouth) of a time getting it out of that glass dish, but you can see the concept. Bee's wax is also stupid expensive compared to Parrafin.
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby cityhomesteader » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:40 pm

I use any paper that burns.. except plastic coated stuff. We all know that this old ball of dirt is in deep kimchee.. All my plain paper and news print , cardboard etc gets fed to my worm friends..
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby karlsgunbunker » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:50 pm

I have some plans for building a press and have considered making one out of buckets.
I've also been looking at these:
http://www.kotulas.com/deals/paper-log-maker

http://www.kotulas.com/deals/4in1-paper-log-maker

I wonder how well they work and how durable they would be?
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby smeagol21b » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:13 am

Lots of great ideas and info! While on facebook i was talking to a guy (i think it was a guy, not really sure) over seas about this subject and mention NOT letting them dry 100% but rather around 85-90% dry....said they burn longer. I might not be able to heat with but would make great fire starter,need to work on a stove too....seems like sawdust is really the way to go for heat, cant find the link but saw a stove ran on nothing but compressed sawdust! Not quite briquettes but same concept....hmm....same method as making the donuts but instead using a 55 gallon drum.....wonder how well that would work? Lol
i remember when i used to camp out in mountains i would make pine pitch and mix newspaper into it and letting it dry solid, once lit it burns hot and long great for use with wet tinder!
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby kr105 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:31 am

I looked into this too. The basic recipe is to soak shredded newspapers for 3 days. Mix in dead dried leaves if you have them, the pour the mixture into a pvc pipe and compress the water out. Then air dry them befor cutting them up as pucks. One of the first doomsday prepper shows (season one) had it. There is also an article about US Soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq doing it as a community assistance project.
The press part has to be built (a la rube goldberg).

There is another alternative. They make and sell presses for making newspaper logs.
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby joemarine1990 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:08 am

There are many ways to do it, especially when you build your own design. However, for most people it's simpler to buy something already made. Northern Tool & Equipment has a manual briquette maker that looks pretty good. There are similar designs available online, however they have one that makes 8 briquettes at once, and they are not little round or square ones, they are rectangular and look to be the size of 2 or 3 of the briquettes you get from many of the other manually operated presses available. I intend to order one this week because it's on sale for about 40% off. Here's a link, check it out.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200617633

If you want to create round log briquettes, I haven't found an affordable one yet available commercially, but there are enough designs on YouTube that you could easily design and build one if you are handy and have some metal working tools. If anyone knows where you can buy a machine that could press out 16" logs, please let me know.
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Re: biomass briquettes/logs

Postby rickdun » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:09 am

Glad this thread came up. I have a garage that's 24'X30', I heat with a wood burner and had always used nothing but wood.

About 5 years ago a friend of mine said to use just old newspapers, I told him he was crazy. He showed me how to roll them by hand and now that's all I use to heat my garage.

My newspapers, after being rolled by hand are 12 1/2" long and 4" to 5" in diameter and are tied with twistie ties.

Once I get a get a good set of coals, I put one log on the fire then 4 or 5 paper logs on top, holds a fire for 8 to 10 hours.

The only draw back is taking out the ashes, the burnt newspaper just wants to blow all over the place. I have about 3 pickup loads of rolled newspapers on hand for this winter, stored in one of my sheds. ;)
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