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Using paper fuel bricks in biomass boilers

 
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powerman



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:12 pm    Post subject: Using paper fuel bricks in biomass boilers Reply with quote

As part of a university project I am looking into the possibility of using waste paper and cardboard in the form of compressed blocks as a fuel source for biomass systems.

I understand that a biomass boiler or heater could not solely be run on the waste paper and cardboard produced by a home but believe that it could reduce the amount of traditional fuel required for these systems by around 10% a year. In addition it would reduce the amount waste sent to landfill/ recycled and be a more efficient way of using this waste material.

What are people's opinions on reusing this waste material as fuel?
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 4307
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

20 years ago lots of eco types had a paper briquette maker.

Waste paper is soaked, squashed and left to dry in a sunny place.

Bit of a non-starter in our soggy climate. It would take weeks or months to dry them out , and left outhouses permanently damp.

Took hours of work and provided minutes of heat.

I burn paper and card in our wood burner. It provides quite a lot of heat but needs constant topping up. The glossy papers produce huge amounts of ash from the caulking. The paper and card we generate in a week might keep a small wood burner going for an hour. A lot less effort to put the paper in the recycling bin. The ash still ends up in landfill.

Paper waste in a commercial scale local CHP plant with district heating might make sense, if you could source enough waste in an area without burning too much fossil fuel collecting it.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burning perfectly reusable resources will never make sense. However, if you can plant more trees than you use in the production of this 'biomass', I'll go along with it.

It is hard to get your head around the number of trees you need for comics like The Sun.

Oh, and welcome to PowerSwitch, powerman. Cool
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SleeperService



Joined: 02 May 2011
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Location: Nottingham UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking of getting this as a present for some green friends

http://www.greenshop.co.uk/energy-recycling-96/recycling-and-waste-reduction-109/recycling-110/the-famous-log-maker-2651.html?osCsid=67od7h5moa24f1evte3iv7ol25

should I reconsider in light of above?
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a useful device if you have the dedicated area to make the blocks and the inclination to continually do so (the supply of newspapers is usually not a problem, there are so many).

Otherwise, it's more bling.

You need somewhere to soak the paper and to stir the mush; an old bath or something similar, plus somewhere to store it.

Then you need a low bench on which to make the blocks. Try making them on the ground and you'll do your back in eventually. The water should run off back into the unused mush.

Then you need a mesh or slatted area on which to dry the blocks.

All in all, probably not worth it unless you have an area in a polytunnel you can dedicate to the process, or somewhere similar where you get dry conditions and can fit all the bits.
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SleeperService



Joined: 02 May 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reality check people Embarassed

The paper was from their business which has to be shredded and then burnt. The bricks were going to be an intermediate stage. I'm going round to see them at the weekend so will ask some pointed questions.

It was on the present list but I'll still check.

Interesting how these apparently good ideas aren't so good on a second opinion or two Confused
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have one at Chateau Renewable, and it speaks volumes that after the 1st burst of enthusiasm, during a particularly wet summer (which meant some of the blocks went mouldy before they dried) I haven't used it all that much.

We use the Yorkshire Post for starting the stove (I find the op-eds by Bernie Ingham go up particularly well, though I suspect the ash might be slightly radioactive).

Newspaper has many other uses, lining the compost-caddie/composting loo, for example. If someone's producing enough waste-paper to generate noticeable amounts of heat for their business, they need to rethink their whole way of doing things. Unless, of course, their business is other people's waste paper. In which case we all need to rethink...I'll stop there.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
We use the Yorkshire Post for starting the stove (I find the op-eds by Bernie Ingham go up particularly well, though I suspect the ash might be slightly radioactive).

Newspaper has many other uses, lining the compost-caddie/composting loo, for example.


Great minds...

We use the local paper to light the fire (and, with a scrunched-up sheet, to clean the glass). We get piles of these papers for free, because they always print too many.

When they decide to stop this service, then we've always got neighbours who, having paid for this dross, then pay someone to take it away in their bins! Mad or what? So we'll end up doing them a favour, lightening their 'green' bin.

Anyway, we haven't reached peak newsprint yet, not round here.
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SleeperService



Joined: 02 May 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All

Well, they're professional types and they need to keep records ON PAPER by law for a minimum of seven years Shocked Apparently electronic media is under consideration by TPTB.

After a bit of thought the offending item is off the present list, victory for reason Very Happy

To be fair to them their recycling bin has hardly anything in it, newspapers, we get three freebies round here, are all used for other things including storing fruit and veg before starting the fire.

I think we may have a couple of extra lurkers and maybe members though.

RC, perhaps the mouldy blocks were just trying to look more loglike Confused
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SleeperService wrote:
RC, perhaps the mouldy blocks were just trying to look more loglike Confused
Yup. They certaainly "went up" OK once they were dry.
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