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Thread: Cardboard boxes into fuel?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wick
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    104

    Default Cardboard boxes into fuel?

    Has anyone heard about using old, unwanted, cardboard boxes and making into bricks for burning in wood burners?

  2. #2

    Default

    It's too much effort. You can buy the brick makers cheaply, but it takes ages for them to dry out. I use cardboard to get the fire going. I'm sure you could make cardboard bricks beautifully in an industrial plant, but how ecological would they be?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wick
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    577

    Default

    I soaked the boxes for a few hours in an old bath i had then used a pitch fork to break them down. Then i scooped out the cardboard, gave it a quick squeeze to get rid of the bulk of the water and put it in the brick maker. Once the bricks were made i put them on a tray on top of the log burner to dry out if i needed them quickly or on top of the radiators when they were on. In the summer i just put them outside to dry in the sun. I got around 20-30 minutes burning from one brick. I also used sawdust and coal dust mixed in with them too

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wick
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    104

    Default Iv'e heard that there is an industrial type machine available

    They cost around 1000, wonder if a group could get together. Possibility that local traders would be glad to get users to take away their old boxes?

  5. #5

    Default

    That's fine if you're managing to dry them outside in the summer, although I think this is difficult in Caithness. If you dry them inside then surely you are using one calorific energy source to make another and are actually loosing by doing it, not to mention creating damp?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Wick
    Posts
    4,771

    Default

    I think it would have to be done on a semi industrial scale to make it worth while. Waste being an issue to get rid of and fuel prices going through the roof then a brain storming session would be a good idea.


    Shaggy has the right idea to mix cardboard with other cheap combustible material sounds the best way forward.
    A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wick
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    Default

    if you are looking for a huge amount of cardboard, nip into poundstretchers in Wick, they have 4 skiploads a week going to the tip! oh and it you want sawdust and wood shavings, Ashley Anne in the airport ind est has tonnes it cant get rid off
    Last edited by Shaggy; 17-Feb-13 at 23:51.

  8. #8

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    I'm experimenting with this as a way of getting rid of my muck heap at the moment! The test bricks are looking promising

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wick
    Posts
    104

    Default

    This looks more interesting now. Would anyone be interested in taking it further? Maybe, there could be a grant available??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Not Wick
    Posts
    1,689

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
    I soaked the boxes for a few hours in an old bath i had then used a pitch fork to break them down. Then i scooped out the cardboard, gave it a quick squeeze to get rid of the bulk of the water and put it in the brick maker. Once the bricks were made i put them on a tray on top of the log burner to dry out if i needed them quickly or on top of the radiators when they were on. In the summer i just put them outside to dry in the sun. I got around 20-30 minutes burning from one brick. I also used sawdust and coal dust mixed in with them too
    I would also think depending on how well they were compressed would make a difference to how long the burn for.
    A 1991 Gallup survey indicated that 49 percent of Americans didn't know that white bread is made from wheat.

  11. #11

    Default

    They are not really viable, we used to make the bricks with old newspaper years ago, the adverts for the machine claimed free fuel by converting your newspapers and card board into burnable bricks, there rubbish they burn poorly and create lots of ash fo not much calorific heat, if this was a good idea then there would be lots of commercial firms making and selling the paper/cardboard bricks ? how many do you see advertised compaired with logs or coal, this should answer your question ?? like ;lots of greeny ideas they arnt really viable, take wind turbines for example ??? but thats a different topic, back to your logs yes give them a go any free fuel is good, but if taking time and effort into account you wont make them for long

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wick
    Posts
    104

    Default Machinery is needed to make it viable.

    I have done some research, and it is possible to do, but will need some investment. Only viable if a like minded group got together and invested some money, and of course time. Good to see that a collective energy scheme is to become available in the Highlands now.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Not Wick
    Posts
    1,689

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jim10 View Post
    They are not really viable, we used to make the bricks with old newspaper years ago, the adverts for the machine claimed free fuel by converting your newspapers and card board into burnable bricks, there rubbish they burn poorly and create lots of ash fo not much calorific heat, if this was a good idea then there would be lots of commercial firms making and selling the paper/cardboard bricks ? how many do you see advertised compaired with logs or coal, this should answer your question ?? like ;lots of greeny ideas they arnt really viable, take wind turbines for example ??? but thats a different topic, back to your logs yes give them a go any free fuel is good, but if taking time and effort into account you wont make them for long
    Perhaps if the paper and cardboard were soaked in petrol for a week before hand.
    A 1991 Gallup survey indicated that 49 percent of Americans didn't know that white bread is made from wheat.

  14. #14

    Default

    We're burning our first horse poo brick this afternoon and it's chucking out some serious heat Very little odour, it smells a bit like peat burning.

    Guess I know what I'm spending my spare time doing this summer then....!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,384

    Default

    Just go cut some peats - Ready wetted and compressed for you - Just need cutting, drying and taking home!

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