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Author Topic: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves  (Read 2928 times)

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Offline GF

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Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« on: September 29, 2004, 07:33:31 AM »
Has anyone built a low end pellet processing machine for pellet stoves that would use sawdust from there sawmill?  Curious if anyone has attempted this, with the rising cost of propane etc the thought has been bouncing around in my head to attempt this.   :o

Offline Murf

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2004, 07:43:05 AM »
Pellets that you buy are almost always 100% hardwood, not just for burn quality but because if your fuel supply was constantly changing throughout the fuel charge, you would need to constantly vary the feed rate to accomodate the different BTU outputs.

If you produce very much sawdust, you can often make a deal with some local producer, they take your sawdust and pay you in pellets. Even if you only cut softwood, there is a market for that too for animal bedding and such.

Best of luck.
If you're going to break a law..... make sure it's Murphy's Law.

Offline GF

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2004, 07:49:42 AM »
I pretty much cut white oak and red oak trees.

Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2004, 08:42:34 AM »
i ran a pelletizing plant at one time, in our operation we used a large upright PAN and spun in varying speeds to get different sized pellets, we used esentially MARMALITE stuff to bind them together then conveyed them through a oven dryer............(we pelletized lime dust but I would think it would be the same regardless of the powder/dust used in proccess. :)
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Offline FiremanEd

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2004, 07:03:12 PM »
GF,

I've been looking for the same thing with no luck. If you find anything let us know.

Timber Harvester has a press that produces 2.5" discs that have been pressed through a tapered pipe to 40,000psi per their guy at the Richmond Expo this May. I asked them what the market was for the product.... "uh,,,," was the response. Any ideas anyone?
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Offline slowzuki

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2004, 07:19:21 PM »
The lignin (sp?) in the wood fibre is the bonding agent.  The correct moisture content is obtained by steam injection.  The pellets are extruded through a die and break off at the right intervals when the moisture level is correct.

I can't remember the pressures they used, but high!
Ken

Offline GF

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2004, 08:17:29 AM »
So it sounds like I need to create a die along with some high pressure to extrude, sounds like a job for my metal lathe and milling machine, and some hydraulics.

Offline raycon

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2004, 10:14:15 AM »
http://www.pelletheat.com/howto.htm

The link shows no details but has pictures  ;D

Extrusion (screw),die and shear and you have pellet making capacity?
I had an old brown and sharpe universal mill we set up to make an extrusion screw once (thermoplastic) it was'nt that big a deal to hog it out once we figured out what we wanted. If you go down that route I have a design guide somewhere (extrusion screw).
Lot of stuff..

Offline GF

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2004, 12:20:32 PM »
Ray,
  I sent you a message about the design. Thanks

Offline FiremanEd

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2004, 08:27:52 AM »
I tracked down the manufacturer of the machine I saw in Richmond this spring. It's sold by HighPoint who mainly makes/sells moulders, edgers, resaws etc and sell in conjunction with Timber Harvester.  www.highpointinc.com

They currently have two machines. One produces 2.5" logs like those you can get for a fireplace and the other produces the same diameter product that breaks off into hockey puck sized hungs of compressed sawdust. Both will burn in a regular wood stove. They did say that I was the 10th or 11th person to call in the last month asking about a machine to make the normal pellet stove pellets. They are looking into modifing their existing machines or building another from the ground up. No word on an ETA but he's supposed to call me as soon as they have something.

If/when I get a call I'll pass it on to everyone here.
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2004, 07:06:36 PM »
  Just how big ARE them pellets??? Saw sumpin on the toob a few minutes ago, that MIGHT be whatcher lookin for ;D ;D ;D
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Offline Jason_WI

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2004, 07:18:57 PM »
My uncle has a 100 ton hudraulic press. I could make a die and press out one at a time :D :D With the amount of sawdust that I make I would surly freeze this winter... ::)

Jason

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Offline GF

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2004, 06:47:19 AM »
Might have to come up with something to heat with, propane is Oklahoma from one vendor I checked it $1.75 gallon, and its stil in the 70's and 80's, nights in the 50's to 60's.  

Offline GF

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2004, 06:49:16 AM »
FiremanEd
  Let us know when you find something out.

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2004, 09:54:17 AM »
STILL ain't heard how BIG them pellets are ??? ???
All truth passes through three stages:
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   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Offline Haytrader

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2004, 12:10:32 PM »
I'll betcha the same equipment used to make cattle cake would make wood pellets.

I just contracted 25 ton of 5/8" cake for my cows.
Here they have 3/4", 5/8", 3/8", and 1/4" dies for the pellet mill.

http://www.aaronequipment.com/inventory.asp?stockNumber=68710&categoryID=50&subcategoryID=26

Here is a used mill for sale.
Sprout Waldron is one name I remember making mills.

All kind of equipment here.
http://www.ex-factory.com/NonFrames/WH.htm
Haytrader

Offline Murf

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2004, 12:44:21 PM »
The big problem is going to be fuel quality.

My brother-in-law (outlaw??) has a corn stove, and if the corn is a little dusty or has much in the way of debris in it the whole fuel delivery system goes south and the thing just shuts down.

I also know a few people with pellet stoves and it's exactly the same, if there is even a little sawdust or a few stray chips in there, even a good sized sliver, the whole operation stops.

I wouldn't want to try to use it as the primary source of heat if it was a little tempermental.
If you're going to break a law..... make sure it's Murphy's Law.

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2004, 02:26:45 PM »
  For what it's worth, I saw a "pasta" machine that took a slurry mixture and compressed the Spaghetti strings through the die. There was a 4 legged cutter, like in a meat grinder, that turned against the bottom of the die and cut the strings to length. It was adjustable for different lengths. They were making fish feed pellets. ;D ;D

 They said the pasta machines were not used much anymore. Should be able to find 1 or 2 pretty easy ???
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2004, 03:09:04 PM »
Im thinkin a low pressure press of some sort would make pellets if you used a binder........a liquid of some sticky sort and made doough and let it dry....... ??? ??? ???
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Making Pellets For Pellet Stoves
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2004, 05:55:37 PM »
Anybody up for some reading?  :P   Seems that there is some info done on this by the Department of Energy -  A handbook for small-scale densified biomass fuel (pellets) manufacturing for local markets.

Here's the link:  http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=10115219

PDF file with 7714K  I'm downloading mine right now.  
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.


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