I take your point, Redhawk. I was asking because I'm looking for a source of sawdust for composting, without a lot of pre-processing. If my problem was that I HAD a lot of MDF sawdust already, I would definitely try your techniques to remediate it.
@Chris Kott: I think I'm asking the opposite question. I want to compost humanure and NOT get methane, but deal with any methane that I do get by not releasing it into the atmosphere, where it's a powerful greenhouse gas. But it sounds like (a) not much methane can be made from the manure of a few humans, even if you try, and (b) that will be much less or negligible if the pile is aerobic. Does that sound right?
Suppose we don't try to use the methane for any productive purpose, but just want to burn it to prevent it getting into the atmosphere. My understanding is that the resulting carbon dioxide would be a less potent greenhouse gas. Is that possible?
My family owns 65 acres of land in northern New York State, near the town of Keeseville, about 40 miles from the Canadian border. We have long dreamed of building a vacation home there, but for various reasons that's not going to work out. The land has long frontage on the Ausable river, some wetlands, some forest woodlands, and some meadow. It has a good road and electric lines. There is an old barn that has been dismantled for lumber. Other than that, it is undeveloped. We are very reluctant to sell it because we love it, but we don't want the land to sit unused and unproductive.
So I am now exploring the idea of offering the land for lease to community members who have the skills and desires to create a permaculture farm, but lack the land. Perhaps it could be broken into 5 or 10 acres parcels. I would only be interested in a very nominal rent or share of proceeds, as long as the land was being put to good use.
I'm not sure how this would work, exactly, but I would like to float the idea and assess interest from the community and/or ideas about how such an arrangement could be structured.
Thanks for the info. Here's what I have observed, relevant to your suggestions:
Sometimes it has to do with the house being a partial vacuum.
Interesting. I can't imagine this creaky old place is sealed tight enough for that, but I'll give it a try.
Open the flue all the way for about a minute before you open the door.
There is no flue control! There's a damper, which I open before adding wood, and there's the cleanout, which I also open. The fire clearly flames up, but the smoke still pours out. I wonder if the missing flue control is a sign of a botched job. Or maybe it's just always open.
Burn only clean DRY wood. Wet wood will always make more smoke and the water vapor slows the exhaust of smoke up the chimney.
I think the wood is pretty dry. The guy who supplied it swore up and down that it's been seasoning for years.
Don't stack the wood close to the front of the stove. Burning the fire in the rear of the stove keeps the smoke flowing up the chimney.
This is hard to do, because I'm trying to close the damn door as quickly as possible because of all the smoke!
try opening the stove door only a crack for a minute or so before fully opening it
This is exactly what I do, but once I open it, it still smokes.
Jotel has a lot of good info on their website
I spoke to the local distributor, and he thinks there's an opening somewhere in the chimney, in the basement, that's causing a downdraft. So I've called the chimney sweeps again. This seems related to your first suggestion though: something is causing the pressure inside the box to be higher than the outside. I hope someone can track it down.
I just moved into a house in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and it's getting cold, and there is no central heat! There's a woodstove, but I'm finding that I can't use it because it smokes so much. No matter what I do, every time I open the door to add wood or stoke the fire, so much smoke pours out that it really pollutes the air in the house. This is a problem, because we've got a ton of wood and we really need to be able to burn it to keep the house warm.
The stove is a Jøtul F 400 model, if that is helpful, and I'm attaching a picture below. That 90 degree bend in the stovepipe can't be good, and there's another 90 degree turn to send it back up the chimney, which is 3 stories high and stone and massive.
Things I have tried:
Having a chimney sweep clean the stove and chimney. He said all is well (doesn't mean he's right, but that is his job).
Starting a small fire from kindling and waiting for embers before adding more wood.
Opening the door a crack and waiting for the temperature and pressure to equalize.
Opening the cleanout door under the unit, to allow air in from the bottom to create an updraft.
But nothing works: any attempt to open that door billows smoke into the room.
Is there anything else to try, or is something just wrong with this setup?