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LPG assisted burning?

 
Posts: 547
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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I've seen these gas stoves in the shops with their faux logs to give the impression of a burning fireplace.

But I wonder if LPG or other gas can be used to improve the efficiency of wood burning stoves.  Rocket stoves, rocket mass heaters etc all smoke at initial start up.   Why couldn't  we add gas nozzles in the burn chamber to improve the combustion to burn the wood gases, and smoke, and maintain the heat above 680 deg C to burn any carbon monoxide?

BBQs have cast iron gas burners that are sold for replacement parts so the components are readily available.  I imagine a thermometer could measure the temperature of the burn chamber and a computer control could control the amount of gas being fed into the burn chamber.  It could also be used to preheat secondary air.
 
master pollinator
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I will be building a biogas plant as a means of dealing with humanure and pig manure. We will probably produce more than enough gas for our cooking needs, but some things do better over a wood or charcoal fire. In order to burn cleanly, I will use biogas for a quick start up, so that it doesn't smoke in the beginning. If I was purchasing propane, I would probably not do this.

I have use a propane torch, to start the fire in a masonry stove. This was quite effective. I wasn't concerned so much about emissions, as about quick start up, when arriving at a frozen cabin in the middle of winter. After using the propane torch, for one minute, I switched to using a small, cordless electric blower as a bellows, in order to run a lot of wood through the system in the beginning.
 
gardener
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I have a friend who was renovating her house. She had an inefficient fireplace which was going to be in an awkward spot due to her plans, so she decided to have it changed into a wood burning pizza oven. It has a gas start but I don't know if it's propane or natural gas. I have been told it gets the wood burning quickly. She hadn't want to remove the fireplace entirely, as we get some bad storms which can easily take out our power for hours to days and she can shut off that area enough to hunker in place using the pizza oven to heat the room. I could ask her more about it if you would like me to.
 
Graham Chiu
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That sounds interesting - wonder how it works.
 
master pollinator
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Graham Chiu wrote:I've seen these gas stoves in the shops with their faux logs to give the impression of a burning fireplace.

But I wonder if LPG or other gas can be used to improve the efficiency of wood burning stoves.  Rocket stoves, rocket mass heaters etc all smoke at initial start up.   Why couldn't  we add gas nozzles in the burn chamber to improve the combustion to burn the wood gases, and smoke, and maintain the heat above 680 deg C to burn any carbon monoxide?

BBQs have cast iron gas burners that are sold for replacement parts so the components are readily available.  I imagine a thermometer could measure the temperature of the burn chamber and a computer control could control the amount of gas being fed into the burn chamber.  It could also be used to preheat secondary air.



That should work!

I had a woodstove at one time that I would do that too to get the stove started. The draft was kind of bad because I had single wall pipe going up the outside of the house, so on really cold mornings, if I had to light the stove, it had poor draft. All I had to do was preheat the chimney, so a piece of paper lit on fire, and held up to the start of the chimney was enough to warm the air, and get the draft going better. A propane torch would have done the same thing.
 
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There used to be a furnace sold around here that burned both wood and propane.  You loaded a whole, unsplit log and it used propane to gasify the log and maintain a secondary burn.  They were really efficient for their day, IF you could get dry wood. Very hard to get wood to dry whole here. And too heavy to load into the furnace if you found it.  You could probably do the same thing as a batch rocket.

Or a biochar retort! I would much rather shovel biochar out of a stove than ash.  Problem with that is figuring out how to get the char out while it's still hot and not catch on fire. I DON'T want to let the stove get stone cold just to empty the char or ash, can't do that below a certain temperature.  
 
Graham Chiu
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Yeah, we should really look at hybrid designs.  RMH etc seem to be somewhat susceptible to external environmental influences such as outside temperatures and inversion zones which can cause smoke back into the house.
 
Evacuate the building! Here, take this tiny ad with you:
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars
http://woodheat.net
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