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Bamboo - as a fuel ?

 
pollinator
Posts: 4328
Location: Anjou ,France
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We have a big stand of Bamboo here on site and I was wondering would it make a good fuel ?
any one tried it

David
 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I would think so, provided it is allowed time to dry. In my limited experience bamboo dried surprisingly slowly - the outer skin seems like it is a bit water proof. I'd consider making a simple rack to hold cut bundles up off the ground to dry with good air circulation.
 
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Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
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Dried adequately it burns hot and fast. Might be ideal for a RMS but I only use it for kindling.
 
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Geoff Lawton shows bamboo used as fuel in his Power of Bamboo video (not sure if it's in this trailer):
 
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Bamboo is too valuable to burn in my opinion. The fact that it is hollow means that it has excellent structural properties for its weight, but hollowness is the last thing you want for a fuel. You want mass, and the more the better. That's why the heaviest woods like oak and hickory come up on top of the wood burning list. The only good reason for burning bamboo is if you want to simply get rid of it.
 
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If you want to try making Bamboo Charcoal, you may end up with a fantastic, high quality product. You could use it for fuel, art, and even as a filter. Maybe you could build a pyrolisis chamber that would provide heat while cooking the charcoal.
 
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Yeah, it works well.  We use it in our RMH.  It must be split before burning, or the culms act like little chimneys.  It burns extremely hot and fast.  
 
master pollinator
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Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
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Yep, burns great as long as it's well dried. You'll know when a piece still has moisture in it, because as the steam builds up in a segment it will explode. Lends a bit of excitement to the RMH burning experience.

My favourite thing about the bamboo that I've been burning recently is that the slender culms are nice and slippery, so when I put them in between the somewhat gnarly pruning offcuts they still slide down the feed tube on their own and keep the fire going nicely. Burns hot with low ash, too. Not sure about the species but I've been cutting big piles of it at a friend's place and most of the culms are 1 cm or narrower.
 
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