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making stove fuel out of cardboard

 
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My local grocery store throws out cardboard by the ton (see attachment). I'm wondering how much trouble it would be to make fuel for my rocket stove out of this. I suppose you could soak it in 55 gallon drums filled with water and then compress it into logs or pellets small enough to feed into the stove. I'm also wondering if you could mix it with crushed coal since they have a lot of coal mines around here and I can get it pretty cheap.
cardboard1.jpg
[Thumbnail for cardboard1.jpg]
palletized cardboard boxes
 
gardener
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Any idea why they aren't recycling it?  
 
pollinator
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If you do use the cardboard bales for anything, be really careful cutting the baling wires.  So much tension.
 
Dan Hampleman
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Well, I don't know if they are or not, all I know is every couple of weeks a big trailer truck comes by with a forklift and hauls it all off. By that time there's about 10 or 15 of these pallets. I'm going to have to ask them if I could have some of it. If they sell it to whoever hauls it off, then maybe I could buy it for however many $/ton they get for it. If they have to pay the big truck to haul it off then they should gladly let me have it for nothing. I just need to figure out a way to haul it off and process it first.
 
Dan Hampleman
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Jan White wrote:If you do use the cardboard bales for anything, be really careful cutting the baling wires.  So much tension.

Yeah, 10-4 on that.
 
pollinator
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The ash content of that lot would be really high. You will struggle to get a clean burn, and will end up with lots of ash.

I prefer to use cardboard in the garden as a weed barrier.
 
pollinator
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I'm hoping to build my RMH soon and like this idea too because I am the QUEEN of re-purposing!   I made my first "Fire Log" in Girl Scouts 100 yrs ago and this has crossed my mind too.  Good for starter sticks?   There are tons of videos out there on how to make them, basically shred, soak, compress into a mold.

Michael are you basing the high ash volume on regular fireplace burning or in an RMH?   Does the extreme heat not make a difference?   Another question I have is what size and shape to make them because I don't think a long skinny stick would be possible without a stiff binder and I don't know what that would be other than a wax, or tree sap (where would one get that)  or maybe a flour paste?   And even if you could work out those details,  I'm skeptical that a paper log would burn long enough to make it worth the effort of making them.  

The big box stores and groceries sell their paper to a recycler, so that's not a resource for individuals, b
ut smaller local stores toss stuff loose into their dumpsters outside.   I got a lot for sheet mulching cruising behind shopping centers, lol.
 
Michael Cox
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I have various experiences with cardboard. We use it in the house for lighting fires in a conventional stove, but I also use it regularly in my smoker for my bees as fuel. After a session the cardboard leaves a substantial amount of ash, which makes it good for the smoker (the fuel burns slowly) but less good for a situation where you want full and fast combustion. For comparison, when I use half and half cardboard with compressed woodpellets I get very little ash from the pellets and lots from cardboard.

I suspect that some of the additives in the cardboard include clay compounds - certainly the case with most papers - which explains where the ash comes from.
 
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Clay. Yes, indeed.  Depending on the formulation of the cardboard stock, there can be a considerable amount of clay involved.  I have my doubts whether this can be used as an efficient fuel.  Do let us know what comes of it if you decide to try it out.
 
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