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Thermawood

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by rmihalek, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. rmihalek

    rmihalek Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Somebody's reinventing the wheel (again!): I just saw on craigslist an ad for Thermawood. It's an extruded compressed wood product supposedly superior to firewood. The vendor made no claims that it could be used in an OWB or woodstove. Has anybody tried this stuff?
     
  2. Keevan

    Keevan ArboristSite Operative

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    what is the price equal to a cord of wood?:popcorn:
     
  3. Beefie

    Beefie Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :popcorn::popcorn:

    This should be interesting.

    Beefie
     
  4. KodiakKen

    KodiakKen ArboristSite Operative

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    I seen it too..but

    it was called eco-brick. looks like an edging paver kinda not very big..I was buying gaskets for the first time in 6 years..darn the luck. the lady in there said they burn for 6 hours. I said ok..so does a flippin candle but what kinda heat does it put out..will it fire the combustor in my epa stove..I doubt it..then I asked her how many repeat customers she had. she glared over at me and said..well it's early in the season..I handed over my free cash and said..btw..that is from the 14 loads of real wood I sold this year and 4 repeat customers but it is early..took my shi* and left as fast as I could before I laughed in her face. Good luck with that stuff.
     
  5. Keevan

    Keevan ArboristSite Operative

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    with real firewood after 12 hrs I still have hot coals left and add more wood. The fire just takes right off.:cheers:
     
  6. themaddhatter

    themaddhatter ArboristSite Operative

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    As a Wood Scientist, I have had some experience with these products.

    Here is the skinny: basically, you are using very similar processes to which you manufacture wood heating pellets. Wood pellets are sawdust passed through a machine called a pellet mill (kind of a shearing extruder that granulates or pelletizes the extrudate). In the case of the thermawood or eco log or whatever the hell each company calls it, you are relying on the same shearing heat to melt the lignin in the wood to act as a binder for the sawdust, but you are instead making a "log" ~ 4" in diameter or so.

    There are some advantages to these logs, namely that they are insect and "bug" free (been cooked out in the process (can be a big deal depending on your local laws in regards to EAB). The logs themselves are much dryer than most "aged" wood (they are going to max out ~ 8% or so unless you leave them out in the rain). A typical piece of wood (as it varies by species or course) will give you ~ 6-7,000 BTU per lb of wood @ 20% MC or so. Since it takes ~ 1,000 BTU to flash off 1 lb of water, the dryer your wood, the better. For the 20% moisture, you are taking away 2-5% of the total BTUs your wood can give.

    Also, they have no bark, making them lower in ash % compared to a regular (not debarked) piece of firewood.

    That aside, the stuff is way more expensive than firewood. Figure it goes for $400-$500 a ton. Even though it has more BTUs, a ton isn't even equivalent to a cord of firewood by BTUs. So you need a little over a ton and a half of "faux wood" to get the same BTUs as good dry firewood.

    So unless your firewood costs more than $600 a cord, you are better off with the real thing.
     
  7. rmihalek

    rmihalek Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanks MadHatter. I kinda guessed this stuff was more for the casual fire burner rather than the serious wood heaters like those that prowl this forum. I wouldn't risk putting any kind of engineered wood product in my stove; the maple, ash, oak and hickory burn just fine- the way God engineered it to.
     
  8. Unadillawood

    Unadillawood New Member

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    Themawood is not for everybody?

    Thermawood is a Brand of Compressed wood logs that work well, yes it is true they are not for everyone.

    Firewood a name given to wood cut split and stored for burning it is for everyone, I have cut stacked and I have moved firewood since Kennedy was President.

    There is no better way to heat than firewood, here comes the "but" I am getting older and those around be too , kids are not as interested in this type of work as in the old days.

    So this old wood burner decided to create Unadillawood an all wood compressed log used in wood stove and wood burning applications.

    I do not and did not intend to harm businesses with it's creation it is a needed ,better way to burn wood.
    Or so I thought,it has been a long ,long road.

    Earlier in my venture a company had an interest in what Unadillawood was doing,we created the Thermawood brand, they with the marketing and me with the production.

    I have learned allot doing this , lessons that can only be learned through doing/trying something.

    It has not ,is and not easier than cutting/making firewood I assure you.

    But it is ,a better way for those who want to burn wood with out the work,bugs and mess. It is easier to store and cleaner to burn.
    It cost no more in using than firewood I assure you as time is money.

    Some who get their wood for free will argue that point , I know kids I grew up with that do not have to work for a living too, life is not fair right ?

    If I can keep an older person who wants to sit by a cozy fire or gain a younger persons attention by showing them a better/different way I have done a good job.

    All that is wood is good, Unadillawood takes the waste from wood working and makes a good burning product, that is all.

    Unadillawood is a mixture of a young man's upbringing , a desire to help,and the wisdom to know that if you try, you will succeed.

    And to find out that when you succeed ,it does not mean success.

    The only success it may bring you, is finding out how to be a better person.

    And that you can make a better way for some.

    "Unadillawood Good All The Time"
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  9. Hddnis

    Hddnis Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Around here a ton of pellets costs ~$180.00 a ton. I can't imagine the compressed wood costs much, if any, more.

    As far as heating with wood vs. pellets, I have penciled it out and factoring in my time, fuel, saws, etc. I can heat far cheaper with pellets per BTU.

    I would imagine that it is the same with compressed logs if you buy them in quantity.

    Now, I still cut lots of wood and heat many of my buildings with it, so I'm not at all down on wood. But if we want to promote wood as a good domestic energy source we have to make it really easy to use. Any product that works toward that end is a good one.



    Mr. HE:cool:
     
  10. Iker316

    Iker316 New Member

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    Since the winters don't get as cooled in Alabama and their are a lot of sawmills down here and a lot of people with fireplaces, do you think there is a Business Opp to start a Unadillawood in Huntsville, AL area?

    What type of machine do you use to make the logs? CFNielsen?

    I thought I would buy into this for the weekend fireplace burning person.
     
  11. Dogsout

    Dogsout Can't Fix Stupid!!

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    Check out CPM (California Pellet Mill) I don't know for sure but I would think that they would carry some type of mill to do this job. We use their machine to pellet soybean hulls here in Iowa. I maintain the one in our plant and I can vouch for the reliability of our machine.
     
  12. Iker316

    Iker316 New Member

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    Thanks, maybe some day I will look at a Pellet Mill but they aren't popular in AL. I'm looking for a FireLogs sized machine that can make a Thermawood sized log. like I said, a look of people with fireplaces down here for Ambiance not heating whole house.
     
  13. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Compressed log machine, look at brick making machinery that is one way another is like a giant pellet unit - extrusion. Either way requires some serious pressure source for compression of the raw material. As they say the devil is in the details, which are several:
    Particulate size of raw material
    Moisture content of raw material ( there is an optimum range, equipment dependant)
    Binding agent ( if you go that route) or added heat in the compression stage to make raw material bind together
    Cooling/Drying of compressed product
    Packaging
    Transport
    Marketing
    Just a rough overview.
     
  14. dancan

    dancan Tree Freak

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    What would it take (If doable) to use wood chips as a starting material ?
     
  15. Chris-PA

    Chris-PA Where the Wild Things Are

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    A tree collects solar energy and stores it in the carbon bonds that make up the mass of the wood. When you burn it you release that energy again. Wood heat is solar energy. These other schemes are all using fossil fuels to create the engineered wood product. Even kiln drying does that. Yes, probably most of the energy contained in them is still solar energy, but there is no need to corrupt an elegant solution with some fossil fuel energy inputs.
     

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