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cdig 09-10-12 01:36 PM

Uses for Sawdust?
I just found a source of FREE sawdust in massive quantity (5 tonne truck load/month, continuous supply). Anyone know of a way to easily turn this material into a heat fuel? Or some other use to save money?

I was initially looking to get a small amount for cleaning up spills on the garage floor, but this just strikes me as an opportunity for something far bigger! Did I mention it's FREE?! :eek:

hamsterpower 09-10-12 02:14 PM

first thought, a wood gasifier, AKA wood gas generator.

cdig 09-10-12 11:18 PM

Interesting idea! Never heard of one till now... Looks complicated. Are they really that efficient?

hamsterpower 09-11-12 05:08 AM

That's the thing about using free stuff that would otherwise enter the waste stream, it doesn't have to be efficient, but I beleive they are.

Ryland 09-11-12 09:35 AM

You can buy a wood pelletizer and make pellets for wood stoves and sell them, the machines cost a few thousand to buy and up to $50,000 but for a dump truck per month you don't need a huge mill, the $10,000 one I looked at gave specs of 300 to 550 pounds per hour, 10,000 pounds per month is only 20 hours of running, but the smaller one on Ebay that is just over $2,000 is saying it can do 300 pounds per out peek... so assuming that is under ideal conditions and less then ideal is half of peek 150 pounds an hour is still plenty fast.
They look to sell for 10 cents per pound... so it would take a few years to pay back your investment, but building anything to use this "free" fuel is going to come at a price as well, so you have to ask if it's a short term investment or a long term investment.

cdig 09-12-12 05:34 PM

I like the wood pellet mill idea... Seriously tho, why the heck do they cost so much??? I'm going to do some investigating in making my own mill. I have an old gas generator that I can use the motor from, some reduction gears from Princess Auto and I should almost be in business... if I can figure out what's in the magical box on those things!

Also thought about putting one of these in my shop.

Sawdust Stove - YouTube

cdig 09-12-12 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by hamsterpower (Post 24213)
That's the thing about using free stuff that would otherwise enter the waste stream, it doesn't have to be efficient, but I beleive they are.

I took a look at wood gasifiers, but it seems to me that they all need to use wood chips rather than fine sawdust. The common design I see is a screen at the bottom of the unit through which ash is allowed to pass... I think sawdust would likely just fall right through there. Amazing concept tho, can't believe I've never heard of it before... something to look into for sure.

cdig 10-02-12 04:56 PM

So it ended up being a bust... the sawdust is not nice granular stuff, rather it is full of splinters and chunks of wood cut-offs. The 'gifter' also tells me that they sometimes cut treated lumber which is full of pcp's - not good for burning I'm thinking. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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