RMH uses EIGHT TIMES less wood to heat a house than a wood stove

paul wheaton

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
148
Reaction score
20
Points
140
Location
missoula, montana
Your concern is valid. Hence the work being done by E&E to get cleaner and cleaner burns. And then extract out more and more heat.

The latest RMH design burns so clean that on a cold day you don't even see steam coming out. Nor do you see wavy heat lines (because the heat was extracted). It's as if there is no exhaust.

Here is a two minute video I cobbled together about 18 months ago that demonstrates how clean these are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGaGtO8MkQk
 

k15n1

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
971
Reaction score
19
Points
115
Steveca said:
paul wheaton said:
I'm pretty sure I recorded a podcast with Ernie and Erica talking about burning all sorts of things. Ernie seems especially interested in coming up with a design that will burn almost any kind of garbage - especially plastics.

We made something a week ago that had a fire so hot that we put a thick iron rod in it and it was bright orange in about 30 seconds. And this was from a handful of twigs. A blacksmith was there and commissioned E&E to design a new forge for him that does not need coal or bellows.

The point is: yes, I think it is possible; yes, I think a lot more is also possible.
Being able to burn plastics would be great. We literally have an unending supply and we take literally a ton, at least, to the dump every month. I know the concept is there but being able to do it cleanly enough to not have annoying exhaust and excessive crud buildup would be the major issues that would need to be overcome. From burning used engine oil in my 2300 F forge, I know there is some material that doesn't get burned and gets left behind as scale type buildup, I don't want to think of what may be left behind burning plastic.
I'm OT, but I thought I'd chime in about burning plastics. It has more serious drawbacks than "annoying exhaust". Example: dioxin production is a problem when certain types of plastics are burned. The temperature in the combustion chamber is only part of the equation. Cooling rate of the exhaust gasses also plays a role. There's only minimal overlap between a RMH and a proper incinerator---just the fire, actually, and even that isn't nearly as hot. Oh, and the scrubbers that collect fly ash and prevent certain chemical vapors from escaping. Although it's tempting to burn energy-rich items in a stove, it's probably best left to the professionals. You could do it, but it wouldn't be easy cheap or ready any time soon. I think we will eventually begin harvesting residential waste, but energy is still too cheap to bother with that.

As far as burning waste oil, check out the many youbtube videos. Some are messier than others.
 

Marianne

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Messages
3,268
Reaction score
348
Points
277
Location
rural Abilene, KS, 67410 USA
Yeah, I'm kind of nervous about burning plastic, too. We recycle instead of burning it, but the main goal is to bring as little as possible into the house to begin with.

There is/was a company that developed a 'microwave oven' that would literally take the crude oil back out of plastic, tires, etc. (Maybe Global Resource Corp??) I remember reading that they got a couple big contracts at recycling centers in Canada, France and somewhere in the US. I haven't read anything about them for a long time. DH said he thinks they changed directions.

I love the concept of the RMH. I'm rural so it's pretty easy to scrounge up a bit of wood. I would be using fuel to get waste oil, etc from town.

Love your videos, Paul.
 

paul wheaton

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
148
Reaction score
20
Points
140
Location
missoula, montana
I just started another rocket mass heater kickstarter.

The last one from a few years ago was just a video of a workshop and we sold way more than I thought we would. So now we are making an effort to make something much more professional. These videos would be in addition to the videos from before - not a replacement.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/rocket-mass-heaters-4-dvd-set
 

Latest posts

Top