PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

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PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by hawkiye on Sat 03 May 2008, 2:09 am

PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

January/February 1975

031-092-01-peat-bog
Image Gallery
The peat bog shown here has been partially drained and is actually several feet deeper than it looks. A bed of this thickness can contain 1,000 tons of fuel per acre . . . equal to 500 tons of coal!

If you've got a wood or coal-burning stove these days you've got a problem. Coal just ain't what it used to be (cheap!) and good wood sometimes can be hard to come by . . . even though it does grow on trees. So how can you keep the home fires burning? Go digging. For peat's sake..

Peat is so common in the United States and Canada that most people can't see the resource for looking at it. There are an estimated eighty million acres of deposit; right here in the continental U.S. Most of this vast natural supply goes unused . . . although some people do throw a few bushels of the muck on their gardens for fertilizer and others use the more fibrous and mossy varieties as a dressing for flowerbeds. What most folks don't know, however, is that peat can be a clean-burning, efficient and low-cost fuel!

Last summer I often passed a swamp where a man was digging muck for sale as topsoil. I wondered if the wet material could be the "peat" I had heard was used for fuel in other parts of the world . . . so I obtained a few hundred pounds and dried it. The idea worked! Once lit, the chunks glowed like charcoal and gave off gases that burned with a flickering blue flame!

Peat is nothing more than partially decayed and compacted vegetable matter which—over a period of time—has accumulated where soil is wet enough to retard oxidation. Its color and consistency can be black and mucky or brown and fibrous or anything in between. Individual moors, bogs, swamps and shallow ponds each produce their own "copyrighted" variety of the material. In fact, varying types of peat are often found in layers—each formed as a result of a change in climate or vegetation-within the same marsh. You might even discover that the "turf" differs from one area of a single bed to another . . . and the bed itself might be a few inches to several feet deep. In its natural state, peat is around 95% water by weight (most of which must be dried out before burning) and frequently contains some sand.

read the rest of the Article here
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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by greendragon on Sun 04 May 2008, 1:57 pm

This is very cool I never would have thought of this. Now I am watching for peat bogs where ever I go LOL!
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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by V1-P on Sun 04 May 2008, 10:20 pm

Could you give some examples of how this would be used? Thanks.

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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by hawkiye on Sun 04 May 2008, 10:58 pm

The whole idea is simply
to remove peat in some methodical manner and dry the
material to a point where the chunks will ignite.

Peat burns pretty much the same as wood or coal and the
general principles are the same: Start with a hot blaze of
kindling and small pieces of wood, and place the dried fuel
on top.

You can dry it and cut it into chunks the right size for your stove or fireplace.

If you go to the article and read the whole thing you'll get a better idea. Click on "read rest of the article here" at the bottom of the orginal post.
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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by V1-P on Mon 05 May 2008, 10:38 pm

Thanks.

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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by Kevin Tuma on Sat 17 May 2008, 10:53 am

hawkiye wrote:The whole idea is simply
to remove peat in some methodical manner and dry the
material to a point where the chunks will ignite.

Peat burns pretty much the same as wood or coal and the
general principles are the same: Start with a hot blaze of
kindling and small pieces of wood, and place the dried fuel
on top.

You can dry it and cut it into chunks the right size for your stove or fireplace.

If you go to the article and read the whole thing you'll get a better idea. Click on "read rest of the article here" at the bottom of the orginal post.

I have a bog area on my farm that is often marsh in wet seasons. I have no sand or gravel content in my soil, which is instead deep, black Houston clay. You think this might be a good peat area?

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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by hawkiye on Sat 17 May 2008, 12:10 pm

Sounds like a prime area
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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by MUSTANGMOM on Thu 05 Jun 2008, 12:28 pm

I wouldn't recognize peat if I fell into it..but I do need something other than the natural gas heat. The little bit of fumes from the heaters make me sick all winter...very sick. Putting in electric heat/furnace is out of the question due to costs. Any ideas?
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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by hawkiye on Fri 06 Jun 2008, 10:59 am

Try this link. They have a book called Sunshine for dollars that is excellent. I have the book and they have a plan for a passive solar heater that is cheap and easy to make.

http://www.knowledgepublications.com/solar_energy.htm
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Re: PEAT: A CHEAP AND RENEWABLE FUEL

Post by MUSTANGMOM on Fri 06 Jun 2008, 5:24 pm

Thanks so much for that link..I hope this doesnt' come up twice..I thought I had posted it a moment ago...and I also posted a new topic this morning that never showed up..

Anyway..I think you may have saved my life...seriously...
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