Monday, November 8, 2010

Beetle Kill Pellet Use in Standard Fireplace

Reporting on a residential beetle kill pellet use in standard fireplace

I have ordered reusable stainless steel mesh fire logs which are refilled with wood pellets for use in standard fireplaces from a company named Repose ( ). I've purchased pellets from Rocky Mountain Pellet Company ( ) at Murdochs ( ). Have tested the scenario in my Heatilator type fireplace, described below.

Wire mesh logs came in a long cardboard box; there were many logs that fit nicely together for shipping:

Shown below, are the square mesh empty logs, instructions, two discs of fire starter and the cardboard box;  spread out, it all looked like this:

 I cut open a plastic juice container and used the top as a funnel, and the bottom to pour the pellets.
 Filled, the logs looked like miniature grain bins.
 The logs stack nicely. Inside the fireplace are the two smallest logs, called kindling.
 The fire burns nicely. There is no pop'ing or sparks of burning embers.

I use a fireplace that has a blower fan shooting the heat of the fireplace into the room.

The square logs have a unique ability to let air flow around the mesh, because they aren't quite full. The corners can burn nicely with air flow all around. The logs do not bend out of shape, the lids are nicely grooved to stay shut. You should use caution because some of the mesh has sharp wires sticking out. Not for children, obviously.

The following weights of each log when filled:

Biomass Stainless Steel Logs

          Lbs            Oz
Largest 3 9.25
2nd large 2 10.125
Middle 1 13.75
Small 1 3.125
Subtotal 7 40.25

Total 9.51 Lbs.

I have gone through a 40 pound bag of pellets with 4 nights of fires, lasting a few hours each. There was 5.5 ounces of ash from the 40 pounds of pellets, which I put into our compost. Have gone back to purchase five more bags. The filling process is a small chore, but it still has a nice feeling of sustainability. For $1.25 a night, it is a good value. These can also be used for camp fires; pack up the empty logs and throw a bag of pellets into the car for your next car camping trip.

The potential for residential usage of beetle kill pellets in Colorado is enormous ( ).