fires in woodchippings

""\"Ron_Wenrich,woodtick at lebmofo.com\" at invivo.edu" at invivo.edu" at invivo.edu ""\"Ron_Wenrich,woodtick at lebmofo.com\" at invivo.edu" at invivo.edu" at invivo.edu
Fri Mar 14 19:11:35 EST 1997



> D Pal wrote:
> > 
> > I am doing a project on using electronics to detect and give warning of
the
> > possiblity of fire in a pile of woodchippings.
> > The group I am working for is worried that the wood will be decomposed
by
> > bacteria which will produce heat and possibly set the dry surface of
the pile
> > alight (similar to fires caused in compost heaps).
> > The piles has a volume of 70m3. I need some information on the biology
behind
> > these fires (such as waste products from the bacteria, heat produced ,
speed
> > of heating, etc.).
> > Also does anyone know of a fire that has actually been started in this
way?
> > I would be grateful for any help received on this subject.
> > Thanks,
> > Aunkon.
> 
I haven't heard of wood chip piles catching on fire, since they are used on
a continual basis, here in the East.  However, it is not uncommon for bark
piles to catch on fire.  Before sawdust was used for animal bedding, large
piles would also ignite and burn for years (the operators would continue to
add to the pile to dispose of the sawdust)..

As near as I can tell, it comes from not only the heat from decomposing
wood, but also from the amount of weight of the piled products.  Bark piles
are usually driven on with dump trucks, which have been loaded at the mill.
 A pile height of 20 feet is sufficient to ignite.

It should be noted that bark and sawdust have less air space than wood chip
piles, due to the large size of material.  This may help the excess heat to
escape and thus allow for a larger chip pile before combustion will occur.

The type of material which is chipped would also be a factor.  Chips from
particle board would heat up faster due to the urea used in the
manufacturing of particleboard.


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From: "Ron Wenrich" <woodtick at lebmofo.com>
Newsgroups: bionet.agroforestry
Subject: Re: fires in woodchippings
Date: 15 Mar 1997 00:11:35 GMT
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