Dung Berry Fireballs
Lanny Henson, October 30, 2006
Jeff Davis has shown us how to make fireballs by tumbling biomass in a cement mixer that has had the paddles removed. Here is another tumbling application.
To make dung berry fire balls I dumped two 5 gallon buckets of fresh wet cow manure and some grass clippings into a plastic drum and rolled it across the lawn.
I opened the lid and balls were forming but the mixture seemed too loose so I added more dry grass clippings and continued until the fireballs were firm enough to stay together. I was supprised how well the drum formed the "Dung Berries".
This drum tumbling would probably only work with easy to mix ingredients. I doubt that it would make paper or stitch grass fireballs as well Jeff’s method. His balls are tight and well formed, so I hear!
After drying I test burned some of the fireballs and I had the least visible smoke using a burner that supplied combustion air through the center as well as to the side/top of the fuel bed.
I piled 20 grams of small wood pieces on top of the dung berries to light the burner. The fire in the center kept the ignition going as the dung fireballs burned from the top down.
I saw a little smoke but the exhaust was mostly clear. After the gas burned the char burned.
The central combustion seems to keep the top gasses lit. Could this be the gasifier "spark plug" that is needed to keep top lit application flaming when burning dificult to burn fuel? I had trouble maintaining flames with other types top lit burners.