Lab #2: Burning Briquettes and Nasty Bananas
What We Did:
This week we began by attempting to burn our briquettes made the week prior. From our observations, the briquettes required quite a bit of tinder from regular newspaper to get started, and once they were lit they merely smoldered for about 10 minutes. However, after this time they did heat up enough that they actually burned, but not for much more than another 5 or 6 minutes. We chalked up the amount of additional fuel that we needed to get the fire started was similar in concept to how regular briquettes work–there’s no real “instant” lighting of anything on the market, they all require some bit of working to get started.
|Finally burning after ~10 minutes|
We also made a new batch of briquettes using the same ingredients as last week, but this time adding in rotten banana peels and bananas. We had two types of base – one with kale pulp integrated and one without. We left whatever mixture we did not use during this lab period in the cage to rot until next week to see how this will affect the structure of the briquettes we make.
Will made a new mould to try next week as well. It is slightly larger and rectangular in shape, with the same style of drainage holes.
What We Learned:
We chalked up the amount of additional fuel that we needed to get the fire started was similar in concept to how regular briquettes work–there’s no real “instant” lighting of anything on the market, they all require some bit of working to get started.
Old bananas are pretty gross to work with, but did add quite a bit of “stick” to our concoction. Hopefully they’ll burn a little differently than our last briquettes.
What’s Next: (2/11/2014)
Next week we will need to burn our new batch of briquettes and compare the time, heat, etc of how they burn, as well as how much we need to kindle them. We will be using our (hopefully) rotted mixture to create more briquettes, using both our original mould and our new mould, which will allow us to see how the different surface areas and densities affect burning. To try to get them to burn, we might try to make a chamber (time permitting) that will allow us to ignite the briquettes and then quickly place them into the stove.
Additionally, we will be getting in contact with Don, as per Pete’s request, in order to try to add a source or target location to our project.
Jake will be bringing in rotting vegetables (depending on his friend’s garden), Will will bring in a small Weber stove, and Jaclyn will be bringing in a nut milk bag to experiment with.