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Sawdust

08/15/2009 3:10 PM

I have access to tons of free sawdust from a sawmill located near a poor rural community in Africa and was wondering if there was anything commercially that one could do with it? I'm hoping to find ideas that could help the community generate income for themselves. Any ideas (no matter how crazy) welcome!

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#1

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 3:24 PM

A polyfiller sort of thing?

PVA and sawdust

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 8:28 PM

Thanks - I have thought of woodfillers but it's too coarse for that.

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#2

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 3:40 PM

There are briquette-making machines for biomass.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 4:04 PM

Link doesn't work :S

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 8:31 PM

Thanks - I will research the subject:)

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#4

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 7:48 PM

If you have potters available in the area, perhaps they could utilize the sawdust as a raw material to (1.) fire their kilns and (2.) produce water purification units like the Filtron units from Potters for Peace.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 8:30 PM

Thanks - I will look into that:)

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#27
In reply to #4

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:07 PM

(2.) produce water purification units like the Filtron units from Potters for Peace.

Careful....depends on the type of wood....when I was working in the ship yard, contract consisted of Avenger Class Minesweepers. in the router shop, I had to have the operators fulling suit up when cutting some of the wood types (Red Cedar) because it was a carcinogenic. Good things the operators had hazmat training. And treated as such.

phoenix911

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#8

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 10:49 PM

Great question!

I myself have never really figured out what to do with saw dust as it is, of much value added use.

It does not readily lend itself to much, as it is.

To make paper out of it is even difficult, though not out of the question.

As a slurry glue mix you might mold it into bunny rabbit or barbie doll shapes?

Toys and Dolls are going to continue to be in demand, and cheap toys, and lots of them are better than one expensive toy for the kid.

I imagine the local market for toys in Africa is pretty strong so that the economics are not too much dependent on "shipping".

Fire Logs crossed my mind, for I myself have bought these "Fire Logs" that are mostly sawdust and wax.

I think the briquet production idea is similiar, though question any advantage over charcoal and don't know enough about exactly where you are to make a clear judgement around that use.

For producing bottled gas, I also don't know the market, though that is an option from what I know. Craziest idea I have to offer is make toys from it in molds using real cheap glue based on characters kids love.

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#18
In reply to #8

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 4:10 AM

In regards to charcoal/briquettes - All I can figure is the briquettes burn for a longer time, but are a devil to light :D

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 4:34 AM

all is needed is a bit of sodium or potassium nitrite - then they can be self lighting,

I prefer the lump stuff - plenty here in South Africa - or small logs myself.

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#23
In reply to #18

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 11:58 AM

I agree.

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#22
In reply to #8

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 11:56 AM

I like the toy idea. It is practical and cheap and there is a demand for cheaper toys. I am going to experiment using different glues (my guess is woodglue). I have since also come across a sawdust fired stove. Thanks for the suggestions.

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#78
In reply to #22

Re: Sawdust

08/22/2009 7:28 PM

Be careful of the binder used for toys. Children chew on toys.

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#9

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 11:51 PM

Mix the sawdust with laundry detergent and sell it as mechanics' hand cleaner. Amazingly effective...

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Sawdust

08/15/2009 11:57 PM

Sounds simple. I'd recommend it. CW is smart.

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#24
In reply to #9

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:00 PM

Nice idea. Thank you.

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#84
In reply to #9

Re: Sawdust

12/24/2014 4:44 AM

Already I made sawdust hand cleaner and I'm selling now to some mechanics shops, I'm looking to make a good business with sawdust hand cleaner

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#11

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:02 AM

We use compressed waste wood chips/dust in the form of "wood pellets" which are efficiently burned in wood pellet stoves for heat during our cold winter months.

http://www.woodpelletstoves.net/

Could something like this be economically used as a cooking fuel in your area?

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#47
In reply to #11

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 7:58 AM

I would agree with mjb1962853 that the cheapest (probably not the best) utilization would be to transform the sawdust in pellets for burning. The pellets are made from compressed sawdust without any resins or glue. The production of pellets is very simple. If you have dry sawdust (not more than 5% humidity) the process is done with one machine. If the sawdust is from green wood you need a dryer too.

If you require environmental heating in winter the "Pellet stoves" would be a good solution. I don't know in which part of Africa you reside. Presumably you do not need environmental heating so you can use pellet to fire cooking stoves with a secondary circuit that can give you also hot water.

If I were you I would make a market analysis to know what is the is the major necessity on the local market.

  1. If it is environmental heating I would go for pellet heating stoves. Compared to the cheapest combustible available in Europe "Methane gas" Heating with pellets costs approximately 65% less. . If you consider the efficiency of the burning equipment, for these type of stoves , pellet as a combustible will cost the same a wood logs but the pollution is 80% less because of the controlled combustion.
  2. If you require only heating for cooking and eventually hot water , the stove is made in a different way, but you have the same economical results.
  3. You can have third alternative to produce electricity and heating, but you will not have an efficiency to this process if you do not need environmental heating. In this process you have steam available. If you apply this process to an industry where you need steam (example for making chip boards) it can become an efficient process.

Apart from these applications there are many other suggestions given by other readers where you do not use the sawdust for combustion. The good part is that you "save the planet" , no CO or CO2 emissions. In the building process especially if you are looking into economic housing, there are many applications some of which are already mentioned.

So it all comes down to four questions

  1. What product do you consider as your prime necessity. (find the product)
  2. What is the market requirement
  3. What quantity of raw material do you have available
  4. Do you have the financial resources to create an industry

you require this data to make a feasibility study.

All the best.

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#12

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:04 AM

I use sawdust and course wood chips as the filler in concrete made with non portland binders.

With sawdust and the right binder one can make concrete suitable in strength for nearly any purpose (over 3,000 psi)

the ingredients for the non portland binder are inorganic and available in almost every country in the world

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#25
In reply to #12

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:03 PM

Thank you - I will check the idea out.

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#13

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:11 AM

Dear Experimenter,

Increasingly with the emission penalties which coal fired energy producer are facing and / or will be facing, the combined use of wood pellets ( many sites available for such machines including in : UK - which, mainly by pressure , are easily made ). Be aware that there are technical aspects ( and know-how) which are needed to establish , from such waste , a viable business . One of the major requirement is that the saw dust humidity is adequately controlled )

All I can say regarding its long term value is that it will evidently become a "growing business " ( as coal fired power producers have little , if any , short term alternatives available).

Separately I propose to give your contact ( if you can or are prepared to give your e-mail address ) to a Friend of mine who is a successfull inventor of a by-product of saw mills. In fact he makes bricks using a special techniques and these bricks have valuable and durable characteristics. Possibly these could be made cheaply enough for the African market . I hope this answers your questions.

Labor Omnia Vincit

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#26
In reply to #13

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:06 PM

Thank you for the input and I would welcome any ideas from your friend.

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#28
In reply to #13

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:08 PM

P.S. My email : paulkon@webmail.co.za

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#41
In reply to #28

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 11:03 PM

Dear Paul,

My Friend is presently overseas but I am expecting him to call me shortly and will then revert forthwith. Even though you have been well supported by the various Clans including the formidable and prolific : Del the Cat, your aims are such that we should all continue to assist and contribute.

1.On more technical basis I have worked in various parts of : China and North Vietnam where coal briquettes are hand- made from the coal ash residues (usually obtained from the coal washeries) . These briquettes are then sold containing saw dust . As I do not know South Africa I can not give you specific advices . What I do know is that S.Africa does produce coal . I am quite sure that there could be poorer people who might benfit from your initiative . Saw dust tranport can be economical if containerised.

2.The other aspect is that, again in China ( and as well in : Fiji) I have seen the use of saw-dust in quite an unexpected way. That is in the coal fired power stations or for cement making rotary kilns , and

where coal is liquefied , saw dust is mixed with the slurry which is ( under high pressure) nozzled into the furnace and becomes part of the combustible energy source. So that if you have access to containers (FEU or TEUs) you can possibly negotiate with such coal fired power station Owners the excess saw dust you may have.

Good luck . You have worthy aims.

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#14

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 1:05 AM

Hi, X.

Depending on tonnage, one of my partners runs a firm that makes systems that turn biomass into a wealth of substances. From sawdust and wood-biomass, you'd get a combination of the following, for which I've given examples of use:

- hemicellulose products:

* sugars (food industry, ethanol production, etc.);

* proteins (for animal feed);

* fertilizer;

* bio-diesel fuel;

* heating oil (non-bio-diesel oil);

- lignin products:

* sealers (to seal pores in wood, etc.);

* adhesives (glues)

* binders (glue, for example to keep plywood layers together);

- cellulose products:

* more sugars;

* natural anti-freeze (ethylene glycol precursor);

* solvents (hexane precursor; hexane serves very frequently as solvent for organic substances);

- char

* activated charcoal (from char treated with steam);

* charcoal powder or briquettes.

- synthesis gas

* for burning in a furnace or boiler.

The synthesis gas will be hot, and after burning it will be very hot, making it a good source of heat power electrical power-generation or for other uses.

My colleague and I are developing systems for sawmills and an industrial park near here in Montreal, Canada. E-mail me atthe address below and I'll send you details:

stratos@spp-consultants.com

Cheers! And no matter what happens, good luck ...

Dread Zontar

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#29
In reply to #14

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:09 PM

Thanks - I will be in touch.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 2:14 PM

Hi again, X.

Looking forward to your contacting me.

Just FYI, South Africa's six hours ahead of where I'm located in Montreal, Canada (Eastern Time in North America ... same time as New York City). I'm usually at my office starting at 9:00 AM, which is 3:00 PM your time.

Cheers!
DZ

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#15

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 2:02 AM

Hi xperimentor,

I have two suggestion;

1. As you said you are in the poor rural community in Africa, they can use saw dust for cooking their food instead of buying fire woods or gas as i can see from many poor rural areas. give them for free so you'll make them happy.

2. You know here in Mozambique we are buying tons of saw dust from far away using it for our stable. good for the horses place. or try to communicate with the Horse racing field or horse racing owner maybe they are using the same where you can supply and give the money to the poor rural community, in the future they will maybe build you a monument and always remember you . (underline i think my craziest and stupid idea) but try maybe it works.

Kind regards

Roman

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#30
In reply to #15

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 12:13 PM

Thank you for your suggestions and in fact I have come across a stove that uses sawdust. I will be experimenting with this and if it works I will get the community to use and make them. Presently most of them use parrafin stoves or burn wood.

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#45
In reply to #30

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 2:45 AM

Hi Xrerimentor,

It will work as I see many people from the urban poor using it. what they need to do is have a round can with a hole beside, put a bottle in the middle as mold put the saw dust and compact, then take out the bottle, put the pot and make fire. you can cook steam rice and one recipe before the fire off.

It is also good saving if you are just boiling something like water, or cooking and boiling meat with bones etc. especially if the cooking will required long hours of boiling.

Kind regards

Roman

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#40
In reply to #15

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 10:26 PM

Good idea but don't use Oak or Walnut. Both are poisonious to horses.

Another use might be as a nitrogen balancer for raw manure to create finished compost. Bag it and sell it

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#51
In reply to #40

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 9:25 PM

Thanks Tippy. The sawmill uses pine from forests in the area.

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#16

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 2:20 AM

Hello there.

Just another suggestion ...

This is an example of a wood burning (sawdust even better) turbine/generator.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfDr-XXuvmo

Best of luck.

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#17

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 4:07 AM

Making Charcoal from waste Cellulosic and similar materials such as nutshell and peach pits

The plant is essentially similar to a high temperature destructive distillation column but the gases generated are use to produce the heat by controlled incinerated.

As per the diagram the feedstock is fed into a reactor comprising a set of plates. By means of rotating rakes the product is moved and cascades down through the plates. Due to the heat and combustion that takes place moisture will be removed and then other volatiles

Initial heating is by means of gas or oil burners the heat and oxygen supply must be balanced so that destructive distillation takes place and using controlled combustion the volatiles produced burn and so provide the heat to remove all but the carbon. This is essentially what takes place in the conventional charcoal plants used for lump wood.

It is to be expected that the flue gases will be carbon dioxide rich with a carbon monoxide content due to the controlled & limited oxygen availability.

The resultant charcoal should be suitable for absorption grades but after cooling (?) could be mixed with a water based binder such as a methyl cellulose or starch before being packed into moulds and dried using the exhaust gases from the reactor.

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose can be made by treating sawdust with caustic soda but is a relatively cheap commodity. Starch solutions can be found in the waste stream from potato chip factories. Some producers, use cement as a binder but I do not think this is all that effective and increases the inorganic content of the ash.

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#20

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 4:41 AM

bagged and treated with termiticide (and rodenticide...boric acid for insecticide and fire retardant) makes excellent insulation. Cooler house.hut in hot areas; warmer in cold areas.

Sawdust insulation would not be new/untried technology.

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#38
In reply to #20

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 7:41 PM

...and, energy not consumed is the same as energy generated; ... even better: no combustion by products; only heat retention (or exclusion) as needed. Less wood burned, less trees (CO2 consumers) cut down....etc., etc.

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#21

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 8:21 AM

If you could get some funding it can be hydrolised into syngas and Agrichar. The Agrichar reportedly will then assist the villagers with preventing soil degradation. CSIRO are doing some work on the topic. Terra Preta soils in South America were believed to be make by this process. From a gardener's perspective Pete Cundall has been doing some work on biochar in Hobart Tasmania, try abc.net.au/gardening.

Syngas for fuel or power generation, whichever is most feasible.

Hope that helps.

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#32

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 2:38 PM

Dear Xperimentor, I am pleased that you liked the toy molding idea.

I looked over the thread, and really almost all posters have given very good ideas.

I consider CWs idea of a handcleaner wonderfully simple, involving lowest cost, with a local market.

That market could well expand further if the product works as well as its competition, and is a bit less expensive.

It also has the advantage of not calling for complicated packaging, especially if made into soap bars like Lava that are simply wrapped in paper.

The product could well be made close to the supply of the main ingredient, sawdust, and you may have some weeds around from which to make the "detergent".

My view of business is that a company ought to have one core "Daily Bread" product, or service to build on.

In television, Soap Operas, represent a longtime source of "Daily Bread" for TV Producers.

I actually worked for awhile on The Guiding Light, a Soap Opera, and I've also worked on airplanes as a mechanic, and really needed soap.

Hence, though I love my own toy idea, I think CWs suggestion for turning the sawdust into soap, superior since it offers something to be done right there, right now, with a consistently proven market, both near and far.

From this you may build to toys, bricks, firelogs, or gas generation is my take on the inputs by contributors to this thread.

P.S. I do not know what type of wood from comes the sawdust. I have assumed it is benign, though it may not be. Also there is the issue of Kerf size, and I assumed this sawdust to be of a medium to large Kerf, or grain size, since you said it came from a Sawmill, and was not coming from fine cuts, or sanding. Such considerations will influence really the most direct simplest value added use for the material. It could be that the sawdust is most appropriate as an insulation, especially if the Kerf size is large. At somepoint you are going to need a chemist one way or another for no matter what you make out of the sawdust, its toxic properties need to be known. Children lick toys, you rub soap on your hands. Insulation is typically in the US supposed to be somewhat fire retardant. (Salt helps retard fabrics and paper from burning.) Again, thanks for the question since sawdust has often bothered me.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 3:21 PM

In regards to the cleaner - What about a product such as swarfega? Similar products to that use sand, why not woodchips?

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 3:24 PM

They use walnut shells for sand walnut blasting for high precision items such as engine heads on Porsche's.

Sawdust may be too soft.....but it would polish?

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#53
In reply to #33

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 9:43 PM

We don't have a product known as swarfega here - what exactly is it?

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#59
In reply to #53

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 2:54 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarfega

Green jelly like stuff brilliant for removing dirty oil from your hands.

With sawdust in it it would be more like tufanega also mentioned in the article.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 2:59 AM

'tufanega'
Sounds like a girl I once met

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#64
In reply to #60

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 11:01 AM

Scary... she must get around 'cause I think I met her once too...

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#52
In reply to #32

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 9:41 PM

Hi Trans,

I agree that CW's idea is excellent and immediately implementable. I am going to try it. Detergent from weeds? Can one extract a detergent from a weed? By the way, the wood is Pine and should be benign.

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#66
In reply to #52

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 1:58 PM

Pinesol is a common cleaning product in the US, and I most commonly used it cleaning latrines when I was a Boy Scout.

For reverse engineering you may want to buy a bottle of Pinesol and read the ingredient list on the label.

You may want to see if that particular manufacturer and yourself could come to an agreement that made both of you profit.

I would suspect they have some chemists in their employ capable of telling you what to do to make a mechanics soap bar using the sawdust.

I am not a biologist or a chemist, or zoologist, though I do suspect certain weeds crushed in combination with the sawdust, would have binder and "detergent" properties.

Certainly in my lifetime I have seen Aloe and Citrus touted as wonderful ingredients for soap, or cleaning products.

My Dermatologists, across the board, all of them, recommend Dove, since I have Psorisis.

When working as an airplane mechanic "helper" it was nearly impossible to really get your hands clean, and pumice type soaps were about all that would offer any real possibility.

Maybe you've got some good weeds around, some sawdust, some pinetar, and some rocks around to mix together for a comfortable cleaning of the really dirty man? The sawdust may have the effect in combination of speeding the cleaning process by taking off the first layer of oil and grime and then allowing the rocks, (sand to get to the tough stuff.

P.S. Girls Like A Man With Clean Hands! - I got a whole ad campaign in my mind now!

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#35

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 4:54 PM

Hi, 'XP',

just a couple of ideas to go with the other good ones on this post.

Firstly, if you want to use it for insulation purposes, it can be fireproofed quite simply, soak it in a Borax solution for 24 hours.

Secondly, I have seen sawdust used as a sound insulation material in void spaces between ceilings and the floor above.

Another option could be to use the sawdust to make 'chipboard' and get the local people to make it into furniture, some training may be required to teach basic carpentry skills.

Could also add it to floor or 'Deck Paints' as an anti skid aggregate to be used in buildings, or other areas which may become slippery to walk on when wet.

Best of luck.

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#44
In reply to #35

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 2:28 AM

Mix it with latex wall paint and you get a texturing, soundproofing and insulating coating. Quite decorative - artists can produce some nice texture effects.

Chip board wood be tricky but a hardboard or ceiling board is possible. Hardboard can be made by treating with caustic soda to form the binder then, after neutralising, pressing it on mesh to remove water then curing it in presses (the expensive bit!), Ceiling or insulation board would not need so much pressing.

When push comes to shove making fuel blocks by sticking the particles together is still probably the best and most easily done solution. Addition of a small % of sodium nitrate (as in cigarettes) will help in the ignition and full combustion. The glue can be made from the wood itself by caustic soda treatment - makes methyl cellulose http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methyl_cellulose or you can use any starch (solubilised with NAOH) as a glue.

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#36

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 5:06 PM

We have a small bin in the kitchen which we put vegetable peelings and such like into... when full it gets emptied onto the compost heap.
I sprinkle sawdust into the bottom, it stops it smelling and going wet and fermenting, helps keep the fruit flies out of it too.

You could sell it as 'bin fresh' especially if you added a tiny amount of perfume...you could say it's 'naturally antibacterial'...those two words should make it sell to hygeine obsessed houswives.
Hey I could pee into the stuff too
Del

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#54
In reply to #36

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 9:55 PM

Hi Del,

Your suggestion to pee into it is actually very good! All the local people use 'long drop' toilets (a deep hole dug into the ground) which, as you can imagine, has a terrible smell. I'm going to suggest they get sawdust from the mill (it's free) and keep a supply in their toilets. They can dump a handful or two into the hole everytime they use their toilet. Thanks!

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#79
In reply to #54

Re: Sawdust

08/24/2009 11:10 AM

You have to remember... Del is a cat.

Bill

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#37

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 6:32 PM

so many great ideas here I'm hesitant to offer my wimpy little thoughts...

bag it up and use/sell as an absorbent for cleaning up small spills works about as well as kitty litter and clearly costs much less (at least for you). Perfume could be added to create the illusion that it is something more than sawdust, I suppose at that point it is more than sawdust. Works fairly well on petroleum products, bio-'spills' like blood or vomit, and a variety of other potential spills.

I wouldn't recommend use in compost without researching the specific wood(s) you are using, especially if the compost is to be used for food production. Some woods have naturally occurring chemicals in them that make them unsuitable for this purpose.

I've heard of sawdust and similar products (hair, feathers...) being added to cement or brick-clay for a variety of reasons, I'm sorry I don't have time to research this more for you.

Lots of potential for arts/crafts projects, maybe a local school could be persuaded to use it in this capacity... papier mache, sculpting clay substitute, could be dyed and sprinkled over glue to make 'sand paintings'... again, I apologize for having an idea with no instructions.

Of the suggestions I've read I am partial to making charcoal briquettes or pellets for fuel, or using it to 'mold' toys and other items.

Good luck! And thanks for thinking of ways to not waste your waste!

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 9:21 PM

Our family have a sawmill and operated it far as long as I can remember. As a kid, I loved playing in it kinda like a sand box

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#43
In reply to #37

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 12:03 AM

Floor clean-sweep it a good idea

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#55
In reply to #37

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 9:59 PM

Nothing 'wimpy' about your ideas. There is a local rural school in the community and the kids could make the toys and any other products to help raise funds. Thanks.

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#42

Re: Sawdust

08/16/2009 11:58 PM

Saw dust can be converted in to blocks (bricks) which can be used in boiler along with wooden scrap.

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#46

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 7:17 AM

Maybe you could interest some conservationists in making pykrete icebergs to help conserve the Arctic ecology. I realise that you would effectively only be selling the sawdust, but, the cause is worthwhile and the money could be used to fund other projects.

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#48

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 11:35 AM

Turn it into fibreboard and hardboard?

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#49

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 1:35 PM

If the sawdust is insect free, bag it for use as a packing material.

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#50

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 3:48 PM

Depending on how it was treated and with what, it can also be used as a mulch for certain plants. Not sure I'd use it on a vegetable/herb garden, but it might be OK for that. Just see if you can determine whether or not it is from treated lumber/wood and how it was treated. It certainly can be used for mulch on garden walkways.

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#56
In reply to #50

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 10:10 PM

However, in some regions (think, equatorial/subsaharan africa) it will also provide a boon to termites.

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#63
In reply to #56

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 10:58 AM

Good point, however if it is placed away from your buildings it could also work as a termite 'distractor'... better to have the little buggers eating your walkway then your house...

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#57

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 10:16 PM

Has anyone yet mentioned for friction reduction (enhance sliding) between hardened/planar surfaces? Hard shoe dancers will know about that one.

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#58

Re: Sawdust

08/17/2009 10:23 PM

Converting it to a form of cooking fuel (for export and domestic) seems like a good idea for Africa, especially tropical/subtropical regions...where essential forests are quickly being cleared (never to recover) for Charcoal and cooking...to the detriment of the entire world. Since it's a waste product, providing it to, say, the Congo and surrounds could be done at fairly low costs...but for the corruption in those regions.

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#61

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 3:14 AM

There are a few dodgy ideas her.

Sawdust or Kerf from saws will not stay bug free for long it is an ideal breeding ground - lots of grub in the form of cellulose and so would need to be treated.

I understand that as a mulch it can attract certain bugs such as wire worm so treatment needed.

I am also in Durban and has seen artificial logs on sale at the gas stations made from sawdust and glue - might need some wax and/or sodium nitrite to assist combustion.

They would be a great help in the Townships - cut down the use of natural wood and also reduce the pollution from coal-burners if you could get the price right.

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#70
In reply to #61

Re: Sawdust

08/19/2009 1:56 PM

Hi Hazman,

I am primarily interested in how it could be put to use by a poor community in the Transkei. There is a saw mill near them and presently the sawdust is just left to rot. I have been inundated with good ideas here - I am sure some of them are going to be practical and usable. Thanks for your contribution.

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#62

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 9:12 AM

Another simple use of sawdust can be to create 'Pykrete'. It is ice made with water and sawdust that remains cooler for a loong time and is also stronger...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pykrete

You will have the following benefits...

1. The input needed for such a project is low - Sawdust and Water.

2. Since you are in a rural community, ice is most likely a common way to cool stuff and is more widely used locally.

3. You can make the stuff on order... thus having very little or no wastage.

4. it is CHEAP!

P.S. for all you know... you could take the stuff back from these ppl and re-use or resell using all the cool ideas that are provided here... I hear that moist sawdust is a very good medium for growing mushrooms.

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#65

Re: Sawdust

08/18/2009 1:25 PM

as you are in poor n rural comunity, it might have scarecity of electricity. so the best way to use sawdust enrgy will be to produce elect. by burning it in fluidised bed fired boiler(highly efficient in case of biomass firing),produce superheated steam to run a turbine and hece produce electricity.

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#67

Re: Sawdust

08/19/2009 2:08 AM

You can make white wash really cheaply by mixing plaster really thin.

What about mixing sawdust in with plaster to make a sort of "paint on" anaglypta.

Anaglypta is basically wallpaper with tiny wood chips to give it texture: you put it up like wall paper and then paint over it.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Sawdust

08/19/2009 2:26 AM

Yeah, they should paint cars with it to stop that painful glare coming off 'em when the sun is low.

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#69

Re: Sawdust

08/19/2009 1:34 PM

c-warner711 says his friend makes the hand cleaner from a dry powdered detergent mixed in with the sawdust. He says the stuff works better than anything else he has used.

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#71

Re: Sawdust

08/19/2009 4:23 PM

Hazman (and a few others) sent me down another road... you could make fire starters quiet easily with sawdust and some paraffin... Make cone shaped molds, loosly fill them with sawdust and then melt the wax into them, wouldn't need to involve more than an oven and some cheap muffin pans to start out...

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#75
In reply to #71

Re: Sawdust

08/20/2009 12:52 PM

Thanks. Great idea, which will fit nicely with the sawdust stove I will be looking into. I needed to work out a suitable firelighter and u have just done that for me!

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#72

Re: Sawdust

08/19/2009 4:30 PM

How about for use in a wood gas generator. The gas generated could be used about like natural gas. It can even be used in internal combustion engines.

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#73

Re: Sawdust

08/20/2009 12:20 AM

How about making a composite based wood for building using the sawdust and resin and placing in a press and make an industry like plywood or mdf boards bringing money to the community as well as jobs. Just a thought

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#76
In reply to #73

Re: Sawdust

08/20/2009 12:54 PM

Thanks - I have a ton of ideas to look into and yours has just joined the que!

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#74

Re: Sawdust

08/20/2009 9:03 AM

xperimentor,

Saw dust has got plenty of uses as mentioned below.

1] It can be directly used for burning in ovens for domestic cooking.

2] It can be ued in combination with rice husks as a boiler fuel.

3]Compressed wooden bars are preferred best boiler fuel material.

4]Saw dust can be used for paritcle card board making in combination with resins.

5]It is also a potential raw material for craft brown paper making.

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#77

Re: Sawdust

08/21/2009 11:30 AM

it is used in composting toilets, sprinkled over the last deposit. There are two references to compost in the thread already, if more people used proper composting toilets there would be less water wasted.

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#80

Re: Sawdust

02/01/2011 11:07 AM

We are working with ESKOM on a new power generating technology that uses sawdust and wood waste. It's at early discussion stage. However, we're needing some help showing where such dumps (such as the one you mention) are located in South Africa. Also please send me link for the Walking Tree Society.

Many Thanks

Reg Wessels

Earth Corporation

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Sawdust

02/02/2011 9:18 AM

Hi Reg,

The location is in the Transkei. You travel to Lusikisiki (via Durban-Port Edward-Bizana-Flagstaff-Lusikisiki). As you leave Lusiki on your way to Port St Johns you will see a signpost showing Mbotji - turn left and travel towards the coast for about 6 kms then another signpost showing Magwa Tea Estate - turn right. About 20 kms later just before you get to the beach at Mbotji and before entering the Mbotji natural forest you will find the sawmill indicated by heaps of sawdust. I am unfortunately tied up with other matters right now and when (if ever) I succeed in getting permission to put up a cottage at Mbotji I will pursue the good ideas in this thread - but feel free to do what you can with Eskom in the meantime.

There is no link for the Walking Tree Society. It was just a group of my mates that used to meet for dinner get togethers in the past. At the time I jokingly called it that since we had the view that because something had never been seen or proved before does not mean we should exclude the possibility of it happening in the future (i.e. ever seen a tree walk? No? Me too. But lets not exclude the possibility that someday we will see it walk - maybe they walk around when nobody is looking?). It was basically a motto to keep one's mind open to any possibility.:)

Good luck,

Xp.

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#82
In reply to #81

Re: Sawdust

02/03/2011 1:11 AM

we should sell the idea to Johnny Walker! I'll keep you posted. REG

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#83

Re: Sawdust

02/12/2011 2:40 AM

I have a brochure from "ecoal". carbon footprint neutral. same btu's per pound as coal. I do not know if this is a huge money /technical to start up or not. i am guessing this is easier to burn in turbines / cookstoves than pressed wood products. this is similar to answer 14 and 17. keep us posted. [ I have a wood pellet stove with 2 fans in the living room ] also a new business started 12 miles [20K] away using planer mill sawdust compressed into burning blocks. almost smokeless. about 3 pounds [1 1/2 kilos] no binders. just compressed sawdust. I will be burning these after we move to the other end of the farm in March.

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