SMALL-SCALE LUMBER DRYING USING WOOD GASIFICATION AS A HEAT SOURCE
Richard D. Bergman, USDA Forest Service, Madison, Wisconsin, Western Dry Kiln Association, May, 2005
Small, rural forested communities have the economic need to develop a wood products industry to replace the loss of large sawmills and maintain forest health. The main
objective of this study was to explore the potential of using producer (wood) gas to fire a hot water boiler for a small dry kiln capable of drying both softwood and hardwood lumber.
A BioMax wood gasifier, a hot water boiler, and dry kiln were integrated as parts of a whole lumber drying system for a field test in southwestern United States. Results so far found the amount of gas heat produced from the wood chip-fed BioMax 15 and 50 is
250,000 and 1,000,000 Btus per hour respectively, while the hot water boiler provides 109,000 Btus per hour for a 3,500 board foot dry kiln.