Use Gorse for Biofuel.
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noop

United States

#1 Jul 19, 2007
The stuff grows like crazy,burns like crazy,and is a menace.Why not use it to fuel cars instaed of fires.
Tom G

Bandon, OR

#2 Aug 2, 2007
could it not be harvested into pellets for pellet stoves. The sales would
contribute to the eradication costs.
people

San Antonio, TX

#3 Aug 7, 2007
sure,it just takes someone willing to do it.
Concerned

United States

#4 Aug 9, 2007
noop wrote:
The stuff grows like crazy,burns like crazy,and is a menace.Why not use it to fuel cars instaed of fires.
Here are the facts:
Cut Gorse is an excellent and hot fuel and in places where it grew in abundance it was a favourite source of firewood for bread baking. Another use for its hot burning wood was in Limekilns. Usually the practice was to cut it down once every 3 years. Since Gorse is an evergreen plant, the best time to do this is after flowering. The plant will grow with renewed vigour.
Dead gorse branches have always been highly appreciated by travelers for the fact that they will often burn even when wet and thus offer a good chance to get a fire going in damp weather.
Now, isn't there a biochemist out there somewhere who can give us the answer? Can this be burned in present day vehicles? Much appreciated.
paul

Christchurch, New Zealand

#5 Feb 14, 2008
brilliant....get into it..!
geeo

United States

#6 May 3, 2008
Other countries have dne studies that seem to indicate it would be a good source of fuel.
If i ever come back to Oregon maybe i will look into starting gorse biofuel.
Heck we should just open up stills and run moonshine in our cars.
David P

New Zealand

#7 Sep 23, 2008
The fact that Gorse grows on poor quality soil, is self seeding and self fertilising and has a high calorific value. Growing this plant for fuel - carbon neutral - just have to ensure the cost of harvesting uses less fuel than what is harvested.
RSV

United States

#8 Jan 1, 2009
I've lived in a gorse area in northern California & it seems a natural perfect match. GorseGas?
RSV

United States

#9 Jan 1, 2009
Hmmm. I've never been to "Paicines". Do they have gorse there?
Annatar

Dublin, Ireland

#10 Mar 2, 2009
Im from Donegal - Rep Of Ireland. Gorse is plentiful and a headache. Ive long wanted to try and harvest gorse and use it via a woodchipper in a wood chip burner.

Why dont I? well I dont have a woodchipper and nor do I have a wood chip burner. There is also the fear that a wood chip burner my not appreciate a wood chip with high oil content. Is there a possible problem of it burning too hot for the burner???
Teddyfridgie

Norderstedt, Germany

#11 Feb 28, 2010
I am looking at solar panel operations in coastal areas. It's a dilemma. One cannot have animals grazing between the solar panels, because the animals damage the installed panels, and on the other side, if you keep animals out, and do not resort to spraying with expensive herbicide, the growth of gorse is so strong that it'll make the site quickly inaccessible and build up the risk of fire which will finally become uncontrollable.

So, how about farming gorse? How does gorse compare to farming softwood or miscanthus? Anyone heard about such surveys carried out yet?
Teddyfridgie

Norderstedt, Germany

#12 Mar 3, 2010
Annatar wrote:
Im from Donegal - Rep Of Ireland. Gorse is plentiful and a headache. Ive long wanted to try and harvest gorse and use it via a woodchipper in a wood chip burner.
Why dont I? well I dont have a woodchipper and nor do I have a wood chip burner. There is also the fear that a wood chip burner my not appreciate a wood chip with high oil content. Is there a possible problem of it burning too hot for the burner???
Annatar,
we are in Kerry. Same problems with gorse as up in Donegal, possibly even worse.
Over the past days I have read whatever is available on the web. I am beginning to understand that fire is the strategy of gorse to propagate itself over competing plants. So the prescribed burning that is being done in Ireland is counterproductive, the stuff grows back with a vengeance after each burning, with the biodiversity of the burnt area decreasing each time.

If a commercial value of gorse can be established, then gorse would cease to be a problem, it would become a resource.

So I bought a woodchipper and will start to process the stuff. I have no fear burning gorse chips may damage the stove, if that stove is 'multi-fuel'. If a stove is suitable for coal, it will take gorse no problem. I read that the maximum temperature recorded right inside an open land gorse fire was 800 centigrades, which is near charcoal and coal.

Keep in touch.
Annatar

Dublin, Ireland

#13 Mar 18, 2010
Teddyfridgie,
any luck with using the gorse as a fuel?
teddyfridgie

Ireland

#14 Mar 18, 2010
Annatar wrote:
Teddyfridgie,
any luck with using the gorse as a fuel?
Annatar,
no luck so far as such, but some experience.
Freshly cut gorse shredders very easily, but is very wet. It is so wet you can smother a good hot fire with it.
The shredded material looks much greener than the plant, probably due to the stems though looking barky gray play a role in the photosynthesis.
The shredded material has a strong but pleasant scent to it. When left in a mound, the mound centre warms up, like freshly cut grass would. I can imagine the shredded product may be attractive as a cattle feed, though there are still some -few- spikes in it.
I put a quantity aside into an open basket and weighed it. I will dry that until the summer to see how much moisture is in it.
Anyway, the next trial will be to cut the gorse and then let it dry a bit before putting it in the shredder.
teddyfridgie

Ireland

#15 Mar 18, 2010
I forgot something: I think mainly the stems are responsible for the high moisture content. This would actually correspond with my hypothesis that gorse uses fire as strategy to propagate itself over competing plants. If so, it is logical that the outer parts of the plant are low moisture and oily in order to ignite and flare up easily, while the stems have so much moisture that they can withstand most fires and regrow quickly after the fire.
Gorski

Bandon, OR

#16 Mar 30, 2010
teddyfridgie wrote:
I forgot something: I think mainly the stems are responsible for the high moisture content. This would actually correspond with my hypothesis that gorse uses fire as strategy to propagate itself over competing plants. If so, it is logical that the outer parts of the plant are low moisture and oily in order to ignite and flare up easily, while the stems have so much moisture that they can withstand most fires and regrow quickly after the fire.
Gorse helps to stimulate regrowth of forest areas which have been burned down. It protects the small trees from the elements, and eventually the trees grow so large that they block the sun and kill all the gorse. Maybe the best thing to do is nothing. Let nature take its natural course of events. BTW, I heard Gorse makes excellent wine, and it can be used to flavor beer and whiskey.
Teddyfridgie

Norderstedt, Germany

#17 Mar 30, 2010
Gorski wrote:
<quoted text>
Gorse helps to stimulate regrowth of forest areas which have been burned down. It protects the small trees from the elements, and eventually the trees grow so large that they block the sun and kill all the gorse. Maybe the best thing to do is nothing. Let nature take its natural course of events. BTW, I heard Gorse makes excellent wine, and it can be used to flavor beer and whiskey.
Where there is frequent burning of the gorse, to do nothing is the surest way to end up with no trees at all as any fire of mature gorse is so hot that even tall trees overgrowing it perish. To do nothing may be a option where there is only the risk of natural fire sparked by lightning but that too is a considerable risk, especially where the areas covered by gorse are large.

I lost a plantation of 15 year old pine and sitka trees to an illegally started gorse fire in the undergrowth.

As I side comment, I always had thought gorse fires only spread to lee. I learned that gorse fires spread to windward too, due to the enormous radiation of heat which ignites plants standing to windward.
Annatar

Dublin, Ireland

#18 Sep 27, 2011
teddyfridgie wrote:
<quoted text>
Annatar,
no luck so far as such, but some experience.
Freshly cut gorse shredders very easily, but is very wet. It is so wet you can smother a good hot fire with it.
The shredded material looks much greener than the plant, probably due to the stems though looking barky gray play a role in the photosynthesis.
The shredded material has a strong but pleasant scent to it. When left in a mound, the mound centre warms up, like freshly cut grass would. I can imagine the shredded product may be attractive as a cattle feed, though there are still some -few- spikes in it.
I put a quantity aside into an open basket and weighed it. I will dry that until the summer to see how much moisture is in it.
Anyway, the next trial will be to cut the gorse and then let it dry a bit before putting it in the shredder.
How did drying out the gorse go? Did you lose any of the oil content?
Im wondering if the oil would cause a wood chip burner to become too hot. Possibly mixing the gorse chip with a ordinary wood chip could help reduce the temp.
May also allow for burning freshly chipped gorse, so it doesnt smother.
freddy

Bristol, UK

#19 Sep 29, 2011
Iam interested in purchasing a gorse bailer could anyone help in knowing were to purchase these machines as all avenues we have tried has proven negative.

Many thanks
teddyfridgie

Hamburg, Germany

#20 Sep 30, 2011
Annatar,

my shredded gorse has dried fine. Burns extremely well with low ash, so I suppose the oil content is still high.

But I wanted to go further, and couldn't, yet: I would like to press the stuff into briquets to compare it with competing commercial products made from softwood sawdust and from peat.

Anyone who could point me to a briquet press for experimenting, please do.

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