Agricultural Waste Elimination

The Burn-Box or FireBox has been designed to make open burning of wood debris cleaner and faster. It is the choice of many air quality agencies to replace, for example, open pile burning of tree trimmings, trees from crop rotations or grape vines mixed with metal parts. The machines are portable, easy to operate and affordable. They are immediately available directly from the Air Burners factory.

The ag waste must be woody and cannot be dense, like chips or mulch. The wood waste can be freshly cut-wet or dry. 

For more details, please read the rest of this webpage or speak with a factory sales associate. Click Here and fill out our contact form or call our Sales Manager, Michael Schmitt, at 772-220-7303 or on his mobile phone at 772-632-8140.

Agricultural Waste Elimination
by Air Burners Firebox System

You landed on this webpage, because you have an interest in agricultural waste matters, and most likely, how to get rid of it. Within the heading of “waste” in general, agricultural waste embodies a very large segment. Others are municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, forest residue, to name but a few.

Agriculture waste or ag waste is comprised of all the unwanted organic materials left over from or a byproduct of agricultural activities. Most of which, by definition, are man-made or man-induced. They include all those organic plant wastes related to farmland, orchards, greenhouses, etc. Usually called “Biomass”, but also wastes directly related to animals; in particular, livestock and humans as well of which manure, sewage sludge or pesticide runoffs are examples.

It is the goal of the civilized world to reduce or minimize all wastes. That addresses primarily man-made waste, mostly household or industrial garbage (MSW); recycling efforts belong with this endeavor. When it comes to ag biomass waste, we usually can do little towards minimization, as the goal is to maximize the harvest for food production. What we must do is address and eradicate detrimental impacts from pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics and be watchful of the impact of certain genetic manipulations of plants and animals.

Biomass ag waste can be separated into two categories: woody ag waste and dense ag waste materials. Woody ag waste is waste such as tree trimmings, whole fruit trees or vines unrooted for crop rotation. Dense ag waste materials are crop residue from rice or corn harvesting, straw, hay or cotton.

Traditionally, all these plant wastes have been eliminated mostly by open pile burning on site and field burn-offs, also called controlled agricultural burns. For example, fruit tree trimmings in California or Oregon would be collected and open burned in piles releasing massive amounts of smoke. The rules for open burning mandated the phasing-out to ultimate elimination of this practice. Because open burning of any waste is a menace and health hazard to the public, agricultural industries and environmental authorities have looked at Air Burners air curtain machines as the most viable alternate method or the best solution to overcome agricultural open pile burning. It is noted that the practice of chipping, often cited as an alternative, is not one. It is not a waste elimination method, merely a way by which waste is processed to facilitate its transport by trucks, so that the waste disposal can be dealt with elsewhere.

Air Burners burn-boxes or FireBoxes, as they are also called, are not a solution for all agricultural waste disposal problems. The design goal of these machines was to absolutely minimize the smoke (or particulate matter) release from open burning of woody waste material and to maximize combustion efficiency; thereby accelerating the disposal process. Our FireBoxes achieve these goals perfectly. With a combustion efficiency of around 99%, the residual ash amount is very small, and the effluent from the combustion is mostly biogenic CO2 and water vapor. That means the process is utmost cost-efficient which translates into “money saved.”

We now have narrowed down the range of agricultural uses for burn-boxes:

1. Wood- The ag waste must be woody or consist mostly of wood; such as tree trimmings, vines, root balls or whole trees with or without leaves, freshly unrooted or dried out.

2. Size– The ag waste must consist of wood chunks, twigs, branches, tree trunks, root balls; but not mulch, chips or only tree leaves.

3.  Wet or Dry?- Suitable biomass material can be either wet, freshly cut or dry.

4. Metal Parts, Wires, Rocks & Stones– Metal parts, stakes, wires, etc. from vineyard crop rotation, for example, and rocks mixed into the woody ag waste are of no consequence; the FireBox can handle it all.

4. Residual Ash– The residue from the combustion consists of wood ash (carbon ash) and Biochar. Biochar and wood ash are a soil additive beneficial to the soil in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

Which Burn-Box is best for me and what else do I need?


Obviously, it is your goal to get rid of your ag waste with a minimum of cost yet meeting air quality mandates in your area. That means you want to take the machine where the ag waste is generated, collected or accumulated. You want to cut out the cost of chipping and trucking and possibly landfill tipping fees or other final disposal cost. Your FireBox should be sufficiently large for good throughput, yet fairly comfortable to transport. Our roll-off FireBoxes are the best choice for that, especially, if you already have access to suitable hook-lift or cable hoist-trucks. All models up to the S-220 are legal loads on the road and can be moved by flatbed trucks, lowboys, tilt-bed trailers, slide-axle trailers, etc. Once in your field, they can be dragged on their skids for relocation with an appropriate loader that can handle the weight and terrain. The smallest burn box is the trailer-mounted BurnBoss. Obviously, deployment of it cannot be any simpler.


All burn-boxes can be loaded by front loaders, excavators, Skidsteers, Bobcats, etc. Those that are suitably fitted with a grapple or rake are best. Using a thumb attachment with the grapple or rake can be helpful to minimize picking up dirt. The BurnBoss can be loaded by hand.

Ash Handling

The residual ash should be removed the next morning after a day’s burn. It is best with our ash cleanout implement, the ash rake. The ash rake connects to suitable machine interface plates on Bobcats, front loaders, etc. The ash is land applied on location most of the time, but because of its value, the Biochar is often fetched out and handled separately.


FireBox burning of ag waste is clean and safe. However, you must be mindful of the fact that there will be smoke during start-up and some while the air curtain is momentarily broken as the machine being loaded. There will be small embers escaping possibly falling to ground near the burn-box. The burn-box area must be kept tidy of burnable material, except for the wood waste pile for the day’s burn. The machine must always be attended while burning. There may also be occasional weather conditions restricting your burn operation. In planning your cleanup operation, you should take advantage of the portability of the burn-box by dragging it to minimize moving the wood waste. For example, if you want to eradicate all trees in a citrus grove, you would place the machine in a location such that you could unroot the trees with an excavator and load them straight into the FireBox without handling them more than once. When the travelling distance of the loader becomes too far, you would drag the burn-box into the center of the next circle within the grove, and so forth.

Waste-to-Energy (WTE)

All matter contains energy in one form or another, so does waste material. Ethanol contained in some gasoline could be made from a food product, such as corn, by a conversion process. As woody biomass waste is eliminated by combustion in a burn-box, the released heat energy can be converted to produce electricity, make potable water, support a wood-drying kiln or heat a building. Air Burners offers a truly revolutionary and the most cost-effective biomass-to-energy conversion scheme with its PGFireBox systems. Their ideal placement would be at wood waste collection sites, landfills or forest landings where timber is harvested. The latter application is exciting, because in addition to the slash from harvesting timber, there is an abundance of wood waste to be eliminated in the US and Canada as well as other countries consisting of pest or drought killed trees in the forests that must be removed for forest fire mitigation and rehabilitation. Designed to eliminate massive amounts of woody biomass, the PGF machines power themselves from the waste being combusted and make excess power available for other uses. One of these uses could be charging battery banks in the forest used by electrically powered forest machines or vehicles, thus reducing the reliance on hydrocarbon powered engines with their inherent air pollution of greenhouse gas forcing agents.

How do I get going?

Click Here and fill out our contact form or call our Sales Manager, Michael Schmitt, at 772-220-7303 or on his mobile phone at 772-632-8140.

Thank you for your visit.