Ash Removal Methods for Air Burners FireBox Systems

Disposing of wood waste and vegetation in a safe and practical way is a key concern across a wide range of industries and organizations. The innovative air curtain burner systems manufactured and distributed by Air Burners are ideally suited for managing clean-up after major natural disasters, clearing away brush and vegetation to reduce the risk of wildfires.  Air Burners systems are ideal for use at landfills to divert and eliminate vegetative waste.  By disposing of these materials through the use of an air curtain burner, private companies, cities, counties and state agencies can greatly reduce the amount of cost and energy that results from managing the process through other means.


The Benefits of Air Burners

Air Burners systems, including the popular FireBox, are designed for optimal convenience and performance in all manner of worksite environments. Our FireBox systems offers both permanent and portable solutions for the high-temperature burning of green waste, including wood, brush and other vegetative matter, providing maximum flexibility to companies, agencies and organizations that require highly adaptable solutions for managing their wood and brush disposal needs.

The low cost of operation associated with Air Burners systems is another plus, especially for perennially underfunded public agencies responsible for clearing brush and vegetation from parks and other areas at risk of wildfires. Some Air Burners FireBox models, such as the PGFireBox, can even generate electricity to power work areas, making them one of the most cost-efficient options for disposing of woody debris and vegetation while also producing combined heat and power to run miscellaneous equipment.

Air Burners systems are also an environmentally sound choice for biomass disposal. They limit the amount of pollution created by the disposal process and can also produce biochar, a valuable material for enriching soil and improving yields and sustainability in the agricultural industry. 

Understanding how to use these advanced systems is critical to the success of construction, forestry, landscaping and other efforts and will help you maintain the safety of your team members when managing disposal for brush and other woody vegetation.


Removing Ash from S-Series Air Burners Systems

To operate at maximum efficiency, the Air Burners S-Series of air curtain burners requires regular removal of ash. Depending on the model you choose and the added features you have selected, you can remove ash in one of three basic ways:

  • The Air Burners FireBox Ash Rake System is designed specifically to fit each model of FireBox. This accessory is the ideal solution for ash removal from your FireBox each morning before you begin your day's activities. The Ash Rake features a universal quick-connect faceplate that can be installed directly on most small loaders and excavators. This will make it much easier to remove ash from your FireBox in a safe and practical way. One or two passes with the Ash Rake will also usually leave enough of the hot embers behind to allow you to enjoy the benefits of a hot start for your day's disposal activities.
  • However, if you do not purchase the ash rake, then using an excavator may be the most practical option for removing ash and biochar.  With an excavator you reach in through the rear doors and scrape the ash to the rear.  The ash and biochar are then scooped up and dumped in a truck or dumpster to be sold.  Typically, nurseries and many agricultural concerns buy ash and biochar as a soil amendment.  The ash and biochar can also be turned into the soil at the burn site.
  • Dragging your FireBox is another practical way to remove all ash and embers from the combustion chamber. This strategy is most appropriate when the FireBox must be moved to a new location or when a project is complete. Important to note that this method will not protect embers or allow for a hot start after repositioning. The process requires that you put a small layer of dirt over the ashes to prevent sparks and ashes from being blown away during repositioning. By taking this additional step, you can ensure the highest degree of safety for your team, your worksite and surrounding areas.

No matter which of the above methods you choose, you should make safety a priority. Taking special care with hot ashes and embers will prevent unwanted fires and will ensure that your work area stays safe and secure throughout the ash removal process. 

Removing ash from your system every morning will make the removal process less difficult and will increase the efficiency of your FireBox. Operating an Air Burners FireBox with more than three feet of ash inside is not recommended, and estimates suggest that it would take 20 hours of burning to create three feet of ash inside these units. Scheduling ash removal for the beginning of the work day will often allow for hot starts, which can ensure the greatest possible efficiency for your workflow and biomass disposal activities.


Understanding the Hot Start Process

During a normal cold start, the air curtain system should be disengaged and the engine may or may not be running. The initial load of materials should consist of highly burnable pieces of wood to ensure the fastest and most efficient light-off.  You can use diesel fuel to speed up the lighting process. This should be used only for the initial processing of a “cold start” with a clean and empty FireBox.

If you have processed and burned materials on the previous day, however, you can often use the hot embers and coals that remain in the FireBox to provide a head start for each new day. A “hot start” can significantly speed up the process of lighting and burning biomass materials. By feeding the fire in the appropriate manner, you can achieve greater productivity when using Air Burners systems to dispose of wood waste, brush and other green waste.

The experts at Air Burners can provide you with detailed recommendations and instructions for getting the most from your FireBox systems. Along with the popular S-Series, Air Burners also offers the PGFireBox that generates power from the combustion process. To learn more about these advanced systems, give Air Burners a call today at 772-220-7303. We look forward to speaking with you.