Preparing Your Worksite for an Air Burners FireBox System

Air curtain burners are the recommended disposal method for green, woody waste generated from landscaping, construction projects and forestry activities. These innovative devices are also invaluable for expediting clean-up efforts after major natural disasters. Air Burners offers an extensive lineup of air curtain burner options designed to provide portable or stationary combustion solutions for disposing of wood, brush and vegetation in a practical and environmentally sound way.

Preparing your site in the right ways can help you make the most effective use of Air Burners equipment. The right location can make a big difference in the ability of your Air Burners FireBox system to perform at optimal efficiency.


Initial Considerations

Factors that will play a role in your choice of location may include some or all of the following:

  • The amount of clear space available for the FireBox and the unloading of wood and other vegetation
  • Access points for trucks and trailers
  • Prevailing winds in the area where the FireBox will be located
  • The density of the soil
  • How you plan to remove ash and biochar from the FireBox

Surveying the area where you plan to deploy your system before it arrives will help you make the most practical choice for your woody waste disposal efforts. You should generally keep the following points in mind:

  • Choosing a location that allows easy access for loading waste wood and debris will streamline the process for you and your team. You should look for an area that has ample room for large trucks and trailers to enter, turn around and leave.
  • Designating a holding zone for incoming wood and vegetative waste as it arrives is also important. This will allow faster unloading of vegetative debris and will serve as a staging area for your team while filling and operating the FireBox.
  • Allowing adequate room to sort the waste wood into two piles as is outlined in the Air Burners operating manual.  Air Burners recommends a main waste pile and a side pile of dry, easily combustible materials be located near the FireBox.  This material called “good wood” is used for starting in the morning, and throughout the day to increase the fire if, for example, a large load of high moisture content material is added.
  • Planning for the removal of ash and biochar from the system will help you to manage these tasks in an efficient way. If you plan to “drag” the FireBox to remove ashes, ensure adequate room for multiple moves to allow for all your planned days of burning.
  • Remember your ash and biochar have value as a soil amendment.  Biochar is selling for approximately $120.00 USD per ton in the United States.  If you are only burning in a location for a short time and don’t want to spend the time to collect and sell the ash and biochar, you can usually turn it into the soil around the burn site.  It is a good soil amendment that happens naturally after wildfires.

Integrating the above factors into your overall deployment plan will help you stay safer and promote the most efficient use of space in your green waste disposal site.


Staging Your Wood Piles

Wood waste has varying degrees of moisture. This is not important once you have the fire started in your FireBox but choosing better materials to start the fire can help you get off to a quicker and better start each day.  Air Burners recommends staging wood piles by using a two-pile system:

  • Dry, highly combustible wood that will burn more quickly should be placed in one pile. This wood should be used for the initial lighting of your FireBox system and to stoke the fire if it begins to slow or die down during operation. This “good wood” pile will be much smaller than the bulkier main pile and will contain the wood that you expect to burn most quickly and efficiently.
  • The main pile consists of all types of wood, vegetation and other materials that may contain significant moisture and that require a hotter fire for efficient combustion. While loading the FireBox, your crew should watch for “good wood” separating it out to replenish the good wood pile. This will ensure that there is plenty of wood suitable for morning start-up and for use throughout your burn day.

Root balls, green brush, and green plants can be more difficult to burn because of their size and higher moisture content. These materials should be kept in the main pile for burning when the system is already operating efficiently. If you find wooden pallets in your main pile, they are an example of waste material that should go into the “good wood” pile.


Preparing the FireBox

If your FireBox is positioned on very hard soil, prior to loading for your start-up, you should place dirt inside of the combustion chamber around the edges. This will close off the bottom of the unit to prevent smoke from escaping through any holes or gaps that could be caused by uneven ground under the FireBox. It is especially important to create this “dirt seal” as the FireBox burning chamber is under a positive pressure, therefore smoke will be pushed out any gaps that might exist. 

You should never dig a pit under your FireBox. It should be placed on ground that is relatively level. Creating a pit under the FireBox will make it more difficult to seal the bottom of the FireBox allowing smoke to escape which will be in violation of your permit.  This is also important because you could cause severe damage to the machine and the fire will reach under the thermal ceramic panels and destroy both the panels and the main frame of the FireBox.


Benefits of Air Burners FireBox Systems

When operated properly, FireBox systems will significantly reduce the particulates and emissions from your wood waste disposal process. This will allow you to protect the environment while safely and efficiently disposing of wood, brush and other debris.  In addition, burning with the Air Burners FireBox is approximately 40 times faster than open burning so it can save you money as well.  Depending on your needs, you can deploy your FireBox in a permanent location or move it from site to site as needed to resolve issues with wood waste in various areas under your responsibility. The FireBox does not need any permanent facilities, it is best set up on bare ground.  The added flexibility made possible by Air Burners FireBox systems will allow you to manage your woody waste more effectively.

Air Burners systems are also designed to produce ash and biochar that can be used in agricultural processes. These materials can often be sold or used by your organization to manage soil quality and to generate added sources of revenue. If you are at a temporary location, you can usually turn your ash into the soil as it is a very good soil amendment.  If you need electrical and/or thermal energy, then the PGFireBox can generate electrical power that can help you manage the requirements of your worksite in the most efficient and practical manner possible and eliminate your vegetative waste.

To learn more about the Air Burners lineup of air curtain burners, call 772-220-7303 today. The friendly and knowledgeable experts at Air Burners will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the most accurate information possible about how our systems can help you manage your woody waste disposal needs now and in the future.