I cheated. There, I said it. I got impatient waiting for the bio-fuel to dry so I put a batch in the oven to dry for several hours. I did two burn tests this evening.
I broke off two approximately 1" lengths of a briquette. I put one in a tin can and tried to ignite it. The first thing I learned is that these compressed paper pellets are really hard to ignite on their own. I couldn't get it ti do more than smolder and singe the edges.
The next test was with the same bit of fuel except this time I used a cotton ball soaked in vaseline as a fire starter. The cotton ball burned long enough that the paper caught and burned quite well.
About 20 minutes later the flames were pretty much done.
At 30 minutes there was still a solid coal left burning. I decided to put it out at that point. Not too bad for 1" of compressed paper fuel.
The second test was in the rocket stove.
One cotton ball and one 1" piece of briquette.
I placed a pan with 2 cups of water in it on top. Ten minutes later we still had some good flames going. The chimney does seem to speed up the burn, but not enough for a single pellet of fuel to boil the water.
|10 minutes in|
After 20 minutes I still had a small flame going, but there simply isn't enough energy in 1" of fuel to bring water to a boil.
Later this weekend I'll try a water test with more fuel. I'm satisfied for now that the paper briquettes do burn at a consistent rate without any quick flare ups. On a side note I put the fire out half an hour ago and the stove with it's refractory is still radiating a gentle heat.