Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Now We're Cooking with....

Monday's Capital had a story describing how many local pellet stove owners are having difficulty finding fuel this winter. Turns out quite a few people starting hoarding bags of pellets after the hurricanes hit, and the supply has yet to rebound. Pellet stoves are nice because they provide the usual benefits of a wood burning stove using a product for fuel that would generally just go into the waste stream, compressed saw dust. Problem is, there has to be someone compressing the pellets, and as has been evidenced by this situation, that can sometimes be a bottleneck in the process.

A better alternative, I think, is the corn burning stove. These stoves work in much the same way as the pellet burning stoves (in fact, some stoves burn both), except that they burn kernels of corn as fuel. Corn, like wood, is a renewable resource, and it is easily available locally. Some jurisdictions, like Takoma Park, MD have even put up corn silos so that local residents can have easy access to fuel for their stoves.

Perhaps communities in Anne Arundel County could consider something similar. What a great way to support local farmers, kick the fossil fuel habit, and heat your home.



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