Wood House Research Farm (Hampshire County, West Virginia)

 

Coffee Logs

The Wood House Research Farm reuses coffee grounds from the Java Shack, Arlington, Virginia's first green
restarurant and winner of many similar accolades.
The coffee logs are made in several ways:

Outdoor logs: Coffee grounds and occasional discarded filters are mixed with a small amount of cleaned waste
vegtable oil (post-transestherification) and enough wax to give it shape. Glycerine is a by-product of biodiesel
transestherification, and it's improtant to remove it. The combination of coffee nitrogen and glycerine gels is
not nearly as volatile as nitro-glycerin (the production of nitro-glycerin is how biodiesel was discovered in the
mid-1900's), but burning glycerin creates acrolein, which is known to be carcinogenic and produces the putrid
smell of burnt grease. It is also a respiratory irratant.

Indoor logs: For the safest indoor logs, we mix the coffee grounds with only wax. Paraffin wax works well, but it is
a product of fossil fuels, so a vegetable-based wax or beeswax is preferable and cleaner if the price allows.

Firestarter logs: Coffee grounds plus a little wax and methanol-free glycerine gives off a lot of heat that will lead
to combustion of insufficiently dried wood. We still recommend not using glycerin in a combined space.

 

 

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