What are Liberty Bricks made out of?

Liberty Bricks are made from scrap wood chips and sawdust. The amount of wood chips in the bricks and the source of sawdust will change the appearance somewhat, but all bricks will burn about the same.

How are Liberty Bricks made?

Liberty Bricks are held together by natural resins that “knit” the fibers together when tremendous pressure is applied to them during the manufacturing process. Wood fiber is fed into a mold, where a large ram puts a half million pounds of pressure on the fiber and compresses it into a Liberty Brick. The bricks are held together by the rejoined fibers in the wood and natural resins. No glues or binders are added.

Why don’t they light with a match like DuraFlame logs or other starter logs?

Ambiance logs are made to burn one at a time to look pretty. They are held together with wax and sometimes contain used motor oil to make them easy to light and to make them burn one at a time on a fireplace grate. They are essentially soaked with lighter fluid. Because our bricks don’t have any petroleum added, they require a small amount of kindling, tinder, or paper to start, just like dry, cord firewood. The advantage is that they get going faster than cord wood.

How do you get them started?

Bricks start easily if they are stacked in a little teepee around a few wads of newspaper. The heat from the newspaper gets trapped well enough in the top of the teepee to start the wood on fire and then within a few minutes all the bricks are started from the inside. It will be very difficult to light only one brick in your fireplace with out any additional wood or paper.

How long do they burn?

The time they burn depends on how much air they are given. In an open fireplace, they will burn for about 90 minutes. In a wood stove stuffed to capacity and damped down, they will burn all night.

How much ash is produced?

Liberty Bricks make much less ash than cord or split wood. There is no bark in our bricks, which is where most of the ash in cord or split wood comes from.

How much heat is generated by Liberty Bricks? How does it compare to other heat sources?

Like all wood, they give off about 8600 BTU’s per pound. Since Liberty Bricks are generally dryer than split wood, less heat is lost to the vaporization of moisture. One ton of Liberty Bricks contains about 17 million BTU’s. With heating oil, you’ll need about 120 gallons to get the same amount of heat; with propane, about 185 gallons; with natural gas, about 165 CCF; or about 4980 KWh of electricity. Of course, appliance efficiency will affect the amount of heat you get out of any fuel.

How much wood is equivalent to a ton of Liberty Bricks?

Although split wood is often bought by the cord, there’s no good way to know exactly how much wood you’re getting since a cord is defined by the 8’ x 4’ x 4’ dimensions of the stack but not by how densely it’s packed. One “rule” to describe the density of a cord of wood is that a mouse can get into the stack, but not the cat that’s chasing it. The heat value of wood is determined by the weight and dryness, and since Liberty Bricks are sold by weight, you can be sure that you’re getting one ton (2,000 lbs.) of Liberty Bricks on each pallet. Liberty Bricks are conveniently packaged in shrink wrapped bundles of ten bricks and each pallet is wrapped and covered. Liberty Bricks take up half the storage space of cordwood (4′ x 4′ x 4′), are clean, have no bugs, and may be stored indoors or outdoors.

What is their environmental impact?

Most of the raw material we use would have ended up in a landfill or an industrial boiler. So in terms of resource conservation, this is a perfect product; it is sustainable and conserves land. It burns much cleaner than firewood because it is drier and more uniform, so the fire burns very efficiently and cleanly. There is essentially no sulfur in the wood and it burns at too low a temperature (compared to petroleum and gas) to make much nitrogen oxides, so it doesn’t contribute to smog or acid rain.

The net carbon emissions are zero, because the raw material would decompose and form the same amount of carbon whether burned or not. Regarding greenhouse gases, burning bricks does not emit any methane, but decomposition in a landfill creates lots of methane, which is 23 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.