Burning corn is a cost effective way to heat your home. We are in a cycle of rising fuel prices but corn prices have remained stable for a number of years. If you live in the midwest, where dry shelled corn is available in abundance at very reasonable prices it makes very good sense. Corn is also very easy to handle, much easier than wood, and it has a very high energy output for it's weight.
What about the real numbers? Look at a Corn Burning Example
Heat Content and Heating Efficency of Various Fuels <ref name=OMAF>Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Burning Shelled Corn as a Heating Fuel,Aug/93</ref>
Burning corn is also in some ways, good for the environment. Corn absorbs carbon dioxide, a cause of global warming, and releases oxygen as it grows. Corn is considered 'carbon neutral', because it absorbs as much carbon dioxide as it emits while burning. However, it does emit fine particles as does any solid fuel burning device.
Also, if you're heating your home with corn, then you're not directly using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels release carbon, which contribute to global warming. Again, however, that is not to say corn burning is not dependant on fossil fuels. It is. From the natural gas used as the feedstock for fertilizers and pesticides, to the diesel fuel running the tractors, combines and trucks used to get it to market. Corn growing is very dependant on fossil fuels and will be at the whim of th market price of oil.
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If you have been burning natural gas or propane, this doesn't apply to you. Everything is going to seem like a lot of work to you. No, this is directed to the people who, god help them, burn wood. Lets see:
- cut the tree
- saw up the tree
- split the wood
- haul the wood
- stack the wood
- move the wood
- bring the wood in the house
- feed the woodstove
- clean up the mess from the wood
- carry out all the ash
- clean the chimney every year for fear of chimney fire.
Even if you buy wood and have it stacked in your back yard, some of these steps apply to you. It is a lot of work. You will find that corn burning is much less work. Many fewer steps.