Burner recommendations

Discussion in 'Burners and their construction' started by Mike B, Jan 22, 2024.

  1. Mike B

    Mike B Lead

    Hello to you all, I’d be grateful for your advice on obtaining a suitable burner to do a job we have on.

    We dispose of explosives & pyrotechnics and have an item with a minuscule explosive content but we’re tasked with disposing and destroying the canister completely. The canister is 100% aluminum, slightly pressurised with nitrogen & isopropyl alcohol and slightly less in size than a can of coke but with more aluminium content. They are time expired and most de-pressurised.

    We use portable propane incinerators for our work but they are not set up for this type of work as aluminium will clog the jets so we improvised the following:

    205 with detachable lid with a series 25mm holes in it and around the bottom 3rd plus one larger hole for a blower and several 25mm holes in the bottom to allow molten aluminium to run out. The destructive process as follows:

    Start a fire with logs in the bottom of the 205 & when reaching temperature pour in an amount of canisters and attach the lid, give it a few mins then turn on the blower, within 30mins the aluminium has run in to a large baking tray and we building up the fire again.

    Problem we have is the process is not fast or clean enough, we are producing another waste (slag/clinker) and the aluminium has burnt wood in it.

    What we want is to use the same 205 process but with a propane burner, can you gentlemen recommend the burner you think would do this, Can we get this burner in the UK, would the 205 benefit from a wrap of insulation?

    Bit long winded I know and I apologise for any typos but I’m on site with only an iPhone

    Thank you in advance

  2. HT1

    HT1 Gold Banner Member

    What is a 205???
  3. Mike B

    Mike B Lead

    205 (205lt) is the metric equivalent of a 45 gallon drum
  4. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    55 gallon drum for the Americans.
    Do the canisters burst with force inside the burning barrel?
  5. Mike B

    Mike B Lead

    No not at all, the explosive pellet is .3 of a gram, if still charged with gas it’s quite a small whoomf, when the all start to go it’s a rolling popping effect, I had thought this may blow out the burner but that’s to be seen
  6. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    How many do you have to melt? (Scope of the job). Can they be mechanically pierced prior to melting? I ask because what I have I mind would take several hours and a few bucks to set up, but would be effective. It would involve continuously feeding the containers into a bath of already molten aluminum, so explodyness might be a thing. I don’t know that the charge would be a big deal, but the pressurization probably might. The burner could be a fairly simple propane burner like our member Fishbonz uses. I’d be willing to elaborate if you think it’s worth the effort.

    I’m sure you guys know your business but I’ll ask anyway. I would seem like mechanical destruction to whatever degree needed to satisfy your customer would be less troublesome and make your scrap more valuable at the scrapyard than cow pies. The residue from the burned charge material probably isn’t doing your alloy any favors anyways.

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2024
  7. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    This is what I envisioned. Steel pipe 1.5 to 2 meters tall just a little wider than the canister. Maybe a funnel on top to shovel a bunch in. Aim a 19mm or 25mm burner up into it. Steel grate at the bottom, might have to play with the positioning/opening size. Burner could be blower assist or without. Youtube is full of forge burner builds. You will need to use a flare on the end of the burner.
    Once the tube heats up it should be fairly quick.

    Tops likes this.
  8. Mike B

    Mike B Lead

    Hi Pete,

    We don’t count them as we work on NEQ Net Explosive Quantity, to add another process especially a mechanical would be impractical and costly, it is a continuous contract until the airframe is taken out of service but having proven the concept of incineration using wood as the fuel we would like to simplify the job using gas.

    It’s a health and safety thing with all class one products and burning is the only reliable option at cost.

    having seen some videos on line of air fed oil burners melting large lumps of aluminium I’d say these units would be simpler but would like to do it with propane
  9. Mike B

    Mike B Lead

    Would wrapping the tube /205 in an insulation be a good idea?
  10. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Insulation is always a bonus.
  11. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    At least the feeding part of my idea is similar to what Fishbonz posted above.
    This is my reverb furnace
    IMG_0124.jpeg IMG_0146.jpeg

    It ain’t pretty but it works great. Usually when folks talk about a reverberatory furnace it’s just a straight blast onto the metal. This was originally built with a coal firebox as a true reverb but it didn’t work for shit. I had a 6’ chimney pipe mounted to the rectangular exhaust for draw but I just couldn’t get it to work effectively. So I closed off the firebox opening (underneath) and mounted my oil burner. Propane would work. The combustion begins in the small enclosed cavity at the end of the furnace and commences into the main cavity along the top of the furnace deflecting the heat down onto the molten pool. The quality of the picture of the open furnace doesn’t show the reverberatory form very well. You can see very clear drawings of the principle with a simple google search of traditional methods. The rectangular chimney isn’t needed but I still use it to preheat or just drop aluminum in there. Exhaust could just escape through an enlarged pouring spout. I have a refractory plug that I generally stick in that hole in the top when the furnace is in use and then remove it to feed material. That’s where Bonz’s feeder could sit (without the burner). It would initially create a bath but as more material is added, the molten aluminum could just overflow out the spout into your container continuously. Either that or you could just figure out your capacity and tilt the whole pool out at once and start over. It has a layer of Kaowool behind about 1/2” of castable refractory.
    When I’m done I just tip the back of the furnace downward, pull the pivot base away, and slide wheels on the axles.
    Again, that might be more than you want to do build-wise, but if it were more creatively engineered and skillfully built, I think it woul be pretty effective.

    Tops likes this.
  12. Mike B

    Mike B Lead


    that is a nice bit of kit and gives us another idea, thank you.

    We have ordered a burner with a claimed output of 380.000 btu but has a very concentrated blue flame, great for heating steel to forge, we have various long handled burners that burn yellow, great for roof felt and that type of job, I’m sure both will do the job in there own way but at different speeds, do you know a larger burner somewhere in the middle of the two ?

  13. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    I'm an oilburner guy, so no help from me on the propane burner.
    I'll be interested to see your final setup.

    Words of wisdom.

  14. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    I looked over YouTube for the simplest burner build and settled on this one.
    He has one extra piece that you don't need, the pipe nipple on the flare end. Burners in open air need the flare on the end.
  15. Mike B

    Mike B Lead

    Thanks guys, we have a design in mind now and have started to fabricate bits & bobs so when it’s up and running I will upload a few pics for you


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