Yes, apparently there really is such a thing as a stove that burns corn. Seems this is actually one of those not-so-new ideas that is getting a close second look, as the demand for cheap heating sources continues to increase. Here’s a bit of what dclarker has to say:
Depression-Era farmers used corn to stoke their pot-belly stoves because it cost less to burn it than haul it into town to sell.
Today’s consumer likes corn as a heating source not only because it is cheap. Corn is attracting attention because it is a “green fuel” and renewable, thus lowering dependence of foreign energy sources.
Heating with corn could prove particularly economical for those people living in areas where corn is grown, such as Iowa and Minnesota.
Frank Robison, who sells corn-burning stoves in Farwell, Michigan told a reporter from the Midland Daily News that this method of heating is a “no-brainer” because not only does the money for fuel stay in the United States it also stays local. Not to mention burning corn helps the environment, he said.
The cost of corn-burning stoves now range from about $1,700 to $3,200. The cost to heat a home throughout winter can be as low as $400. A bushel of corn that can be purchased for less than $2 provides the same amount of energy as five gallons of propane and 3.4 gallons of fuel oil, Robison said.
My first thought was that this could be the answer to the current wood pellet shortage, but it seems that corn-burning stoves may also be a bit hard to put your hands on this season. (It’s all due to ramped-up demand for alternative fuel sources in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season and its impact on oil production, of course.)
But maybe next year?
If the raccoons don’t eat all my corn, that is.