Uses for sawdust and shavings


Material Information

Uses for sawdust and shavings
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Forest Products Laboratory (U.S.)
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory ( Madison, Wis )
Publication Date:

Record Information

Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 29235186
oclc - 237068204
System ID:

Full Text
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2 -7 11 P,-



Forest Iroducts Laboratory,- Forest Service
U. S. Department of Agriculture f -
I --- -"- -__

The most economical disposal of sawdust and shavings is a pr6Tem-of- j /
concern to the wood industries. In some cases the problem arises from the need
of reducing the cost of getting rid of material that clogs production; in others,
from the desire to get some return or profit from material that in the log form
has represented a considerable outlay of money. Steam-power plants that used
wood waste for fuel at the point of its production have been replaced to a large
extent by plants that use electric power or internal-combustio, engines, so
that many of these major outlets for sawdust as fuel have been closed. On the
other hand, certain uses for sawdust and shavings have been extended. Thus,
from various angles, the subject has considerable current interest for wood-
working concerns.

This report summarizes the best available information on uses for sawdust and
shavings in order to facilitate reply to the large number of inquiries received
1by the Forest I-roducts Laboratory. On some of the uses the information at hand
is reasonably dependable; on others, where the use is small and ]ocalized, the
information is fragmentary and may not be currently applicable elsewhere or
under other conditions.

Major emphasis in this report is placed upon the established uses rather thar-
upon potential uses. Potential uses will seem much more important to many
inquirers, but for the most part such uses are a matter for further research
and investigation. This report aims to cover normal trade outlets and makes "no
attempt to report on the status or results of research projects.

Quantity uses for sawdust and shavings are open to the individual producers of
such waste, Many of the uses, however, do not require large quantities. Many
of them call for the retailing of special qualities of material and often of
material in relatively small lots, the demands for which are customarily sup-
plied by dealers who specialize in sawdust and shavings. Most of the larger
cities have such dealers, whose iames are car iei d directories and
similar lists. HUME LBRARY

On an industry-wide basis the bulk of the saw ust is green. Thus far it has
not been considered economically feasible to ry sawl atificijally Green
sawdust has limited use except as fuel at th producing pC n72Gree hardwood
sawdust, however, is used in fairly large am nts for meat smoking. n certain
-Maintained at Madison 5 Ws. in operate Wisconsin.
'Maintained at Madison 5, Wis, in cooperat ,LLE. _.._ R

Report !To. R1666-1


localities green softwood sawdust, and to a less extent hardwood sawdust, is
used in sjlecial sawdust furnaces for domestic heating. Shavings ordinarily
come from air-dried or kiln-dried wood. Shavings and sawdust produced from
maeiEzinine- dry wood afford their producer the best prospects for marketing
waste material of this kind. For most uses only fresh material is acceptable.
Saw.dust and shavings, when exposed to the weather, very rapidly deteriorate
and lose much of their use value.

As in other fields of wood use, it is better to prevent the waste or to mini-
mize its occurrence than to salvage it after it occurs. After waste is pro-
duced,, however its most economical disposal defends more uoron the initiative
and selling ability cf the producer than upon almost anything else.

Avail-ale information is tabulated in tables 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this report
auder the following four general classifications:

(1) Uses because of special physical qualities,
(2) Fuel uses.
(3) Fiber uses.
(4) Chemical uses.

Such classification is not entirely satisfactory because some uses may be
clas.c-i in more than one group.

In scekir.t: a rrarket, it is well to recognize that intrinsic Ihysical quali-
ties (table 1) of sawdust and shavingf-s, as well as their cheapness and avail-
ability, govern certain tTypes of their use. Recognition of this may help
the producer to find local markets not specifically listed in table 1. Saw-
dust ani sometimes are chosen for use because they are: (1) absorb-
ent, as for spilled liquids, as a carrier of liquid manure; (2) abrasive,
as in hnr.d soaps, metal polishes, fur cleaning, sweeping comlj ounr.ds (absorbence
also involved); (3) bulky and fibrous, as for wnod flour, cushionirng,
iackairng, light-weight cement aggregate; (4) noncor.ductive, as for insulation,
ice storage; and (5) granular, as for textured surfaces, oatmeal wallpaper.

-our main classes of fuel uses (table 2) for sawdust and shavings are recog-
nized: (1) for power and heat at the producir.g plant (with other wood waste);
(2) in public buildings ar.d power planr.ts (with hogg-ed waste); (3) with
special lonestic sawdust turr.ers (sawdust; and (4) as briquettes (dry
saw iust ar.nd The first class is cour.try-wide 3nd large in volume,
althou;.h le.,reasir,-7. The last three classes are of special sirificanco,
mostly in the laclfic -orthwest. The fourth class is arousing increasing
ir.terest, from which':ations of this use in other arts of tne country
may develop.

Uses of sawdust ar.. shavin:-s as fiber (table 3) have received cor.nsierable
attention., but as yet have not actually developed to any important decree.
Sawdust ar.d shavia:-s are not a generallyy acceptable material for pulping,
te:auise of various technical ar.n economic factors involved in their use for
such uriosE Wood flour, an importar.t ase, is fibrous, tut it is classi-
fiei In this rLport under uses fot special physical iro~prties, In certain
ises, use is eir:n_.- r.aJe or hns tee:. tried for three types of fiber product,

Aelort "'o. "1466-1 -2-

namely; (1) filler for saturating felt, asphalt shingles, and the like;
(2) low-grade pulp for container liners; and (3) pressed board or shaped
products with resin or other binding agent.

In the United States uses of sawdust and shavin-s for production of chemicals
(table 4) are of potential rather than immediate importance, except for their
time-honored usage in Gonnection with the smoking of meat. Established
chemical-conversion processes are employed to some extent for products of
(1) distillation and (2) extraction; while laboratory or conmercial pilot-
plant tests are in progress for chemical production by (3) hydrolysis, (4)
fermentation, and (5) hydrogenation.

A-ril 1947

Retort ITo. R1666-1

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Table l.-UseP of sawdust Add allawac belcause o2 special Olicad au"Ittle. (Continued)

Use Sawdust a Swavids t

: :U 0osical: Annual ;
Specltes Speclflcations Users or purchasers; UMarket hblp l i conump- M s&r)k:
: location : distnOce tion :

i i
Circus Rluxteand I I t
RIdlng Stable* :GreeolDryt

Clay Prcnuc- sr-etlaJ :Greaa;Dry:
Poroul irtcx and
tile : :

Composition foorla D ry

Molded Noveltie t :Dry:

Glass, ohWtI. t :Dry:
canned and bottled I
good. Metal ware

Building stone

Grapes 0ry0

Eursery stock

Plaster Soard 31ry3

: a pine and other :of species listed. :ing plaster board
S3:light-coloredlight-:Muet be nonstaining
S : weight woods :and nonacid

Sawdust-Cement Con- 0r..en: Dry3 :Permienlible species :Large, coarse. bard :Scattered building
create : :not definitely es- :particles of woods contractors
Poured : tablished. Spruce, having no detrimen- i
3 :Norway pine, Jack ;tel extractive@.
S pine, and aspe" re- :(Extractive content
t 3 3 I ported satisfactory. :ie a factor affect-
S :Leached stock of :ing setting of the
I* :other species may be:cement)
S 3 : : wsatisfacoory. Woods t
I i amiald to be avoided:
S 3 3:cottonwood. oak.
S : :birch, maple.Douglaa-i
S : :fir.western redcedar:

Cast blocks and :
panels :Green:Dry: : Sam a a bove Same as above

Stuff ing Toye ;Dry: 3Light-welgiht bard- :Dry stock;flns meah;:Doll manufacturers
Animals and dolls woods and softwoods :any mixture except
S : : 3ighl3y resinous
S . :woods

loOf loor
special type :Green: :Green :Southern yellow pine: :Some manufacturer*
For burn-out maesh: z :of firebrick and
In ceramics :ceramlcs

Usual type :Dry: :Dry:White pine,ponderoa.:Dry stock (9 percent:Specialized plants
pine. Douglas-fir. :moisture content and:drawing aste from
S : :maple. aspen. birch,:lower); softwood :planing ills. box
:hmalock preferred; any ds.. :factorl,milleork
:Southern pine if low:plante
S . :In resin


Concrete Protection :Green:

Inflation :Dry:
Ice houses
Refrigerator cars : :
Sound :
Water pipes

Dl play-WIlndow Decor-

tettwriA Oatmeal 2 Dr7i
Wellcome I


:Dry All species

Dry :o:stly especially
S :cut; light color

1 i

iryim.d 3 :Rgular dealers and
:riding stables

Species not impor- Often sifted for :Specialty manufao-
S 3nt :uniform sit : turers

;iDry:ardwood or mixed Varled, usually dry. Limited coasrcial
:hardwood end soft- soft species., no- :sxperlmentBtion
S :wood istainiag. oonacid, 4
S :to 50 percent as
S filler. Coarse soft-:
S. :wood bse. Fine
S:hardwood top. UOu&al.
:sifted for sise

:Dry:Light-welgnt hard- Dry stock, ground to: Sall novelty pro-
:woode and softwoods proper finsness. :ducers
S 3Must be clean

;Dry:Various species., but:Nontaunic or acidic Shippsrs of liquids
S :low density pre- :species for packIng ;glasq. china, and
: ferred :metal ware. Light- :other fragile items
:colored. llght-weight,
: 3 eoft, absorptive '
S 3stOck preferred. All:
S:stock dry and clean

:Dry:Wbite plnosbaswood. :Light-colored.light-: Slppers of bulldbo
: ponderosa pine :weightnoontaining ;stone

Spruce, Douglas-fir,:Cubical stock.air- :California grape
: white fir :dried, clean.sifted :growers

-Dry:Cedar,white pine. :Soft, absorbent iNurseries
: ponderosa pinse. woods, chitefly shao-:
3 :basswood :Ingo and shingle tow:

:Dry:White pine,. pondero-:Meddiuo-coarse stock ;Certain plants mak-

Scat tee
:in difl
:ant sec
:tlons I
Xast *'i

:Nonstalning species :Bullding contractors:

Dry seawdust asd :Bullders and opers-
:shavings; any kind. ;tors of use items
:but light weight and:listed in Col. 1
;light color (clean)

Suitable for dyeing :Urban
:or staining to dif- :stores
:ferent color*

Screened for else :Specialty paper
-mauefacturers e

*ed tUp to ap- Approxl-
er- :proxiate- :mSately
- ly 300 :80.000
it ;tileS :ton#
d- :



:Circus ;Medium
i tonfls 3 *

:RslativBly for reduci g density :a4 w*oeight

S all ;UBIed with various
S 3 3:ctente to give i103i-
* lting and resilient

; :31a Pl&quwIs, novelty Jews
3caes, furniture orri0
Si :meits, and the like

, :Widely z :Moderate S
:dispersed t :

g:Indiana, ;Packed between finish
:Ne. Tork Atone on flat c&rt. to
:and other the Ilke

Central ;Fee thoa- :Cftsen oade specially
and south-: :3ad tonos by cutting
:er6 Cali-

:Country- 3 Packing bout roots o.
:wide 0:plants. "nrubs, and t
S. 3:like, ton shippig

:Several ;Usal cmix 4 to 5 parc
: thousacd :by el6ht. Is beip ri
:tone :placed by foaming co -
; pcuds

ot widely oed, but
3OovttlOee advocated f<
:.coW and poultry barn
; ; floors

; :Precwt to panels or
.blo .s for easy ntdl
MAX: to a5old cracklog
.and earpio^ 10 0e 33io3
3 icl3 0 certain .ien
fo1--la all, -p1a
:trade nAiis.a

:Chiefly :iyom local 3mall
:New York :suppliea
:City :

:A few :Relatively:
limitedd small
:locations : i




:Gradually increasing use
:1 manutfacture of linole-
:., plsItics, and the

:Cverage to prevent too
rapid dryingl

V:Use formerly more than
;=- POtsibblilties
probably not fully ex-

S maoll


Report No. 31666-1
Z M "925 F




(seet 2 of 2)


Tsble 2.--yuel uses of sawdust and shaylnr.u

: Sawdust : Shavings:


Specifications :Users or purchasers : Market
S: : location

:X conoamical: Annual :
t shipping : consumrp- :
: distance : tion :

Briquette a :Dry: :Dry:Principally softwood:Stock must be of low:Special briquetting :At present:Local
S :Species :moisture content, 9 :plants where several:chiefly on:
:percent or lees :tons are available :West Coast:
:per day :and ad-
: :states;one
:In Sst

Domestic Fuel:
arnsces and :Green: : :Chiefly Douglas-fir. :Coarse head-saw saw-:Residents in produc- IChiefly in:Local
ranges :Species of high sap-:dust; no shavings or:Ing area :Northwest;:
S :wood and moisture :weathered material :some in
content less desir-: :Northeast

rire Lighters :
Home use : : :Dry:Ay :Shavings sprinkled :Any householder :Country-
S:with crankcase or :wide
: : :fuel oil; stored
S : : :outdoors in covered :
: :metal container;few :
: : :handfuls wrapped in :
S : : :newspaper for use as:
steady burning kind-:
S : : : :ling, particularly
S : :for fireplace fuel :

Specialty t :Dry: : Any :Dry stock required :Current use doubtful:
: z : 3 3 2 2
3 *

Gas Producers :Green: : : :Ay : :No current demand I
3 3 :

Industrial Fuel S : : :
Producing plants :Green:Dry:Green:Dry:All :Any size and mois- :Originating and :Country- :Local
and local utilities: : : : : :ture content :nearby plants :wide ex- :
:cept util-:
:ities :
S: : :mainly In:

Lime Burnlrii. : : : :Dry4Any; pine preierrd :Dry ehavings :Purners near source :Local
:of shavlgs :

:200.000 Only one process now
;tons :known to be used (Pres-
:to-logs). A process
:for small briquettes
:and for small scale
:production is under

:600,000 Some chance for expan-
:tons :sion in beut where
:sawdust supply Is con-
:stant and plentiful

:Very small:Practiced by few but
:worthy of wider adop-

:Very small;saported formerly
:pressed into rosin end
:pitch cakes

Has been used for domes-
:tic cooking and for
truck fuel

:large :Usually with Dutch
:ovens or special feeds

:Loose shavlne: de-
:livered by truck
3 3

2 Y /' '


Table 3.-Fiber uses of yawdust and sh"Tinas

S.: Annual
Use : Sadusit Shavings.: species Specifications Users or purchasers: consump- : Remarks
: : tlon

Container Board :Oreen:Dry7 : Pine :IHead-saw sawdust. :Probably none in :A war measure; about 25 per-
PAD :green :normal times :cent put in digester for akiar
: low grade liner

Paper Plp :Green:Dry:Green:.Dry:Softwooda :Not known Probably none in t :It is reported that one pulp
:normal times : :mill has used 50 percent saw-
;dust in one digester

Pressed Board or Green:Dry:Green:DryiUnimportant :No exact specifica- To be made at source:Negligible: arlous groups now working on
Core Stock it tons. but light- :of raw materials : :molded sawdust and shavings.
i : : : colored. light- : : :Products none yet commer-
S : : :weight woods pro- : :cially important
S : : : :ferred

Saturating Felt Green:Dry: : Not specified zScreened or fine :Some saturating felt:Moderate As filler in asphalt roofing
(Asphalt roofing) : : sawdust :manufacturers :amount

Table 4.-Chemical uses of sawdust and havins

I ::Annual
Use : Sawdust Shavings: Species Specifications Users or purchasers: Market : consump- remarks
S: : location tion

Cedar oils :Green:Dry:Greoa:Dry:Mexican cedar, aet- :Heart stock. Ground Ten plante in South-:Most
A : : ern redced&r *to wood-flour mesh :era States :plants lo-:
:: cated in
: :Tennessee

Destructive : Dry : Softwoods and hard- : :A few chemical :Midwest :Negliglble:A wartime outlet; otherwise largely
:woods :plants :and lest : :experimental
Steal" : : 2 2 :
Turpentine :Green:Dry :Longleaf pine Wood with high resinsNone at present :Commercial production discontlned
: : .content

was :Green:Dry:Green:Dry:Osage-orange.smac Heart stock :Not known :Little current importance

Eth:Yl Alcohol :Green:Dry:Green:Dry :Various species :Softwood stock for :One pilot plant now in commercial
Shighest yields : :operation

fodder Teast :Green.Dry:Green:Dry,:hy softwoods.hard- :Mixed with hogged :At present experl- i :Pilot plant in operation
:woods :1ill waste mentall only

Lignin Plsatic :Dry: : :Hardwood, especially:Dry. Stock contalr-: :Industrial applications not
:maple :ig no bark : :developed

Meat and Fih :Green:Dry: : :Hardwood*, chiefly :Green or dry. Chief-:Meat packing plants :Country- :About Softwoods not desirable. Merits
Smkin : :hickory. maple, :ly head-saw stock. : :wide :30.000 :of various hardwood speciee soBe-
S: :birch, beech, oak, Factory stock also : :tons :what controversial
:walnut. gua :used

Wood SuiarI and :Green:Dry:Green:Dry:Varlous species :Few ipeclal require-: :Cne pilot plant now In operation
Molasses :menti

Report No. R1666-1

Z M 72s1tey i


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