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Author Topic: Can aluminum cans be used as chimney cleaners?  (Read 15674 times)

Offline CZARCAR

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Can aluminum cans be used as chimney cleaners?
« on: 10/03/2011 11:11:02 »
old trick, supposedly put an Al can into fire & it will ascend the chimney, bond with the creosote, & induce it to fall to the bottom of the chimney thereby cleaning the chimney! Whats the chances?           thanx
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 22:07:15 by chris »


 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: Can aluminum cans be used as chimney cleaners?
« Reply #1 on: 10/03/2011 12:44:19 »
old trick, supposedly put an Al can into fire & it will ascend the chimney, bond with the creosote, & induce it to fall to the bottom of the chimney thereby cleaning the chimney! Whats the chances?           thanx
Aluminium boils at more than 2000C. Is your fire able to reach such temperatures?
(I don't think so).
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Re: Can aluminum cans be used as chimney cleaners?
« Reply #2 on: 10/03/2011 12:55:54 »
old trick, supposedly put an Al can into fire & it will ascend the chimney, bond with the creosote, & induce it to fall to the bottom of the chimney thereby cleaning the chimney! Whats the chances?           thanx
Aluminium boils at more than 2000C. Is your fire able to reach such temperatures?
(I don't think so).
right & similar to copper but i read of AlOH as a "chimney cleaning powder" ingredient & have seen copper sulfate also so i wonder about chemical interactions which might result in Al ascending the chimney. Also Carbon doesnt boil until ~7000*f & still it burns when combined with O2?
 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: Can aluminum cans be used as chimney cleaners?
« Reply #3 on: 11/03/2011 12:05:51 »
old trick, supposedly put an Al can into fire & it will ascend the chimney, bond with the creosote, & induce it to fall to the bottom of the chimney thereby cleaning the chimney! Whats the chances?           thanx
Aluminium boils at more than 2000C. Is your fire able to reach such temperatures?
(I don't think so).
right & similar to copper but i read of AlOH as a "chimney cleaning powder" ingredient & have seen copper sulfate also so i wonder about chemical interactions which might result in Al ascending the chimney. Also Carbon doesnt boil until ~7000*f & still it burns when combined with O2?
You are talking of very different elements/compounds.
1. Al. Aluminium reacts, in solid or liquid form, essentially with oxygen, alogens, some acids and anydrides (not with CO2) and water. With what it could react in a carbon/wood fire? Sincerely, apart oxygen, I don't see many possibilities. Maybe a very small amount could react with some organic molecule generated during the wood combustion/decomposition, maybe some molecules of formic acid, for example, but I'm not sure it forms and however no idea if the amount could be enough.
About the reaction with ohygen/water it forms aluminium oxyde or hydroxyde which are very inert compounds (the second decomposes at high T in water and aluminium oxide and the last is used as melting pot...)

2. C. If you had pure C, certainly uou couldn't have anything else than CO, CO2, C powder in the combustion with air and your chimney wouldn't become dirty at all (the C powder sticks to the chimney a little, but not very much, in the absence of greases/pitch generated in the case of wood). The problem comes from the unburnt hydrocarbons and other organic compounds generated in the combustion/decomposition of wood (what I called "greases/pitch).

3. CuSO4. At high T it decomposes into CuO and SO3 and this last compound is a very strong acid and this can really react with the dirty (not sure how, I'm not good in organic chemistry); furthermore, at even higher T,  SO3 and the remaining CuO decomposes into SO2, S, Cu and O and this last obviously helps burning the residuals of combustion.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 12:08:14 by lightarrow »
 

Offline Dutchman61

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Re: Can aluminum cans be used as chimney cleaners?
« Reply #4 on: 25/02/2015 05:40:37 »
Aluminum can burn in a strong exothermic reaction in a fire at 1260 to 1400 degrees with good oxygen.   It is very effective at removing oxygen and carbon.  One of the largest uses of aluminum in industry is to "kill" molten steel where aluminum chips are added to the steel to remove oxygen and burn off contaminates such as excess carbon.  Burning the cans causes an increase in heat in a chimney which should help prevent creosote from building up on a clean chimney.  Aluminum oxides are very stable and do not react with much so there won't be much impact on built up creosote.     

Worked for an aluminum company and we had to use nitrogen on the molten metal furnaces to reduce the risk of fire.  Aluminum fires are extinguished with CO2 or foam to cut off the oxygen. 
 

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Re: Can aluminum cans be used as chimney cleaners?
« Reply #4 on: 25/02/2015 05:40:37 »

 

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