Hot Peat
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Thread: Hot Peat

  1. #1
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Hot Peat

    I had an interesting thing happen while gardening in my basement yesterday. I had mail ordered a baby saw palmetto palm tree and a crawling cactus called a crassula and I needed to mix up some potting soil for them to put them in bigger pots. Strangely enough, cactii and palms use the same mix of soil: Basically half peat/half sand with perlite to aerate it and some fertilizer. So I have this giant hay bale sized bag of peat I bought that will take the rest of my life to use up and unfortunately it has totally dried out into a big hardened boulder of brown dust. I have to break chunks of it off and strenuously squeeze and crumble it to mix it with the sand and stuff. But then when I would add water it wouldn't readily absorb the water and would float to the top of the flower pot and leave all the sand and the plant at the bottom.

    So this time I decided to mix everything in a bucket of water to make sure it's all rehydrated before I put it in my pots. Stir, stir, squeeze, squeeze,.......hey......it's starting to get warm.......holy schit.......it's starting to get HOT. Steam was coming out of the bucket! Holy Bejeesus, was this happening when I potted my plants with dry peat and then watered them! The poor things were getting boiled by their new potting soil!

    So I let the bucket sit for 1/2 an hour and looked up the phenomena on the Interweb. Yup, sure enough, peat gets hot and can even catch fire if the heat can't escape and the temps build and build. The glop in the bucket cooled off and I potted up my new plants.

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  3. #2
    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Hot Peat

    What in the world. Give a link to an article about this. I couldn’t find anything when I searched for peat getting hot.

    Did you accidentally make concrete lol? Cement gets hot when water is added to it too.
    Last edited by Knorm65; 1 Day Ago at 06:41 PM.
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    Opel Rallier since 1977
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    Certain coals can also self-heat and then catch fire if exposed in certain situations to moisture; it can cause an exothermic reaction. I read once of an old coal ship having a leak and they laboriously shoveled all of the coal out of that hold while underway at sea to suppress an imminent coal fire.
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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorm65 View Post
    What in the world. Give a link to an article about this. I couldn’t find anything when I searched for peat getting hot.

    Did you accidentally make concrete lol? Cement gets hot when water is added to it too.
    https://www.motherearthnews.com/home...eat-zmaz75zwar
    Burning Peat as a heat source. Jarrell
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Here's one about gardening and the self-combusting properties of peat:

    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/danger...oss-70147.html
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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    Here's one about gardening and the self-combusting properties of peat:

    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/danger...oss-70147.html
    For Gods sake, Don't get it near the car. Couldn't help it. Jarrell
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    its microbial breakdown of organic compounds aka composting. mycchorizael fungi web... kinda how forest floor breaks down over decades and turns into soil. Its amazing stuff to learn about actually.

    dont panic its organic




    also ireland canada etc peat moss is a heat source in their fireplaces.
    Last edited by Frozen Tundra GT; 1 Day Ago at 10:23 PM.
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    Peat is a popular heat source here in Finland because of the thousands of bogs in the country. The bog is drained of water after which the peat is ground off the surface and stored in huge piles which can self-ignite under the right conditions. The fire can spread far below the surface before it is detected and be difficult to put out.
    https://images.app.goo.gl/sjQDFt8eRykpz2tL6 Even sawdust piles can self-ignite the same way.
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    Along those lines

    My mother was from this area so I remember as a kid seeing this event in progress in the late 50s and early 60s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbondale_mine_fire
    There were also piles of coal by Scranton that had caught fire and burned for years.

    They had to dig it up. This is what I saw when I went to visit my Grandmother. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O9kOSZWWjM
    Last edited by Timbo; 1 Day Ago at 05:28 AM.
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  12. #10
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    I remember seeing something in the news about underground fires happening in Indonesia for decades. Like tens or hundreds of square miles with fires happening under them.
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    Ask any farmer. You don't put wet hay into the barn unless you want the building incinerated. The wet hay, packed, will generate enough heat to trigger spontaneous combustion.
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    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    Holy Moses, I was trying to figure out how Hot Peat worked with my Opel and then I realized it was Gordo
    Very nice
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  15. #13
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    What really got me was how quickly the reaction happened. Like, less than a minute of mixing by hand and it was already like hot tap water. 2 minutes later and I was seeing steam rising from the bucket.
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  16. #14
    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbo View Post
    My mother was from this area so I remember as a kid seeing this event in progress in the late 50s and early 60s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbondale_mine_fire
    There were also piles of coal by Scranton that had caught fire and burned for years.

    They had to dig it up. This is what I saw when I went to visit my Grandmother. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O9kOSZWWjM

    If this is the same one near Wilkes-Barre, the whole mountain was on fire. I was a child when we went there after visiting relatives. It was hot enough, you couldn't leave your car for long, as it would melt and blow out the tires. Dad said the mine had been burning since around the late 30s. It was a surreal landscape with smoke coming up through tiny vent holes. He said in the 40s or early 50s they poured concrete into drill holes into the mine for 2 weeks straight and then gave up. Just a reminisce. Jarrell
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  17. #15
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Hey look! I found an article about the Indonesian underground fires. I thought they were coal fires, but it turns out they are PEAT fires! Another article from 2016 said that haze in the capital city from the peat fires may have caused the premature deaths of up to 100,000 people!

    Holy cow.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/paralle...s-they-used-to
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