Corn burners are an alternative safe and reliable heat source, but DNR officials caution against burning chemically treated seed corn, which can release toxic chemicals when burned.
Burning treated seed corn can emit low levels of hydrochloric acids and thiophosgene, also known as mustard gas. The highest emissions can occur at start up and shutdown, when combustion temperatures are lower, or if the unit is damped down.
Many corn burner manufacturers warn consumers against using chemically treated seed corn that is pink or red in color and contains Captan and other pesticides that can emit toxins when burned.
Burning regular corn can be a clean, excellent source of heat using renewable, Iowa grown energy. Just avoid chemically treated seed corn, often provided free by companies trying to get rid of old supplies.
For more information contact Christine Paulson at 515-242-5154.