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Burnt wood chips? I wonder if one could use burnt bark instead. Burning the wood would produce sodium and potassium carbonates (plus charcoal), the "precursors" of which are more prevalent in the bark than in the wood. Bark also has a higher silica content.
Perhaps it's because of the charcoal that's formed when wood is incompletely burnt? Charcoal contains a lot of volatiles like methanol (hence the name wood alcohol), etc. Or maybe it's just because burning it incompletely would help sterilize the rest of the wood.
It's worth some experimenting, at any rate.
-------------------- "Sure, just cut them up like regular chickens."
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