Pine cones as a fireplace lighter

Pine cones as detonator

Natural product still optimized - The ZapfenZünder. A resourceful idea: an inventor uses pine cones as a primer for fireplace and stove.

Pine cones as a fireplace lighter: fireplace

Just like the experimental laboratory of Daniel Düsentrieb, the kitchen of Ralf Rickert started a few months ago. Hot wax bubbled in fryers, smoldering melted candle masses in huge cooking pots, while internal parts of toilet paper rolls piled between hemp bales, pine cones, mountains of corrugated cardboard and baking paper. On this battlefield - between ingenious idea and kitchen chaos - the birth of the "ZapfenZünders" struck.

Fireplace and stove owners can today choose from a variety of igniters. Rickert's Tang fuse made of real pine cones combines modern-purpose with nostalgic memories. Finally, the fruits of winter, collected by hand, dried and mixed under the firewood, provided for a cozy, crisp warmth in the cozy living rooms of the last century.

That's what Rickert thought when he saw a particularly beautiful specimen of the scaly formations fall at his feet on a Sunday stroll. In the mind of the inventor went the ZapfenZünder production in series. He attached a hemp wick between the scales, put the structure in a cardboard tube and dipped it in liquid wax. The misappropriation of the kitchen was sealed and so originated at the domestic stove, the first of now millions of igniters made of natural materials. The skilled carpenter, industrial electronics engineer, draftsman and IT specialist has long since patented his invention, perfected production and initiated marketing.

The trainer for the blind and visually impaired at the LWL Vocational Training Center in Soest in Westphalia wants to create jobs for people with disabilities and establish the firing pin on the German market. "It's just great fun," he explains the step from inventor to producer.

At the same time, demand is growing almost over his head. 20 "homeworkers" are currently collecting and producing up to 30,000 spark igniters a day. The inventor is not afraid that he might run out of raw material once. The beauty of the natural product: "It keeps growing!"

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