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bio-char

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by homemade, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    The department of agriculture actually has guidelines on composting livestock after contagious disease outbreaks- the method is extremely effective at destroying disease through heat and microbial activity.

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  2. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    In biochemical terms, Biochar is the mineral (no organics) residual that is produced along with gas and bio-oil by oxygen-deficient pyrolysis.
  3. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Here's what I always wonder about bio-char: I am using an EPA stove, 1 year minimum dry wood and the best burning practices I can manage all to increase efficiency and reduce the pollution caused by heating with wood. How do I then turn around and burn a big smokey, smoldering pit to make some bio-char? Is there a "clean" way?
  4. homemade

    homemade New Member

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    bio char is not a smoldering fire
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    To make it in quantity you'll need to burn a fair amount of wood in an inefficient way- as is done for charcoal production (if it was burned efficiently, it would end as ash).
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Short informative video with links to vastly more info.

    midwestcoast likes this.
  7. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

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    The most common small scale way to make charcoal. Is to use a 55 gal drum.

    http://www.puffergas.com/historic/rules/rules.html

    Billy
    midwestcoast likes this.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Billy, that is the best article to date that I have read about making charcoal. Something that is on my list to do.
  9. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Good article, thoughtful and accurate, but it is also quite simple to make charcoal using the indirect method and only one barrel as well.
    Some (not much) smoke initialy, but clean burning for most of the process.

    This is the method most commonly used by small scale blacksmiths.

    Fill a drum with small sections of whatever wood desired. Hardwood will give the most yield. No piece should exceed 3" in THICKNESS.
    Insert a 2" pipe with two elbows into the drum top, aranged so that it turns and vents alongside the barrel.

    Start a fire on the ground.
    Lay the barrel on the fire, once it is blazing well. Position the barrel so as to direct the two inch pipe into the base of the fire.

    The pipe will emit smoke for a while, then will clear up to a clear gas.
    As the gas becomes clear, it will ignite and sustain combustion as your orignial ground fire dies out. Your ground fire fuel does not need replenishment.

    When the barrel stops outgassing, the process is finnished. Cooling with water at this point will preserve the most charcoal.


    Or, you could use my method; crude, ineficient, yet simple.

    Make a large brush fire. Continue feeding till all brush is somewhat consumed. Hose down fire completely before all charcoal is consumed.
    The last brush fire I made this way yielded 12 bushel of excellent apple charcoal, wich I added to my garden. I reserved some for forging.

    Edit; my method yields much less, but the labor is also dramaticaly less.
    Cowboy Billy likes this.
  10. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the links Dune & Billy. I'd ASSumed smokey smoldering fires were a given.
    I do have some brush to get rid of...
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Good stuff on limiting smoke. It should be noted- this is still throwing heat away for many purposes. It would be good to power something/heat something during the making process (hillbilly hot tub, BBQ smoker, etc)
    Dune likes this.
  12. Erich J. Knight

    Erich J. Knight New Member

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    For anyone interested in, or confused by, Biochar Soil Technologies, Please view my presentation and slides of this opening talk for the USBI Biochar conference in Sonoma California. This is the third US Biochar conference, after ISU 2010 and Colorado 2009.
    http://www.2012.biochar.us.com/
    Carbon Conservation for Home, Health, Energy & Climate
    http://2012.biochar.us.com/299/2012-us-biochar-conference-presentations

    Modern Thermal conversion of biomass burns only the hydrocarbons in that biomass, conserving the carbon for the soil. At the large farm or village scale modern pyrolysis reactors can relieve energy poverty, food insecurity and decreased dependency on chemical fertilizers.
    Please take a look at this YouTube video by the CEO of CoolPlanet Biofuels, guided by Google's Ethos and funding, along with GE, BP and Conoco, they are now building the reactors that convert 1 ton of biomass to 75 gallons of bio – gasoline and 1/3 ton Biochar for soil carbon sequestration.


    My heroes are the engineers without Borders who have promoted clean cook stoves, Pyrolytic and Gasifing TLUD (Top Lite Up Draft) stoves that burn any biomass cleanly and 41% more efficiently. No black-lung no emphysema, no deforestation, all the while building soil carbon for continually sustainable yields. Please look at the work of the Biomass Energy Foundation. At scale, replacement of three rocks in a pot, across Africa would have the health impact equivalent of curing malaria and AIDS combined.
    Biomass Energy Foundation (BEF) website http://biomassenergyfndn.org/bef/

    Gerry Whitfield, the inventor of the pellet stove, has now designed, and has for sale, a pyrolytic pellet furnace for industrial and residential application.
    Whitfield Biochar LLC, ( 20K Btu - 2M Btu units) http://www.whitfieldbiochar.com/

    WorldStove
    now has, soon to be manufactured, two residential pyrolytic pellet stoves for the developed world. They cost just $2000, incorporate Thermocouple generators for power production, they have full CE and UL approvals, with total, triple redundant fire safety systems making them secure from the abuses of "Harry home owners". He has 10 of them install in homes and social service institutions in Massachusetts, which are eligible for the fuel assistance programs, which have suffered budget cuts. Some 200,000 homes face this shortfall in fuel assistance. Next year he plans to start small batch production of these units. (Note to self; figure out catchy name for these residential units). He has units designed for 1200 ft. and 3000 ft. homes. First world, second or third, one has to love Nathaniel Mulcahy's focus of always serving the needy. His recent travels to Afghanistan demonstrate to me, more than any other of his accomplishments, his extremely deep commitment.

    It is rare that new technology flows from development in the third world to cutting edge applications in the developed economies, WorldStove has done exactly that. Given New England the best energy now for home heating, a charcoal producing, Thermo-electric, residential heating unit.

    A for profit company, one of the few Biochar companies in the black and builds these profitable Enterprises across the globe. Programs have been conducted in Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, Malawi, Indonesia, Zaire and the Philippines. Currently, additional pilot programs are operating in Burkina Faso, Congo, Niger and Uganda. The World Bank assessed his business and franchisees in the high six figures. over the 11 years of WorldStove operations' they have incurred no debts. WorldStove has produced a total 250,000 Lucia, Biucci and Biener stoves, 70% Lucia stoves. If all these stoves were fully utilize, without building a single new stove, over the next 10 years, would be responsible for sequestering 1 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere. I would not want to get into a no-stake's Carbon Poker game with Nat, maybe in a year or two the executives at CoolPlanet will be able to take him on.
    Look up the definition of philanthropy, Nat is the very definition, in order to give, one must be successful.
    WorldStove, MA. (Africa, middle east, South America, Residential pyrolytic pellet stoves) http://worldstove.org/

    A very nice mobile system from Australia now commercially available;

    AgriPower's Modular and Transportable System
    http://www.agripower.com/
  13. macmaine

    macmaine New Member

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    Erich
    That is one interesting video!
    Thanks for posting.

    Sounds like this could scale up pretty quickly.
    Tom

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