Recycled furniture

Hi All

In between developing biochar making machines I have also been applying my creative hand to a few projects including recycled furniture and small timber items developed for The GardenGate Nursery.

I am happy develop this creative area which helps pay for my biochar makers designs and prototypes.

If you are interested in a custom designed and locally built piece of  furniture, firepit or even low run promotional items please feel to contact me. >>>>

table1benches-table med bench pen holders pen holders2 pen holders3 small bench small bench2 stools

 

table2

Earth Haven Biochar

I have been involved in setting up a sustainable lifestyle project in the lush green hills of the Northern Rivers (NSW-Australia). The project is a joint effort to develop a sustainable biochar production business incorporated into a medium scale organic permaculture system. For a sneak peak of the developing permaculture system click here >>>>

The Earth Haven Website >>>>

They are offering a selection of garden bag sizes and bulk options.

Earth-Haven-Biochar

Earth Haven runs Bazman Rumbler Batch Gasifiers developed and produced by myself. Feedstock is sourced from a local sustainable timber mill using chipped off cuts. The biochar produced contains NO chemically treated material and the production site in organically run with NO chemical sprays used on the 20 acre site.  The processing equipment does not come in contact with any chemically treated biomass or genetically modified crop residues. Quenching water is sourced on site and contains no chemical run off. Biochar quenched using some town water supplies may contain chemical water treatment inputs.

The biochar produced contains a high fixed carbon content above 85%. The feedstock is hardwood derived which helps to increase the products highly porous surface area.

If you are interested in developing your own sustainable biochar business and/or permaculture system please get in contact with me. >>>>

 

 

 

Biochar Culture Free Ebook

Biochar Culture
Biochar for Environment and Development

Free Ebook >>>>

I liked to sections on biochar prep and blends etc, but the section on production systems lacked with regards to modern techniques and improved emission control designs. For those interested in making biochar use either a TLUD gasifier or a cone burner as a starting point. Retorts in general from my first hand experience are explosions waiting to happen. If your system at any stage of production generates visible smoke you need to better focus on your design and maybe look at the moisture content of your feedstock. If biochar production generates any visible smoke during production it is NOT an environmentally beneficial process or product.

For those interested in what I am doing. I have been really busy hiding in my workshop developing two new biochar making systems. I hope to bring you some updates and news in the next two weeks.

biochar_ebook

 

 

Biocharculture Webinar

Speaker
Dr Sai Bhaskar Reddy Nakka,
Geoecology Energy Organisation (GEO)

Date and Time
November 4, 2014
1330 GMT :: 1900 Indian time (Click here to check your local timings)

How to attend
1) Go to https://metameta.adobeconnect.com/biochar/
2) Choose the option ‘Enter as Guest’
3) Enter a Screen Name and click ‘Enter’
4) That’s it! You can now see/hear the speaker, follow the presentation and put forward your questions and comments through the chat window

Description: 
Biochar’
is charcoal used for particular purposes, especially as an addition to the soil to enhance its fertility.

At the centre of ‘Biocharculture’ lies the application of biochar in the management of soil, livestock, biomass energy, water purification, sanitation, etc. It is therefore a holistic approach; a sustainable relationship with nature.

Biocharculture draws its sustainability from certain properties of biochar: the fact that its use is essentially a reuse of a by product of combustion; its capacity to sequester carbon when added to soil; its ability to trap nutrients as a soil additive; and its antibacterial properties.

A surge of enthusiasm around biochar’s potential has attracted much commercial interest. However, the idea of large-scale biochar production has come under criticism by many, who accuse such enterprises of “destroying the biosphere in order to save it.”

In his recent book on biochar ’Biocharculture – for Environment and Development’, Dr. Sai Bhaskar Reddy emphasizes that the optimal function of biochar is as part of a broader culture of sustainability. Viewing it as a magic substance that can be applied to soil and reverse climate change would be a mistake. But letting its potential underutilized would be a missed opportunity as well.

In this webinar, Dr Reddy will discusses these ideas in context of his experiences working with rural communities in India as an entrepreneur and development consultant. View full bio >>

For more information and a countdown clock click here >>>>

 

Biochar as a replacement for perlite in greenhouse soilless substrates

This is an excellent master’s thesis. We need more like this. I would like to see complete characterization of the biochars used , following the IBI protocol. We also need better characterization of other materials that are used such as perlite or peat rather than just a reference to their supplier.

http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/etd/13399/

Biochar as a replacement for perlite in greenhouse soilless substrates
Jake Northup, Iowa State UniversityFollow
Thesis, 2013, Master of Science Department of Horticulture

Abstract

Biochar is a solid, carbonaceous coproduct of the pyrolysis process used for biofuel production. Many field studies have shown improved chemical and physical properties of soil after amendment with biochar. The benefits of biochar may extend to soilless substrates used in the greenhouse industry, and the porous nature of biochar may make it a suitable replacement for perlite in greenhouse substrates. The objectives of this research were to determine the most suitable biochar particle size and percentage for use in a greenhouse substrate, to determine if biochar can eliminate the need for amendment with limestone, and to demonstrate plant growth in substrates with biochar as a component.

We obtained four sizes of prescreened hardwood biochar and blended each with sphagnum peat to create 40 substrates for experimental trials. The pH of leachate from each substrate was recorded over a 16-week period. Substrate pH increased as the percentage of biochar increased. At the same percentage of biochar in the substrate, decreasing the particle size of biochar increased substrate pH. Several biochar-sphagnum peat mixtures, without limestone amendment, led to a substrate pH appropriate for container-grown plants. Eight of the nine substrates selected for evaluation met recommended physical parameters for use in containers for greenhouse crop production. One substrate, 30% BC10 blended with 70% sphagnum peat, was similar to the control, Sunshine LC1 (Sun Gro Horticulture, Agawam, MA) in all measures except bulk density. Plants grown in biochar-containing substrates were compared to plants grown in a commercial substrate that contained sphagnum peat, perlite, and limestone (Sunshine LC1). Plants grew in each substrate for 27 or 35 days. Electrical conductivity and pH were measured 14 days after transplanting and at the end of each trial. Results varied among trials and crops grown. Many biochar-based substrates produced plants with shoot dry mass greater than or equal to the control. These results demonstrate the potential for biochar to replace perlite and eliminate the limestone amendment needed for commercial greenhouse soilless substrates based on sphagnum peat. Soilless substrates containing biochar as a replacement for perlite and limestone can successfully be used for greenhouse plant production.

Thanks Erich J. Knight for the linkedIn in post. For Erich’s biochar news click here >>>>

Methodology for Emission Reductions from Biochar Projects open for Public Market

The Methodology for Biochar Projects is now open for public comment with the American Carbon Registry (ACR).
ACR_01

We welcome the feedback of Biochar Producers and others that are involved with this practice, as we would like for this Methodology to not only provide environmental integrity, but also promote participation of biochar producers.

Announcement:
The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, welcomes feedback from its members, project proponents and other interested parties on a new voluntary Methodology for Emissions Reductions from Biochar Projects. The methodology was prepared by The Climate Trust, The Prasino Group, the International Biochar Initiative and Carbon Consulting. You can find it here: http://americancarbonregistry.org/carbon-accounting/methodology-for-biochar-projects

Biochar is produced through the pyrolysis of biomass. The methodology quantifies and credits both the avoided emissions from combustion or decomposition of biomass in the baseline and enhanced carbon sequestration at sites where biochar is applied.

Under the methodology, biochar may be produced from any biomass residues from forestry and agriculture, municipal solid wastes, and other biomass-based materials approved for use under the International Biochar Initiative’s IBI Biochar Standards (2013) provided such feedstocks also meet sustainability criteria specified in the methodology.

Please send all comments by close of business October 25, 2013 to ACR@Winrock.org

Teresa Koper
Senior Project Analyst
The ClimateTrust
65 SW Yamhill Street | Suite 400 | Portland, OR 97204
tel (503) 238-1915 x 214 | fax (503) 238-1953

Carboncatcher UK video

The guys from the UK charity the Soil Fertility Project have done an amazing job of taking my base Bazman gasifier design and turned it into what is looking like a professional product. They have just produced a wonderful video showing just how simple the unit is to run and operate. These units/kits are now available for sale in the UK with both Australia and North American kits to follow soon.  The Soil Fertility Project intend to use the profit from the UK sales to help fund a unit for rural India and possibly Africa, this locally produced unit will hopefully include a water jacket designed to sterilise drinking water.

Uses 140 litres of wood chip
Takes four minutes to reach pyrolysis temperture
Total run time 95 miniutes
Biochar yeild 23% by dry weight.

I would also add you could expect a volume yeild around 40%

Emissions will always be variable depending on the feedstock and moisture content. I have tested my Bazman gasifier with a Tesco Flue gas analyser while running a sun dried (25%) mulch containing a range of shredded/chipped Australia hardwood and leaf matter.

CO – 40 to 80ppm
CO2 – 2.1 to 2.5%
O2 18%
Flue temp 320 & 350°C

The temperature in the top of the primary chamber taken from the secondary air was around 700°C. This is in a flame front but a lot of the heat value is directed back into the char.

The UK Carboncatcher website >>>>

For more information on the open source  Bazman gasifier click here >>>>

 

 

Cool Planet Gasoline and Biochar Refinery

Cool Planet Locates Their First 10 Million Gallon Renewable Gasoline Refinery in Alexandria, Louisiana, USA

“Louisiana is known for its substantial oil interests, but now will also have the distinction of being home to the first, of what is planned to become many, production facilities for Cool Planet’s renewable, high-performance gasoline and soil enhancing biochar,” said CEO Howard Janzen. “Our goal for the Alexandria facility is to be economically competitive with conventional fuels made from non-renewable crude oil.”

I have been watching this company/project for a while now and I have even spoken via skype meeting directly to their biochar team as they wanted access to some who has real biochar industry experience.  =) It will be interesting to see how this develops and how the fuel and biochar balance is met. It will also be interesting to see what sort of biochar they end up creating as I have seen some pretty toxic carbon by-products produced from pressure and flash fuel carbonisation technologies. I have been privileged to see more biochar and biomass energy systems than most, from continuous rotary hearth gasifiers, auger firebox systems, pressurised auger systems, large scale retorts to complex high pressure flash carbonisation technologies. They have some big business backing them up (BP, Google Ventures, Energy Technology Ventures (GE, ConocoPhillips, NRG Energy), and the Constellation division of Exelon.) It will be interesting to see if they can pull off this first operation and produce a quality fuel, biochar and make money from the operation.

Their press release >>>>
Cool planet website >>>>

Fatboy Gasifier in Israel

Nadav from Israel lives in a kibbutz close to the Dead Sea. Nadav and his mate Ahmed have developed a Fatboy Gasifier using recycled local materials, a pressure tank from an old hot water system and a 44 gallon drum. They are still tweaking the unit and working to get the air flow and gas burn working well. The latest photos Nadav sent showed the unit running cleanly and producing biochar. Some of the early photos below show smoke being produced from the unit, with some tweaks and feedback from myself,  Nadav now has a starting point of low emission and Biochar creation. They have given the unit the Hebrew name ‘Shmendrik’ which is Fatboy in Yiddish language.

Fatboy Gasifier in the UK

I have been working with David Friese-Greene from the UK on developing the Fatboy Gasifier for the UK and Indian markets. David is involved in the UK with the Soil Fertility Project which is working with SCAD who is a Social Change and Development non-profit non-governmental organisation in Tamil Nadu, India.

After trialling the UK’s first Fatboy Gasifier David hopes to make the units available in the UK for sale, with the income from these sales he hopes to develop a project to bring the units design to India for local manufacture and roll out into grass roots village applications. We have also been discussing a roll out into area’s of Africa once the Indian project is under way.

I am extremely excited to see all my years of development work now evolving into this expanding open source project.  If you are interested in getting involved, supporting our projects or making your own unit, please contact myself here >>>>

I hope to get David’s updated plans uploaded soon.

These are my three major versions to date.

Fatboy One >>>>
Fatboy Two >>>>
Fatboy Three >>>>

Update from David.

“Searched out some 25% moisture feedstock and look what happened – she worked beautifully and clean. Did a second burn and had a barbie, same result – and we danced around the fire!

Char was good, no smell or taste and washed off with cold water. Operated at about 700 to 800 deg C at condenser.”

Just a quick note on feedstock. While 35% moisture will run in the unit it will run much slower, at 25% or lower you are in the desired range for this style of system. The unit also needs a uniformed feedstock like wood chip or mulch as this allows air flow from the bottom primary air which feeds the hot char bank as it travels downward, this puts the above hot freshly charred biomass into a smokey oxygen-less environment, so it stops it’s combustion. A uniformed feedstock also stops any sparks or embers from dropping to the bottom of the unit and starting to char there, which would put the above un-charred biomass into an oxygen-less environment, not what you want to happen. You can add some chunky dry matter like old beef bones or chicken bones, you can horizontally layer dry branches up to 20mm thick as long as the gaps around them are filled with dry chip of mulched material. I try to avoid large amounts of leaf matter and feed stocks like hay or chaff as these can produce too much volatile  off-gas that can over whelm the unit and you will lose your volatile gas combustion and just produce masses of white smoke.

 

The new era of carbon negative soil improvement