[permaculture] permaculture Digest, Vol 48, Issue 13

Saor Stetler saor at ycbtal.net
Wed Jan 10 15:41:18 EST 2007


What I have taken away from readings of accounts of Pain's work is that he was producing methane without the use of animal waste; that the methane was derived entirely from the "forest thicket compost" itself.  If anyone can refute that methane is absolutely not obtainable from wood products as the base source of the  methane, (and not merely for the heating of animal wastes) this would put the issue to rest.  


    Sources of methane

Natural gas fields

The major source of methane is extraction from geological deposits known 
as natural gas fields <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_fields>. 
It is associated with other hydrocarbon 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocarbon> fuels and sometimes 
accompanied by helium <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium> and nitrogen 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen>. The gas at shallow levels (low 
pressure) is formed by anaerobic 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_organism> decay 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decay> of organic matter 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_matter> and reworked methane from 
deep under the Earth's surface. In general, sediments buried deeper and 
at higher temperatures than those which give oil 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum> generate natural gas.


      Alternative sources

Apart from gas fields an alternative method of obtaining methane is via 
biogas <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogas> generated by the 
fermentation 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermentation_%28biochemistry%29> of 
organic matter including manure <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manure>, 
wastewater sludge, municipal solid waste, or any other biodegradable 
feedstock, under anaerobic conditions. Methane hydrates/clathrates 
(icelike combinations of methane and water on the seafloor, found in 
vast quantities) are a potential future source of methane. Significant 
quantities are also produced by cattle 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle> -- not by flatulence 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatulence>, as in common myth, but 95% 
through belching <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burp>[2] 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane#_note-1>[3] 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane#_note-2>. The livestock sector in 
general (primarily cattle, chickens, and pigs) produces 37% of all 
human-induced methane"[4] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane#_note-3>.

Industrially, methane can be created from common atmospheric gases and 
hydrogen (produced, perhaps, by electrolysis 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis>) through chemical reactions 
such as the Sabatier process 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatier_process>, Fischer-Tropsch process 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer-Tropsch_process>. Coal bed methane 
extraction <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_bed_methane_extraction> is 
a method for extracting methane from a coal 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal> deposit.



permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org wrote:

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>Today's Topics:
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>   1. Methane,	was Final Draft of Mother Earth News Petition
>      (John Fritz)
>   2. Re: oil stove and fansaur (Phil Vergamini)
>   3. regarding food fermentation (liz bell)
>   4. Re: Jean Pain (Keith Johnson)
>   5. 1983 Bill Mollison PDC DVD of MP3's (darren at permaculture.biz)
>   6. Fwd: Permaculture News (darren at permaculture.biz)
>   7. Rural areas embrace grocery cooperatives - Yahoo!	News
>      (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>   8. Arcosanti (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>   9. Re: Arcosanti (KNat)
>
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>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>Message: 1
>Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 09:37:20 -0800 (PST)
>From: John Fritz <johnfritz77 at yahoo.com>
>Subject: [permaculture] Methane,	was Final Draft of Mother Earth News
>	Petition
>To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>Message-ID: <20070109173720.48161.qmail at web31214.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>
>Perhaps you are right and I missed the part where an animal waste methane digester was placed inside the compost pile.  What I have taken away from readings of accounts of Pain's work is that he was producing methane without the use of animal waste; that the methane was derived entirely from the "forest thicket compost" itself.  If anyone can refute that methane is absolutely not obtainable from wood products as the base source of the  methane, (and not merely for the heating of animal wastes) this would put the issue to rest.  I must say that I would be disappointed if this were the case, but it would advance the discussion about retrieving accounts of Pain's accomplishments for the English speaking community.
>   
>  John Fritz, NW Arkansas.
>   
>  Message: 3
>Date: Mon, 08 Jan 2007 19:48:30 -0800
>From: Paul Cereghino <paul.cereghino at comcast.net>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] Final Draft of Mother Earth News Petition
>To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <45A3108E.6010401 at comcast.net>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>
>My reading of the November 2000 Permaculture Activist article 
>explicitly said that Pain did not focus on detailing how he extracted methane 
>from the compost.  
>
>Based on the accounts I have read, the methane is not derived from the 
>compost, but rather a methane digester was imbedded in the pile to take 
>advantage of compost heat to maximize the rate of methanogenesis.  The 
>primary function of the pile was production of heat (for hot water) and 
>organic matter for farming, with enhancement of methane production as a 
>supplemental yield.
>
>  
>
>>Nor have I seen any explanation of this elsewhere.
>>
>>    
>>
>Methane digestion technology is widely distributed.  Google "methane 
>digester small-scale" or other such combination; for example:
>http://www.habmigern2003.info/biogas/Baron-digester/Baron-digester.htm 
>(pulled out of the virtual hat).
>
>
>
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>------------------------------
>
>Message: 2
>Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 11:48:00 -0700
>From: Phil Vergamini <phil at inetserv.com>
>Subject: Re: [permaculture] oil stove and fansaur
>To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <p06230901c1c98399be43@[192.168.1.2]>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
>
>Mitch-
>	Check out the Stirling engine stove fan at:  
>http://www.thermalengines.com/tech.html
>
>	This is my second winter with a HeatWave Wood Stove Fan and I 
>find it to be an excellent device for producing an even temperature 
>in the house.  You don't have to be a stove-stander to be 
>comfortable.  I don't think you could find a better device for your 
>stove.  I'm really sold on it.
>
>	Most wood (or other) stove fans generate electricity via a 
>thermoelectric device at the base (in contact with the stove)  which 
>then drives the electric fan.  This conversion from heat to electric 
>to fan motion is inefficient in comparison to the highly efficient 
>Stirling engine driven device which produces the fan motion directly 
>from the heat.  The Stirling engine converts heat directly to the 
>motion needed to move the warm air from your stove to where you want 
>and need it.  It is an external combustion engine.  If you want more 
>information about the Stirling engine, a quick search with your 
>browser (google or your favorite), will open your eyes to many 
>options.    I believe the Stirling engine is a wave of the future and 
>has unlimited alternative energy possibilities from solar, to 
>utilizing any form of excess heat, to replacing the gasoline engine 
>in the plug-in Prius.
>
>	Check it out-
>
>	-Phil
>
>
>At 7:00 PM +0200 1/6/07, Mitchell & Orit Schertz wrote:
>  
>
>>We have an oil stove and would like to know if anybody
>>out there is aware of a device that one would place over the stove 
>>and via the heat generated would power a fan such that the hot air 
>>would better circulate throughout the room
>>
>>Thanx
>>Mitch Schertz
>>(mitchell.schertz at gmail.com)
>>_______________________________________________
>>permaculture mailing list
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>>    
>>
>
>
>  
>




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