[Market-farming] wood gassifiers for pto

Nan Hildreth NanHildreth at riseup.net
Fri Oct 22 09:05:36 EDT 2010

Biochar helps my soil.   In attached photos of a trial of 16 
seedlings, those with both compost and char did best.

So I'd love to char up some of my tons of wood waste, especially the 
good for nothing pine.  The piles of it laying about are snake 
habitat.  This gadget may be what I need to get unstuck on that 
project.  Compared to solar panels, the prices seem attractive.  When 
you produce energy, you pay in advance.  Energy prices are going up 
and supplies may be undependable.  What would I do if the power went 
out at the farm for 2 weeks?   No well.  No freezer.

Thanks for the link.

Nan in Houston

At 06:33 AM 10/19/2010, Richard Stewart wrote:
>I am not yet sold on char, but I have been following it.
>Right now I see a whole lot more interest in the tax credit scene 
>than in designing a system or product for farming.
>The problem with both systems is that they are manual intensive 
>and/or costly.  The Biochar Engineering device is the closest I have 
>seen in terms of ease of use, but I'd like to see them in commercial 
>application for a few years.  As of last year it was still an 
>experiment.  You need more than these machines though.  You need a 
>system to dry your biomass (getting the most energy out of it and 
>decreasing vent gasses (which increase if matter is wet/damp/high 
>moisture content).  You need storage and handling another auger and 
>loading system (doing it by hand increases work load and risk of 
>injury the way they are set-up.  You then need water and electricity 
>hook up to run the systems (both are computerized) and you need to 
>quench the char.
>I then need to justify the cost.  The one machine you have tagged 
>costs over a hundred thousand dollars.  Adding that machine would be 
>adding a new division of business in my farming because I would then 
>need to get hauling capacity, contracts for biomass (which, 
>hopefully I would get paid to remove or allowed to be dumped) and 
>then depending on where you live there may be permitting issues.
>It is my opinion that as a farmer, biochar (which, regardless of how 
>they sell it is inactive carbon) would be a great way to get tax 
>credits from the government (pay me to store your sequestered 
>carbon) but as a useable soil amendment for my crops composting 
>produces a far better product.
>I think its a great idea to sequester carbon and store it in a state 
>that is inert.  I think it would also be a good system to heat a 
>large greenhouse complex and the char be a byproduct that is, once 
>combined with nutrients/compost/animal waste needed for growing sold 
>or used in house.  I use a wood boiler to heat our farmhouse and 
>office.  We burn nearly 11 tons of wood.  That is a very small 
>application in a system that is in use for four months.
>You need a whole LOT of DRY biomass to make these systems pay off.
>Just some random thoughts on the matter.
>Richard Stewart
>Carriage House Farm
>North Bend, Ohio
>An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855
>(513) 967-1106
><mailto:rstewart at zoomtown.com>rstewart at zoomtown.com
>On Oct 19, 2010, at 12:56 AM, Johnathan Yelenick wrote:
>>wow. recent casual net surfing yielded some interesting 
>>thoughts.  Check out this open source firm. Cool, cool stuff.
>>Use a g.e.k. to fuel an engine that's coupled to a pto, which 
>>employs the wood chipper used to chip your gek's fuel substrate.
>>Harvest the created biochar from the g.e.k. and put the biochar in 
>>the field shelterbelt coppice/pollard stand of Robina pseudoacacia 
>>and Quercus macrocarpa you established with an EQUIP-Organic Grant 
>>you won from the Natural Resource Conservation Service :) ...a 
>>shelterbelt-stand that serves as the substrate source for the gek 
>>and de facto global carbon sink.
>>Once a deep anthropic histosol is developed in the coppice food 
>>forest shelterbelt, the coppice/pollard should be producing like 
>>crazy providing more than enough biochar substrate, which then may 
>>go onto crop fields, which then produce like crazy (because of 
>>increased CEC, increased soil water holding capacity, and decreased 
>>bulk density) - bettering the quality of life for everyone in the 
>>community and integrating the bioregion ecologically.
>>Seems, naturally, like a self-enhancing cycle.  :)
>>There is this other local firm here in the Denver area that's 
>>making biochar machines too. But theirs are a little more pricey. 
>>http://www.biocharengineering.com/ How do you think these firms' 
>>products compare?  I'm especially interested in the quality and 
>>quantity of the compared biochar between both units.
>>looks like the biocharengineering unit doesn't capture the syngas 
>>or "woodgas" for mechanical work as the gek does.
>>Blacktail Farm
>>South Platte River Watershed
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Nan Hildreth, Houston   713-842-6643

Make Soil, End Global Warming

"We could end global warming if we restored the fertility in the 
soils in the state of California."  Dr. Elaine Ingham, www.soilfoodweb.com

"...global warming can be reversed by restoring biodiversity in the 
soils and in the ocean.  ... There is enough land to sequester this 
carbon and it could be done in a decade or two. ... Now that the Oil 
Age is coming to an end, we are entering the Soil  Age. 
"  http://groups.google.com/group/soil-age

"... a 1.6% increase in organic content of soils humans manage would 
restore atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to normal." says Allan 
Yeomans in 
http://www.youtube.com/user/AllanYeomans1#p/a/u/0/-o2N6vJDLpE Free 
download of his book http://www.yeomansplow.com.au/priority-one-contents.htm

"Soil is the new frontier" Eaarth by Bill McKibben  

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