[Market-farming] wood gassifiers for pto

Marty Kraft martyk at allspecies.org
Fri Oct 22 09:19:03 EDT 2010


  The attached photos didn't come through. I'd love to see them.

Marty

On 10/22/10 8:05 AM, Nan Hildreth wrote:
> 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
>> <http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com>http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com
>> <mailto:rstewart at zoomtown.com>rstewart at zoomtown.com
>>
>> On Oct 19, 2010, at 12:56 AM, Johnathan Yelenick wrote:
>>
>>> <http://www.gekgasifier.com>http://www.gekgasifier.com
>>>
>>> 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.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Johnathan
>>> Blacktail Farm
>>> South Platte River Watershed
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>>
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>
> Nan Hildreth, Houston   713-842-6643
> www.HoustonClimateProtection.org
>
> 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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