[permaculture] if there were a benefit to deforestation...

Steven & Margaret Eisenhauer eisenhauerdesign at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 7 16:29:39 EST 2010


Dobson's work is inspirational though yes obviously you must have the
capital, something that average people have less and less of, although
looking at his designs, especially the non electric condensing unit is good
for realizing the principals of combustion which need to be applied to bio
burning and char production.  His unit will burn any sort of wood, even
split hardwood used for heating in wood stoves. The claim to be able to burn
wet bio material is especially important given he is condensing the latent
heat of combustion, therefore garnering the lion share of heat in the
material, especially wet material.  Most burners - even the rocket design
looses the latent heat of combustion in order to obtain the stack effect for
draft, providing combustion air without a fan driven by electricity. I have
wondered if a condensing gas furnace heat exchanger could be coupled with a
wood stove with similar effect. 

The bio char movement's thinking is to simply make the char without using
the resulting BTUs produced which I think is a terrible waste of good wood
when most of the world relies on wood for cooking. Given that 75% if the
heat in wood is released during the gasification phase there is a desire to
make the char while cooking or heating water with the resulting char sold to
buy food in the third world.  I am looking at site specific applications
that average people can get at as a replacement to large industrial
complexes and transportation.

When I have a working prototype I will share it with you.  I build with
recycled from the bone yard when ever possible but am conflicted regarding
the big industrial thing although I have certainly been a student of its

Concrete is conductive and not site specific requiring a lot of energy and
high technology tooling to get at it so I am conflicted regarding its use
though I must say I have built oodles of structures with steel reinforced
concrete and also block.  The foamed stuff definitely is an improvement over
solid for conductivity but I does it reflect radiant effectively?  Concrete
is used as a thermal transmission mass in radiant floors as I have in my
shop - very warm and conductive.  

Glad to hear someone out there talking back!

Steven Eisenhauer
Eisenhauer Design Inc.
eisenhauerdesign at earthlink.net 

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lawrence F.
London, Jr.
Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2010 12:25 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] if there were a benefit to deforestation...

Steven & Margaret Eisenhauer wrote:
> Burning to charcoal versus burning to ash is certainly a great
> potential for building a sustainable land based resource for energy and
> agriculture.  Larry Dobson is a pioneer in this area - his web site --
> http://www.stiltman.com/html/energy_from_waste.htm

Those are expensive units. Nobody I know could afford one of those much 
less find sawdust to burn in it.

> He says he has built a condensing bio burner that can also be tuned to
> to charcoal rather than to ash.  He is giving away his latest design due
> the lack of interest to commercialize it by the slippery boys of oil.

I'd like to see that design. 

> I would like to build one that anyone anywhere can put together out of
> indigenous earth materials.

That's the best option; build your own from onsite materials practical 
to utilize, i.e. stone, possibly clay. Add found materials, metal scrap,
truck and tractor parts and the masonry materials I mentioned in my 
previous post.

> We need a super insulating radiant barrier type structural building block

That is what Hebel and Aercon is. Usually called AAC block by 
contractors. Aerated autoclaved concrete block.

> that can be made from site earth and I think I have a good idea how to do
> it.  This material would be impervious to biological attack (rot, insect,
> vermin), water penetration and could even float, yet be a good earth
> amendment once its useful life is over. 

Could you mix it with perlite and fireclay?
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