I’ve been following a couple of different groups and discussions to learn about biochar for about 6 months. Id like to share what I’ve been learning and ask a couple of questions.
My purpose is to use biochar as a component in biological soil synthesis and buffer for use in a vaquaculture growing system.
I have been making small TLUD stoves, observing modeling tweaking making another.
It’s been informative and fun. The char is as valuable as the worms.
I have been producing about 1.2kg biochar a week to play with.
Fresh char is inhibitory to worms, needs further evaluation.
Its hungry & harsh with a high Ph. Treatment with Activated Compost Tea softens and makes it more bio friendly. Plants like it.
The idea is to learn the principles and process of Pyrolysis to make a stove that is efficient, produce char heat and cook on. I have learnt a lot in the last 6 months. A major observation is why are we humans still in the Stone Age when it comes to combustion and use of biomass?
My most recent stove is from a small barbecue gas bottle. It has heated central and radial secondary air, being introduced at 3 different levels. The original flame was long and unstable, headache and vision screwing – high CO? An after burner was created to improve combustion compact the flame to make it more stable and usable.
My strategies was to -
Introduce air in stages to heat air being injected a little higher in the flame column increasing the temp at each stage. (Hotter gasses improve efficiency of reaction allowing a wider air fuel ratio?).
Keep the reacting process as compact as possible by getting the flame to spiral and travel in a horizontal plane. Improve mixing by manipulating the resulting vortex.
Use boundary layers to advantage - (a boundary layer will insulate reacting gases from the walls of the combustion chamber, it will also inhibit heat transfer on the air side. Insulate the stove well.
The available fuel source is mixed tree wood chips.
It takes about 1.5k wood chips, yields about 400g char, burns for about an hour till the flame changes. At this point I have extinguished it and harvested the biochar.
I call it the Spinner.
It’s a wonderful teaching device, as a cooking device it’s a bit overpowered.
It burns clean and very stable,
No bleary vision or headaches.
Each tweak teaches me, failures are best.
Combustion and knowledge continually improves.
Imagination is the most precious resource.
This is alchemy, art & science.
I find CO a problem in that it is extremely toxic and if not burnt its energy potential is lost.
I Wish I had a better CO CO2 temp ...meters than my nerves system as it would give me better feedback on what happening.