Re: Methane from char-makers [1 Attachment]

I appreciate the logic; I doubt the implementation. China has the money and
the means. I don't see much progress in India and the notion that other
nations in the developing world will commit funds to the support of small
farmers for any purpose strikes me as unlikely. Here in Thailand, one of
the very richest countries in the developing world, there is an immense
amount of talk about the climate and environment, but no action. Even in
the capital city, fire engines shooting water into the air and cloud
seeding constitute the only approaches to the "nuisance" of clouds of
PM2.5. There are no publicly announced efforts underway to do anything
about crop waste burning except allow rich sugar plantation owners buy big
harvesters as a discount and the biggest infrastructure projects seem to
focus on road building.

I am glad to see that you think that CERs will rebound in price. The price
I am obliged to work with is US$10/tonne.


Michael Shafer

[image: photo]
*Dr. D. Michael Shafer*
Founder and Director, Warm Heart

+1 732-745-9295 | +66 (0)85 199-2958 | | Skype: d.michael.shafer53 <#>
61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand

Latest Tweet: <> Oh, yes. THE critical
message for all students. Think beyond or live a small life forever. Read More
Get your own email signature

On Mon, Feb 25, 2019 at 1:49 PM Schmidt, Hans-Peter <> wrote:

Dear Michael,

Thanks for your kind reply. I completely agree with you that any type of
charring is better than burning crop wastes in the field. Any incentive to
abandon this terrible practice is good (it took Europe 30 years to abandon
this practice). However, I do not think that selling carbon credits for
carbon sinks that are not really carbon sinks are a long term solution. It
has to be named what it is not what it not is, and then you can build a
sophisticated economic system on it. It could be emission reduction (that
can be neatly calculated) or air quality improvement or ecosystem services.
Governments in Europe pay farmers all sorts of subsidies to reduce the
environmental burden of agriculture. Farmers cannot be let alone with it as
these are national and global problems where farmers are the weakest part
of chain.

Both, China and India, identified it as their major problem (beside
lignite burning) for the devastating air pollution. Their progress
(especially in India) is slow but they do progress. As for climate change,
air quality and ecosystem services need wise government programs and
decisions, we as innovative entrepreneurs or scientists can only help set
them on the right track in showing how it may work.

With a proper carbon sink certification and trade (at 50 Eur / t CO2), it
will become extremely profitable for tropical farmers to sell their biomass
for pyrolysis (with (E-pyrolysis) systems turning 90% of the carbon into
storage). I know that this may sound like the second step before the first,
but that is the vision we are working on. And as it is one of the only long
term solutions we have to handle climate change, I am still positive to see
massive changes in the next 10 years. However, to implement it we need
water proof certification schemes assessing only the part of a sink that is
really a sink – and that is what the discussion here is about.

Be well, Hans-Peter

*Von: *"" <>
*Datum: *Montag, 25. Februar 2019 um 04:30
*An: *"Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <>
*Cc: *"Anderson, Paul" <>, biochar <>, Discussion of biomass cooking stoves <>, Kathleen Draper <>, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott <>, Hugh McLaughlin <>
*Betreff: *Re: [biochar] Methane from char-makers [1 Attachment]


No apologies required. This is a sensitive subject and the discussion has
proved very informative. Thank you, in particular, for clarifying a number
of points here that were previously missing in the discussion. First, the
20 time horizon. Yes, the GWP of methane declines rapidly over time,
starting much higher than 25 and falling to 25 as the "at 100 years
standard." I think that it is very important to make the short-term time
scale of these calculations clear because I have never encountered them
before. Everyone I know and all of the articles with which I am familiar
use the 100 year standard. Second, there is your contention that TLUDs and
Kon-Tikis operate in the same universe. I think that they do not. In our
TLUDs, the rising gases, including of course, CH4, meet the air arriving at
the gap above the barrel and instantly ignite. As they flame up the stack
and above, they reach very high temperatures. Thermal gun measurements have
reached almost 1,000 C. I do not believe that at this temperature we are
throwing off much CH4. Our one closed room rest did not register any. Our
troughs and trenches, like all Kon-Tikis and flame-caps, are another
matter. Not having any data on temperature, James Joyce's comment, I do not
know what the temperature is or whether it rises above 690 C.

Finally, with crop waste fires producing 5.82 kg of CH4/tonne of biomass
burned and using the GWP multiplier of 25, CH4 from crop waster burning is
a big issue, especially when combined with the other primary emission, NOx
at 3.11 kg/tonne and a GWP multiplier of 298. When there are hundreds of
billions of tonnes of crop waste that cannot be collected for high tech
pyrolysis, this means that for every one of those hundreds of billions of
tonnes, 1.073 tonnes of eCO2 is being emitted. Because this stuff can be
charred only using loc-tech, the loss in the methan component of eCO2
calculations is very hard on anyone trying to find a way to engage the
rural poor of the developing world in charring not burning. Profit margins
are razor thin already and the potential of carbon sales at present offers
the only hope that sustainable business models can be found.

You may be correct, but if so, there are a huge number of small farmers
who will have no incentive not to burn.


Michael Shafer

[image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt. photo]

*Dr. D. Michael Shafer*
Founder and Director, Warm Heart

+1 732-745-9295 <+1%20732-745-9295> | +66 (0)85 199-2958
<+66%20(0)85%20199-2958> | | Skype: d.michael.shafer53

61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand

[image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.]

[image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.]

[image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.]

[image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.]

[image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.]

[image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.]Latest Tweet:
<> Oh, yes. THE critical message for all
students. Think beyond or live a small life forever.


Get your own [image: Das Bild wurde vom Absender entfernt.]email signature

On Sun, Feb 24, 2019 at 5:49 PM Schmidt, Hans-Peter <> wrote:

Dear all,

I am sorry for having provoked this sensitive debate. The context of the
discussion was a talk about carbon sink certification that Paul attended.
For a C-sink certification it is necessary to assess not only the amount of
carbon that is stored somewhere (e.g. in soil or buildings) but also the
greenhouse gases that were emitted for the establishment of the sink. In
regard to biochar based carbon sinks this includes the production of the
initial biomass, transportation, transformation, leakage, decomposition.
The emissions of the pyrolysis process are thus part of the overall carbon
balance that needs to be included when calculating the global
warming/cooling potential of a biochar based carbon sink. As an example, I
provided a diagram showing the strong influence of methane on the global
warming potential of low tech pyrolyses. Methane emissions are rather low
though due to its very high global warming potential of 70 to 100 CO2e over
the first 20 (!!) years, the impact is considerable. There is no big
difference between wild fires, Kon-Tikis or TLUDs in regard to CH4 though
their CH4 emissions decrease with the humidity content of the feedstock and
of the combustion air.

Higher tech pyrolysis systems with sophisticated pyrolysis gas combustion
(i.e. residence time of > 2 sec in > 800°C combustion chambers or, much
better, flameless oxidation) oxidize methane to a much higher extend
(getting practically to 0). However, in our C-sink certification scheme, we
do measure pyrolysis emissions including CH4 for high tech pyrolysis plants
too (this was the initial reason why we discussed the issue).

Now, what does it mean that due to CH4-emissions TLUDs and Kon-Tikis
become carbon negative only after 20 to 50 years? It does not mean that
TLUDs or Kon-Tikis are bad for the environment or for the climate. CH4 is
not a crucial point for TLUDs or Kon-Tikis as long as they are optimized
and well handled (i.e. dry feedstock). Many people use the Kon-Tiki in many
countries of the world to produce organic biochar based fertilizers, to
increase yields and food security. TLUDs save many lives in rural houses in
addition to producing biochar. Globally seen, these low tech devices have
so many advantages for the people and for the environment.

The only issue is that when you want to trade carbon certificates with
Kon-Tiki or TLUD produced biochar, the methane would have to be considered
and would make the carbon balance positive for at least the first 20 - 50
years which means you cannot sell C-certificates. But that does not mean,
that TLUDs and Kon-Tikis should get negative press.

Those who pretend that there is no scientific data about CH4 emissions and
for those who still doubt that the GWP of CH4 is about 150 CO2e in the
first year, 70 – 100 CO2e after 20 years and 28 to 35 after 100 years, they
could read the attached papers (already sent several times) as well as the
latest two IPCC reports. Doubting that TLUDs or Kon-Tiki produce methane is
like doubting climate change because there are not enough scientific data.
It is physically impossible to make biochar in a TLUD or Kon-Tiki without
producing methane. However, it only matters when you want to sell carbon
credits as it cancels out the sequestered biochar carbon for at least 20
years. However, reducing CH4 emission through optimized devices and dry
feedstock can change the GHG balance reaching climate neutrality after 20
to 50 years instead of 200 years or never and makes a huge difference.

When run properly, optimized low tech devices are fantastic with all sort
of benefits for nature, agriculture and health. CH4 is only one of the
aspects that needs to be taken additionally into account especially as some
hope to sell carbon credits for it.

Best, Hans-Peter

*Von: *"Anderson, Paul" <>
*Datum: *Samstag, 23. Februar 2019 um 18:49
*An: *"" <>, biochar <>
*Cc: *Discussion of biomass cooking stoves <>, "Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <>, Kathleen Draper <>,
Crispin Pemberton-Pigott <>, Hugh McLaughlin <>
*Betreff: *RE: [biochar] Methane from char-makers [1 Attachment]

Michael, Hans-Peter (HPS), and all,

1. Several days of messages. The chemists and testing-experts have not
replied (yet).

2. HPS has provided two publications that indicate methane, but there are
no “replications” that confirm nor deny. Basically, we have very little

3. This thread of discussion started because HPS mentioned significant
methane from Kon-Tiki (and by association, other flame-cap devices/

4. The question remains: Is methane is so important that methane
emissions from char-making could negate (cancel, or even be worse than
char) the impact of PyCCS (that includes sequestration of carbon as

5. If this is true, then this could shatter the prospects for PyCCS. We
cannot sweep this under the table. It must be understood. There is a
difference between knowing the impact (or lack of impact, so we can forget
about this) versus just dropping the topic as if it perhaps doesn’t matter
(or that it is contrary to what we want to believe).

6. I do seriously question whether TLUD stoves (all or most of them) emit
methane of consequence, versus the published results about stoves that are
reported to be TLUDs but do we know for sure and what fuel was used and if
operated correctly.

7. What do Jim Jetter and Tami Bond (both are not yet receiving these
messages) and Hugh McLaughlin and Crispin PP and others say? If in fact
they did test for methane? Do we reach out to the authors of the
publications that HPS provided? I hope that HPS can assist further.

I think this topic should be of highEST interest to the IBI and USBI and
others. Please assist.


Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP

Email: Skype: paultlud

Phone: Office: 309-452-7072 Mobile: 309-531-4434


*From:* <>
*Sent:* Saturday, February 23, 2019 7:48 AM
*To:* biochar <>
*Cc:* Discussion of biomass cooking stoves <>; Schmidt, Hans-Peter <>; Kathleen Draper <>;
Anderson, Paul <>
*Subject:* Re: [biochar] Methane from char-makers [1 Attachment]

According to the EPA, the GWP or Global Warming Potential, of methane is

As for emissions, I am personally surprised by any claim that TLUDs emit
methane. The entire point of a good stack is to encourage methane to burn
at a high temp to break down other GHGs. Certainly none of our emissions
tests has registered any CH4.

Out here it is nigh on impossible to get a closed room for testing
emissions from a trough or trench. (Thai universities see no interest in
uncompensated research in the public good.) The water wrapped methane
molecules strikes me as improbable, although I think that the suggested
risk to the climate is so great that someone needs to re-run these
emissions tests immediately.


On Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 9:40 PM 'Anderson, Paul'
[biochar] <> wrote:

<#m_6784378927957206478_m_8074159538654219644_m_401255655462046> from
Anderson, Paul included below]*

To all,

The message from Hans-Peter (HPS) is important about emissions from
cookstoves AND from char-making devices. The focus is on methane
emissions. Some comments, based on a rapid look at the 2 articles
attached, which should be studied by the chemists and emissions specialists
in our groups.

1. Why are the stove tests not including methane emissions results? (be
sure Jim Jetter sees this.)

2. HPS says methane is 100 times worse than CO2, but others say 25 times
worse. Which is it?

3. Major comment by HPS: “methane molecules get wrapped by arising water
vapor which prevent its combustion.” Correct or not? Can it be
explained more fully? And conclusion would be to use very dry fuel,
right? (meaning changing our stoves?)

4. I take issue with one comment from table 4 on page 12 (of 16 in Kon
Tiki article) about disadvantage of TLUD stoves: “Too small to generate
larger amounts of biochar.” THAT statement is the perspective of a
SINGLE stove. But when they are used by the thousands, each 1200 TLUD
stoves produce about one ton of char/biochar EACH DAY. 36,000 in West
Bengal are producing about 30 tons per day, every day, and have been doing
so for a few years, and will continue. On a worldwide scale today, that
much charcoal is probably more than that of all the flame-cap devices
combined on a daily basis. (That last statemen can be challenge if anyone
has and data.)

AND the heat energy is not being wasted when TLUD stoves make
charcoal. Although the comment in the table overlooks the importance
of “scale by number” (instead of “scale by size”), I am glad that the TLUD
stoves were at least mentioned in the report and Table. That is progress
over being totally ignored.

I hope that there is substantial discussion about the methane topic.


Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP

Email: Skype: paultlud

Phone: Office: 309-452-7072 Mobile: 309-531-4434


*From:* Schmidt, Hans-Peter <>
*Sent:* Thursday, February 21, 2019 12:29 AM
*To:* Anderson, Paul <>
*Cc:* Kathleen Draper <>
*Subject:* Re: Webinar comments by Hans-Peter

Hi Paul,

Please find attached our paper on low tech pyrolysis emissions. The
CH4-emissions of TLUD and Kon-Tikis are in the same order. Optimization of
gas combustion and especially the use of dry feedstock can greatly reduce
CH4-emissions of both. CH4-emissions of forest wild fires are in the some
order as optimized Kon-Tiki (see the other attached paper). In field
burning of harvest residues produce more methane especially when the
residues are humid as is often the case.

The quantity of emitted methane may not look high but as the Global
Warming Potential (GWP) of methane is about 100 times that of CO2 in the
first 20 years, the climate effect of rather low CH4-quantities is already

The problem with methane in all low-tech pyrolysis systems is that methane
molecules get wrapped by arising water vapor which prevent its combustion.

Be well, Hans-Peter

*Von: *"Anderson, Paul" <>
*Datum: *Donnerstag, 21. Februar 2019 um 04:25
*An: *"Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <>
*Cc: *"" <>
*Betreff: *RE: Webinar comments by Hans-Peter


Thank you.

There was no attached graph. Please send.

I am assuming that you are not subscribed to the Biochar Listserv because
you do not send replies to that address. So I am forwarding your very
valuable comments to the Biochar listserv. More comments are below.

Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP

Email: Skype: paultlud

Phone: Office: 309-452-7072 Mobile: 309-531-4434


*From:* Schmidt, Hans-Peter <>
*Sent:* Wednesday, February 20, 2019 6:01 PM
*To:* Anderson, Paul <>
*Subject:* Re: Webinar comments by Hans-Peter

... considering that 40 t DM of biomass per ha is what can be expected in
tropical carbon farming systems, the 1500 t of biomass necessary for one
standard size E-pyrolysis would need about 40 ha. And even when they do not
achieve those numbers in productivity in the first years, with 100 – 200 ha
there would be enough biomass per village. In the tropics, this is more or
less year around, and the machines can work in continuous processes.

*[PSA>>] The above is a valuable statement. DM is “dry matter”,
right? Just knowing about 40 t/ha/year would require 40 ha, and then to
have extra, allow up to 100 or 200 ha. 100 ha is NOT a very big area; it
is only 1 sq km.*

*So a safe easy statement is that there can be sufficient biomass to
produce 1 t of char per day for a year from a area the size of about 1 sq
km. *

*??? Did I say that correctly? We do not want to be saying things that
we later need to retract. *

*???? Maybe others who are in the tropical settings (Thailand, Uganda,
etc.) could comment about this.*

The US$ 50.000 estimate are based on our experimental E-Pyrolysis data,
the Pyreg 1 t BC per day systems and experiences with other rotary kiln

*[PSA>>] I looked up the Pyreg rotary kiln. Nice video of a small model
at *


*???Where is there some info of a larger unit that does 1 t BC per day?
Or was that a calculated estimate of scale-up? Either way, that is a good
starting point.*

It is only an estimate but I do not see any that may increase the material
and construction cost beyond 50.000 when it enters serial mass production.
And I also think that 50.000 would be a kind of limit for investors to
start upscaling.

*[PSA>>] I agree. The $50,000 is not a trivial amount and could be the
limit for investors. And that is ONLY based on when serial mass
production is possible. *

*??? Statement: What the world needs is a 1 t of BC per day system that
costs only $25,000. Is that a good goal or “dream”??? Would that price
make the production of biochar become a major factor quickly??? I would
like several people to comment about this. Not just Hans-Peter has
answers. Comments from all are appreciated.*

The methane emissions shown in the graph are based on our Kon-Tiki paper
(attached). The data are even much worse when the feedstock is not
completely dry. We are going to publish a paper about it within the next

*[PSA>>] As said before, please send the graph. I really did not
associate methane with burning of biomass. I need some instruction.
Does an open fire (bonfire or campfire or 3-stone fire) put out
considerable methane emissions? The testing of cookstoves does NOT have a
methane concern!!!! So is it something about the flame-cap of the
Kon-Tiki and other open cone kilns that “causes” the methane to be created
and to escape?? Please help with this question. I am still not
understanding about methane for such fires.*

*[PSA>>] Paul*

Best, hp

*Von: *"Anderson, Paul" <>
*Datum: *Mittwoch, 20. Februar 2019 um 23:57
*An: *'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <>, "" <>
*Cc: *"Anderson, Paul" <>
*Betreff: *Webinar comments by Hans-Peter


Just wondering, why do you think that the 1 t/day of char production would
be a size that would be appropriate for villages? We are discussing
developing countries. Would this be expected year round, or maybe only
seasonally for 2 to 5 months (and then idle)?

And where did the $50,000 price per pyrolyzer installation come from? I
am content if you say it was just a convenient number, but maybe you have
some basis for it.


Another question:

I was surprised by your comment about the (relatively) high emissions of
methane from the Kon Tiki (and other) flame-cap charmakers. Any links to
reports about this? Why methane? I would have more easily believe high
PM or CO.


Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP

Email: Skype: paultlud

Phone: Office: 309-452-7072 Mobile: 309-531-4434


Join to automatically receive all group messages.