Re: [Stoves] Continuing in response to Crispin and James

Herein lies the question. Where has the focus grouping been done? The
forward marketing? The pre-establishment of agents, wholesalers and
retailers? You do not introduce a new product into a saturated market
without some cost and effort.


Michael Shafer

On Sun, Mar 3, 2019 at 1:38 PM Rick Wilson [biochar] <> wrote:

Michael, I am open to supporting companies that can impact quality of
life and progress environmental stewardship.

I don’t believe a technology needs to be perfected before you start to
sell it.

What would it cost to fill a 20 foot container with stoves? Where is the
market, where would we send them?


On Mar 2, 2019, at 7:37 PM, '' [biochar] <> wrote:

Rick, You may be interested in a recent blog post I wrote in response to a
lengthy video interview with the new head of the Clean Stove Alliance. Make
sure to go back to the previous post to watch the video.


Michael Shafer <>

On Sat, Mar 2, 2019 at 1:07 PM Rick Wilson [biochar] <> wrote:

Wayne, I am in the business of importing and exporting to and from third
world countries. I’m just sharing what I know. Rick

On Feb 28, 2019, at 3:58 AM, 'Teel, Wayne - teelws' [biochar]
<> wrote:


Just another side comment. You don’t really need a supply chain to build
stoves in Africa. You just need the design. During my four years in Kenya
(1980s) I saw a number of ideas explode via local production once a new
idea/design took hold, and it would improve. The Kenya Jiko took off that
way. Stoves will too once introduced in the right way, but they have to
hit a critical mass. It is amazing what the Kenyan fundis (local experts)
can do with an old oil drums, smashed up old cars, broken containers, or
any other form of metal they can grab. Co-developing the right idea, not
creating a complex and prone to failure supply chain, is what works.


*From:* <>
*Sent:* Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:29 AM
*To:* Daniel <>; biochar <
<>>; Discussion of biomass cooking stoves < <>>;
Hans-Peter Schmidt <>; Kathleen Draper <>; Hugh McLaughlin <>;
Michael Shafer <>
*Subject:* Re: [biochar] [Stoves] Continuing in response to Crispin and

Daniel, fair enough. I agree that anyone can be smart. In fact it’s
know that breakthroughs in technology have been achieved by those
unencumbered by the paradigms of the models afforded academic training.. I
do believe formal education provides skills to engage in rigorous inquiry
in a way that factors out personal biases and accounts for all the
information rational way. But there is no monopoly on the ability to be
effective at rigorous inquiry and analysis.


My point is that if we are going to debate climate change dynamics, there
is a world of expertise outside of this biochar group that could be
engaged, for instance NASA, fully informed by all of the available
information? I am sure there are other internet groups for debating the
dynamics of climate change? There are some really smart biochar experts on
this thread, but nto many geologists who could speak to what happens to
land masses when water melts away to the best of my knowledge..


There is a separate group for that. It's a charcoal business. The
limitation of Stoves, (and biochar), is that there is an abundance of
activity and interest in the technology, and those engaged in further
developing our understanding and development of those technologies, with
considerably less focus on commercialization.

For instance, deploying Stoves in third world countries presents a
confounding challenge in supply chain development, marketing, finance, and
economics. You may have the greatest stove technology, which from what I’ve
read, we do. But that is far from enough to make an impact on people’s

To start, you need to build enough Stoves to pack up a container and ship
them to say Africa. Then, you have to get them through customs, in places
where infrastructure is lacking, so the process takes a very long time, and
often facilitation payments are needed. (paying facilitation payments to
government officials is forbidden under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
if you are US based). Hopefully they don’t get stolen. Then you have to
truck or rail the Stoves somewhere, perhaps a local town, and try to sell
them. Now you are dealing with people who have no money, so they need
finance, and transacting in foreign currencies with exchange rate risk.
And while you are doing this you need to pay people, buy equipment, pay for
logistics, banking transactions, all this requires finance, so you have to
convince an investor, a government agency, or a charitable group, that
there is a market and wants to take that risk. The cost to the customer in
the beginning will be much greater than when after a market develops (like
solar, or electric cars). Large markups will be required to pay for all the
costs of getting the stoves to market in the beginning when you do not have
scale. Do the economics work then? In the end you will need to show how
this business is economically viable.

We need to drive commercial adoption of these technologies, either by
positioning them to benefit from the forces of capitalism, enabled by early
government support, or through not- for- profit resourcing. These are the
issues we should be discussing. Unlike technical development, which is
under your control, dealing with markets is mostly out of your direct
control, individuals who don’t care about changing what they do because
they are risk averse in general, or are not necessarily incentivized to do
so, which makes for a very big challenge, one that must be addressed.

Rick Wilson

On Feb 27, 2019, at 4:46 AM, Daniel <
<>> wrote:

Rick, with all the due respect you are not giving me, Crispin, or anyone
here who doesn't have a degree or who drifts subjects. A) Just because we
don't have degree does not mean we cannot contribute. I didn't have a
degree when I: taught Ohio State ( then the world) how to dramatically
reduce global pesticide use, creating IPM ( 1983) , nor when I helped
negotiate the Dayton Well field Protection Ordinance(1985) nor when I saved
NASA several lifetimes of "education" to figure out what I already knew
about growing plants in controlled environments.( 1995?)

You see all knowlege starts with observing nature, and we both do a
lot of that! I learned my geology from hundreds of hours underground
caving, soil testing, rock hounding, prospecting, rock climbing, oil
rigging, and 38 years of landscaping, excavation, irrigation and drainage.
I almost bought a gold mine in Cripple Creek Colorado when I was 16 years
old and gold was $30/ oz.. Just to name a few.

And B) off topic has been a common thing on the Stoves list since I
joined in 2001. I remember the airlift of food to Afganistan inspired by
conversations right here about saving more lives with food than bombs back
in about 2002. Sometimes great ideas come from unusual places.

I learned about making charcoal while mastering pyrotechnics at age
11-14. You see I needed a better char to make better rocket fuel and better
colored stars, faster burning black powder. Dad taught me all about carbon
when his lab partners were creating graphite fiber and shuttle heat shield
tiles for the Air Force. He worked on Boron fiber in the early 1970's, and
laser weapons protection when he passed in 1976. He started life relining
blast furnaces. Never had an advanced degree

People like Crispin and I are way too busy actually learning "hands on"
in real life, to have time to get degrees in every one of the many subjects
we dabble in. Yet we open minds to ideas that are " not in the book"
because sometimes as Dr. Reed used to say proudly " Sometimes the book is
wrong"! More often" the best book" is written by someone who couldn't
find the information in another book and had to figure it out themselves.

Dan Dimiduk. Shangri-La Research and Development

*Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid*

On Feb 27, 2019 1:37 AM, Rick Wilson <> wrote:

As an economist, and soil scientist, I struggle to see how stoves has a
future. It would be great if we could keep stoves on the stove list.

Unless you have a Ph.D. in geology, please stay away from discussions on
the mass of glaciers, and the mass of oceans rising, you do not have the
training to make sense of what is going on.

Rick Wilson

On Feb 24, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Gordon West
<> [biochar] <> wrote:

The idea of lightening the load on the land and having it rise is… well,
interesting. It does fit with the theory that the Great Biblical Flood came
about when all of the subterranean water that the land floats on came
gushing up through some massive cracks. I guess it rained alot, too. What I
don’t quite understand is how all the water got back under the earth’s
crust, but it must have, except for the oceans and lakes and stuff, which
still float on top of the ground.

I’m a little bit confused I reckon, I hope there’s a scientific study on
this soon!


On Feb 24, 2019, at 5:55 PM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott <> wrote:


As we say in Swaziland, "Menlo mandala!". It means my eyes have grown old
since I last saw you.

Isn't it amazing what you can learn on the stoves list?

About the steel: isn't the purpose of the super low oxygen environment
intended to reduce the oxidation of the iron?

It would keep the temperature up as high as possible while maintaining
was nearly no available O2. Make sense?

About the glaciers, the only reason they flow to the sea is they are
pushed from behind. I am speaking of those that are really big. The ones
that terminate on land are not so interesting but there are lots of them.
Just because a glacier flows doesn't mean there is a net change in mass.
Let's suppose there is a drop in mass. That means the total water mass in
the oceans rises. The land moves up (rebound) the sea floor moves down. The
Hudson Bay shore is rebounding about 40mm per year, with, as you say, a
delay of several thousand years. All things considered sea level rises -
very slowly these days compared with 10,000 years ago.

Those that calculate such things have recently changed how sea level is
reported, meaning how it is calculated. They are adding an estimated depth
increase to the actual rise, and report it as " sea level rise" even though
the sea level doesn't rise that much. So the number you an find now
reported is padding: about 50% of it. Amazing, right? Sounds like good old
stove testing. You can't really trust anything you hear, even about simple

How's the bush clearing going? Can you get a large propane tank to use as
a charcoal kiln?

Best regards



*Sent:* February 24, 2019 3:46 PM


*Cc:*;;;;;; <>

*Subject:* Re: [Stoves] Continuing in response to Crispin and James

Crispin and all. A quick check of The MAKING SHAPING and TREATING of
STEEL notes the following. Blast furnace gas has zero methane.. It has
27.5% of CO and even 1% H2 makes it through the reaction. While methane,
fuel oil, and even steam are introduced to balance the smelting reactions,
methane and hydrocarbons do not make it out. Note this is a high
temperature yet oxygen starved reaction. In any half efficient combustion
devise that allows adaquate secondary air, the methane and light
hydrocarbons are first to combust.

Now, Crispin, according to your hypothesis: Any glacier melting would
raise sea level, but the sea would sink deeper from the added weight. This
would keep the actual level constant. I say maybe after 10,000 year lag or
more. - Dan Dimiduk.

*Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid*

On Feb 24, 2019 7:09 AM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott < <>> wrote:

Dear Paul and Mike and All

An important addition to Mike's comment about the stack temperature of
900 is that it must have some minimum O2 content for the statement to be
true in general.

On the topic of many charcoal kilns in a confined space on a windless day
etc. This question seems to confuse radiative effects of GHG's with "air

There is no way charcoal making can compare with rotting that vegetation
to gases, in terms of its net GHG effects. The whole point that has been
made is that charcoal is a way of holding the carbon. Methane can't be made
without carbon. If the char exists, the methane and CO2 that would have
been produced by rotting doesn't.

For example, the alarming claim that melting permafrost "will produce a
lot of methane" is based on the fact that permafrost is full of frozen
forest products. Of course it will produce methane, at least it will in
summer, but there are two other questions that must be answered at the same
time as the methane bomb is mooted: how did that forest debris get there in
the first place (it grew there the last time it was warm enough to do so)
and what will grow there if the ground is melted (another forest, of
course, far more than offsetting the effects of any methane).

So there is no meaningful net effect of methane "influence" on the
atmosphere other than the new forest which will grow on that land will
again start sequestering CO2. Proof? Look south - what do you see, an
endless forest. In other words the net effect is the opposite of the myopic
(partial) analysis given by the methane bomb advocates.

Frankly, this charcoal-making-methane bomb equivalent is a tempest in a
tea cup, a thimble, an eye-dropper. When I stand on the shore and piss into
the ocean, it raises sea levels. That is half the story. The other half is
I weigh less so the ground under me rises and deepens the ocean, cancelling
my "influence".

Charcoaling systems should burn the effluent to prevent smoke which is a
pollutant. However if we managed to completely suppress all fires in all
forests and grasslands, it would probably stop raining because raindrops
form around aerosol particles, a large fraction of which are from bad

In times of drought on the Great Plains, the First Nations people learned
to recognise supersaturated conditions in the air and lit grass fires to
cause the formation of raindrops which then fell in the vicinity..
Rainmaking is a real thing. If they instead made charcoal in a modern kiln
it wouldn't have worked. Too clean.

Crispin's rule number one: Never assume anything.


Crispin assuming this is adequate


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