Re: Portable, dismantlable, trough flame cap, for farm scale use #flamecap

Too easy works for us. The farmers will love it, especially because they can portion it out a plant at a time.


On Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 9:30 AM Geoff Thomas <wind@...> wrote:
Hi Michael, there are a class of pumps called “cellar-dewatering pumps" that can handle various degrees of gunk and particles, the fiercest ones have a grinding facility.
I have never used one with Biochar, butthey are impressive.
When I first used my Pyramid flame cap kiln, - courtesy design from Kelpie Wilson, I had underestimated the porousness of our soil, so all water was lost, so I had to weld a waterproof plate over the bottom. The Pyramid kiln has the virtue that water can be poured down a corner and goes straight to the bottom, thus quenching from below, and after the top layer started to float I used a kitchen strainer to remove the floating biochar to an area for drying, then just scooped out the rich water and spread it on the garden, - too easy.

Geoff Thomas
On 12 Dec 2019, at 11:38 am, d.michael.shafer@... wrote:

Thanks. Will have to see about availability. Right now looking into simple way to filter and capture the quenched water. Much depends on whether folks quench in tank or after dumping. Would like to have single, very simple item 


On Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 9:21 PM Trevor Richards <trevor@...> wrote:
Hi Michael,
I'm not sure if these types of pumps are universally available but Steve Erickson has demonstrated mixing, grinding & spraying biochar with his pumps...

On Wed, 11 Dec 2019 at 15:01, d.michael.shafer@... <d.michael.shafer@...> wrote:
David, This is an excellent idea. Stephen Joseph and a Chinese friend did some nice research on using a foliar spray made by just boiling biochar and tapping off the water. They, however, were forced to use a ceramic filter to eliminate all the little black bits so as not to clog the sprayer heads. Is this a problem you have had or do you have a way around it with different heads?


PS. We tried Stephen's recipe and it worked great. Much bigger and healthier cabbage faster.

Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart | Skype: live:d.michael.shafer53
61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand

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On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 1:26 PM David Yarrow <dyarrow5@...> wrote:
hello all,

i have an urgent suggestion:
when designing and building a flame-cap kiln, 
if you're gonna quench that bed of hot coals, 
instead, capture that darkened fluid and save it.
it is a precious resource with multiple amazing uses.
anyone serious about plant & soil culture will discover quench water 
has special properties & dramatic effects on soils, microbea, plants & fertilizrs.

quench has a wide assortment of every size carbon molecules 
– fragments shattered & splintered off the charred biomass.
– from nanocarbon micromolecules up to larger macromolecules
suspended & dissolved in the water, with a mix of plant friendly minerals.

these biocarbon fragments were cooked at high temperature
– essentially pyrolyzed under the flame cap in low oxygen atmosphere 
– thoroughly reduced, stripped of oxygen & electrons
– with lots of sharp edges and points to collect & focus electric charge.

think of this as a char equivalent to humic & fulvic extracts from humates, 
but even better.
this kind of polycyclic biocarbon is very water-friendly; the two will blend nicely, 
improving the characteristics each.

any foliar spray or compost tea will benefit from a dose of this microcarbon solution, 
and will capture, hold, carry & deliver any liquid nutrients added, 
especially ions, and increase mobility into plant tissue.
think of this liquid carbon as a base matrix to add other substances to.
plants can drink in this ultrafine carbon to circulate inside; 
any larger carbon molecules with leave a nanofine film on the leaves 
– seems to act like sunshade (optical) & insulation (thermal).

spray or drench soil with this solution will get excellent penetration 
even heavy, tight clay will get optimum carbon movement to alter soil structure.
actually, tiny bit of ultrafine clay will enhance this substance,
especially for sandy soil (think desert).

understanding the potential benefit & value of this liquid nano & micro carbon molecules, 
it makes sense to design equipment to efficiently create & capture this quench fluid.
some way to drain it off easily, efficiently into a container.
then design simple screen operations to sieve out different grades of carbon material.
collection & capture of this range of carbon molecules is affected by water's vorticity.
another product development challenge is to create concentrated nano & microchar solutions.
or to create dried, graded nano & micro char powders.
but hey, you gotta alot of heat coming off your kiln;  
put that heat to use boiling down solutions; 
i flash on the design maple or molasses syrup boiler tables/benches, 
with steam rising off a thin fluid film flowing over a metal evaporator. 

for a green & peaceful planet,
david yarrow

On Sun, Dec 8, 2019 at 2:10 PM Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...> wrote:
Hi all,
There are a few different ways to go here. First consideration needs to be quenching. How will you put it out? With no solid bottom, you cannot flood quench. Your options will be to snuff it with a lid and dirt to seal the edges, or to open the kiln at the end, dump the char, spread it thin while spraying with a hose.

We came up with a design called the Ring of Fire that uses three curved steel panels to make a cylinder. There are flanges that you clamp together to make it air tight. It has a lid for snuffing and it works very well because it is made to close tolerances so it does not leak air (won't hold water though). However, it cost $1000 to make. You can do the same thing with sheets of roofing bolted together to make a cylinder, but you can't snuff quench it because it leaks air.
Open source plans for the Ring of Fire are up at

Cylinders are actually very nice for making biochar. The tall walls act like an afterburner, holding heat in, so they often burn much cleaner than a trough or shallower pan like the Oregon Kiln. See the work of Dolph Cook in Australia.

We also have some folks who are using flat steel panels, heavier gauge than roofing steel, that they bolt together into polygon shapes - hexagon or octagon.
Those work fine and can be very large, but same problem with quenching. The only way to do it is to open the kiln, spread thin and spray with water. I will try to get some pictures of those up on I will try to get to that this evening. 


Email: kelpiew@...
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