Re: Burning rather than preventing pyrolysis gases (Dick Gallien char-making) #technology

Paul S Anderson



Please complete the story about how well the upright tank worked as a biochar maker.




Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:

         Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud

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

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 

Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See

Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at

         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.


From: <> On Behalf Of Dick Gallien via
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2020 11:38 PM
To: Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...>
Cc:; Bill Knauss <wmknauss@...>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Burning rather than preventing pyrolysis gases (Dick Gallien char-making)


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Hi Ron--thanks for your interest.

I had a crazy idea over 15 yrs. ago to heat a green house with waste wood, so had a 10' dia X 30' X 7/8" rr tank delivered from Arkansas for $6,000.  Had a 40'X 60' steel building built into a clay bank, with the 40' end made of precast 16' high X 7' sections made for bunker silos, so with the old log truck, I can easily top load the tank. Switched from the greenhouse idea to biochar and had a 7'X7'X 7/8" door cut at the base of the tank.  Tank wt. is over 36,000 lbs.., so it is a little late to set it out in the open.  The City and County burn trees day and night, but I've poked the DNR Forestry Dept., so can burn only between 8 and 4, with no smoke, fumes or flame, except then.  The acrid, sightless fumes of pyrolysis are my only concern, besides the fumes in the building.  If still upright, I'll report.  If one pokes a bureaucracy, they'll respond. .  .


The turtle/tank is a seperate issue, which I'm sure will work.  Just how to solve the fumes.  Thanks for any suggestions.  Dick 



On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 10:17 PM Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

List and Dick Gallien,  cc Bill Knauss

        This is to see if there is any list support to using a (very large) TLUD geometry in Dick’s situation.

        The majority of TLUD communications are for cylinders of about 6-8 inch diameter - for cooking of meals. (And plenty on even smaller 3-4 inch diameter for camping).  Many on this list working with 50 gallon sizes - and I know one person working at 100 gallons.

        The largest TLUd I have seen is a converted 500 gallon propane tank - about 3 foot diameter and 10 foot height.    Bill Knauss (cc’d) has successfully operated at this scale for Trolllworks.  Today he made a number of warnings about going larger - but could conceive of working with an 8 hour diameter.    Anyone have evidence to the contrary?

        Warnings:   This scale will look like it is operating cleanly during daylight hours, and may not even appear to be. operating at all.  But at night there will be a visible flame.  So there may need to be approvals from you fire department.

                        There will likely be problems with fuel of radically different sizes.  But maybe you can separate your fuel supply into different sizes. (With the larger sizes taking much longer for the pyrolysis front to reach bottom.).

                        Bill says he might recommend an auger to remove the finished char - vs tipping such a cylinder over.   Bill has experience with augers, but not with this size.

                        Not sure what size containers you have available - but if from a railway, it will have about an 8 foot diameter.    I am thinking of separating a 20 foot oil tanker lengthwise into two ‘identical 10 foot long pieces - each having a capacity of about 500 ft3 = 3750. gallons (using about 7.5 gallons per cubic foot).  But a chimeny will take up about 4 feet of the 10 feet available- so there might be a 300 ft3 volume of wood. - a bit more than 11 cubic yards - with a chance at maybe 3 cubic yards of char - or 6 cubic yards if two are operating together.

        Dick - from your perspective - is such an operation worth this list’s further discussion?   Can you convert anything you have into something like an 8 foot diameter and 10 foot height?    I am not claiming these will work for you - but I do believe a TLUD design should be on the table.   I also believe Bill Knauss would be a good consultant if you have or can obtain such cylinders.



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