Re: Will wood chips suffocate a burn? #technology

Paul S Anderson



You wrote:

Since the 10.5' dia. X 16' free tank that Vulture  Paul 😊 spotted and grabbed from 600 mi. away,


I will interpret the smiley face to mean you were joking about me, when in fact I actually did something to try to move forward with such a large pyrolyzer.   If you ever really have a plan and the funding to do something, that cylinder can certainly be made available  to you.




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From: <> On Behalf Of Dick Gallien via
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2020 2:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Will wood chips suffocate a burn?


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Greetings Nando

I didn't charge to dump wood chips and the word got around fast.  I didn't know there'd be that many and was going to ask for suggestions on how to use the heat from burning brush to char the damp green chips. I could spread the chips on the hayfield.  A Canadian promoted enriching farm fields with "ramial wood chips" (from brush under 3" dia., which deer and goats thrive on in winter).   A brush pile is by the chip pile and this is a way to see if chips work in this way.  If not packed by the dozer, they'd smolder forever.  It would be difficult and not that interesting to test on a small scale.  The City will be coming with their usual 400 truck loads of street leaves soon.and the chips are sitting where the leaves will be dumped.  Sue will document what happens, including if the dozer drops in a pocket, mined by pyrolysis.  


So many good comments you made on the turtle/tank. As when using four 7.5' vertical tanks, I'd start burning brush in the base of each then add a grapple of brush every 15 min., so there'd be little smoke -- same for the 10' dia X 30' turtle/tank, keep adding until full of coals, then roll it.  Can have a 4" bent pipe on each end, buried in the dirt, which should be the gas escape of least resistance.


Seems you said the pyrolysis would end when the the pyrolysis runs out of O,  Does that mean the syngases can't pyrolosize on their own?  The  lid on the 10.5' dia. X 16' tank vertically in the ground obviously leaked the acrid gases out and O in.because the pyrolysis gases kept the lid very warm for 3 wks., cooling when everything became charred.  Since keeping crude tanks airtight isn't apt to happen, my question as to whether pyrolysis can continue in any tank without oxygen is irrelevant. 


I've told Sue, the other student of making biochar, to respond to your thoughts on her/your kiln   It is too complex for me.  Since the 10.5' dia. X 16' free tank that Vulture  Paul 😊 spotted and grabbed from 600 mi. away, means the 8' wide trench would  have to be a dumpster or Hugh rightfully warned me about a 20' to 40' shipping container not lasting long, but they are around $2500 at 40' and a skid steer with jaws on the bucket or forks, that would test your ideas. Banks would cave, but a 40' X 8' X 8 to 10' high  and our clay would become brick like from the heat, then we'd have to show no flame, smoke or fumes other than 8 to 4pm., but one would be making a sizeable dent in all this "waste wood".  I like to emphasize that waste wood has forever been written off by the Mn protectors of natural resources, DNR Forestry Dept. and others as of zero value---and, how wrong they are.  Thanks, Dick .  .  



On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 10:03 AM Nando Breiter <nando@...> wrote:



I think the way to proceed is to try one of your ideas at small scale first so it doesn't attract any attention, and doesn't pose any danger, if something goes sideways. If it seems to work well, gradually scale it up one step at a time. If it doesn't, change your approach and try it again. Make some videos for us so we can learn from you. 







On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 4:03 PM Dick Gallien <dickgallien@...> wrote:

Nando, Hugh and Company


What are your thoughts on burning a pile of brush, where I've done a smaller pile 5 times before, then when burned down to a glowing mass, suffocate it by dozing damp compost onto it, without packing it with the 2' wide dozer tracks plus 34,000 lbs.. 


 This time I'll doze 4 or 5' of green, moist wood chips over the coals and pack them with the 4 PM, then put the sprinkler on them.

Do you think this will eliminate all signs of life from that glowing monster ?   It would be nice to let that heat char the chips, but after 4PM we'd be fined.  Sue predicts a visit from "The Law".. This is the loader on the woodchip pile.  Leaves are turning, there's frost on the roof this morning, Winona is in the banana belt of Mn., but Bill down under, I doubt .01% heat only with wood, where  -20F is common. .  Thanks, Dick 


Dick Gallien 
22501 East Burns Valley Road
Winona  MN  55987
dickgallien@...  [507] 312 0194



Nando Breiter
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland

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