Re: Biocahr in field. #technology #flamecap

Ken Carloni

Hi All -- I tried to send the message below, but the listserv is configured so that only members (which I am now -- thank you Ron) can reply.

Nice to join you all.

-- KC

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 8:13 PM Ken Carloni <ken.carloni@...> wrote:
Hi Kim et al. -- I need to make a clarification about the recycled solar panels: these are first generation (late 1970s?) flat plate collectors for solar hot water to heat a building on the college campus from which I've recently retired (NOT PV panels).  After they failed and were removed, I bought about 100 for a buck apiece several years ago thinking I could use the parts for other projects and recycle the rest.  I removed the glass and the copper and aluminum transfer tubing leaving just the shallow 4" X 79" X 39" steel boxes (20 ga).  I then simply used sheet metal screws to assemble 6 panels in the field to make an approx 6' X 13' bin.  This worked well to accommodate our feedstock of mostly Doug fir and incense cedar limbs and tops from our 12 acre oak habitat restoration project.  They've undergone 6 to 7 burns and are still in fairly good shape -- I'm guessing they could survive at least twice again as many burns.  I sent Ron a copy of a case study I recently wrote (attached here as well) discussing among other things an evaluation of the 6 types of flame cap kilns we used.  In another pilot study, we used a double walled version of this kiln insulated with rock wool to char >3 tons of green feedstock.  Lab analysis showed that we had captured 30-40% of the feedstock C in the resulting char.  I've attached a sidebar outlining the methods and preliminary data from this pilot that I created for an upcoming report from a team headed up by Jim Amonette that includes Tom and I assume many others on this list.  I've also been designing and building 6 to 9 cu.yd. modular kilns that can be broken down for transport, easily moved by human power in rough terrain, and reassembled in the field in multiple configurations (see Fig. 9 of Yew Creek report).

Thanks -- KC

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020, 4:31 PM Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...> wrote:
I love it that, in the Capitol Hill story, Ken Carloni is seen making a “Kelpie type kiln” from used solar collectors.  

Given the high growth rate of the solar PV industry, disposing of used solar panels is already becoming a major problem.  Used panels have virtually no commercial value or cost money to dispose of.   If they could be recycled into biochar kilns that are able to be assembled on site, that would be very useful outcome.  The following Grist article describes the disposal problem and one approach to addressing it.  


On Sep 25, 2020, at 4:24 PM, John Webster <john@...> wrote:

We are working on funding for in-field biochar production in Park City, Utah, in 2021. Focus on agricultural waste streams and hazardous forest fuels removal. Park City is a mountain town with three ski resorts. They understand the importance of biochar in soil health and forest resilience.

Planning on slightly modified versions of Oregon and Ring of Fire kilns.

I look forward to Dr Sahoo's webinar being published.

- John
801-870-2465 mobile (best)
276-BIO-CHAR office
Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @gobiochar

From: "Tom Miles" <tmiles@...>
Cc: "john" <john@...>,, "ken carloni" <ken.carloni@...>, "kamalakanta sahoo" <kamalakanta.sahoo@...>
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 1:58:02 PM
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Biocahr in field.

KK Sahoo is very interested in working with information from commercial operations to ground truth his models. He has used inputs from contractors. Thanks to the Forest Products Laboratory for their support. 

T R Miles Technical Consultants Inc.
Sent from mobile. 

On Sep 25, 2020, at 12:01 PM, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

Oops -  I don’t know why this note went out prematurely.  Apologies.

add Dr.   Sahoo as a cc and the name to begin my part a)

a continued).   Reason for the glitch-  I was locating this USDA/USFS site for Dr.  Sahoo’s talk - Biochar: Technoeconomics 
and Life Cycle Assessments

I hope Dr. Sahoo will add anything for this list that is pertinent.  I asked about lessons from his 3-method comparison that might help to lower costs.  The next item b) might be one.   
I also asked whether there was enough money now in wildfire prevention to cover the costs of char-making.  Almost all federal money is going to wildfire extinguishment - NOT prevention.  
It is great to hear from this important Wisconsin part of the USFS.

   b).  The Capital Hill story below (from John0 featured Ken using retired solar thermal collectors to make the equivalent of a (Kelpie) type “Oregon” kiln.  I think this is a great (because very low cost) invention.  I hope Dr. Carloni can add some more on that and the other work described in the (yesterday’s) paper that John has given below.  Dr. Carloni and I talked briefly this AM.   I am impressed with his work.

beginning of response below.

   (With apologies for sending this in two parts.)


On Sep 25, 2020, at 12:15 PM, Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

John and list,  cc Ken

Normally I would have just suggested that you forward your (very valuable) recommendation below.  Thanks for sending it.  (John is doing great job in Utah selling biochar with strong permaculture orientation.  We. Know each other because of a connection with Park City.)

But I wanted to add two other topics:

a).  Yesterday there was a USFS-USBI webinar that covered some of the same ground.  A few list member names recognized (including Kewlpie Wilson - in both).  Not yet up probably for replay - but I urge anyone interested in detailed costing to keep track at this site:  
I have received a copy of the presentation from Dr.  


Begin forwarded message:

From: john@...
Subject: Biocahr in field.
Date: September 25, 2020 at 10:14:39 AM MDT
To: Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...>

Ken Carloni, Ph.D.
Botanist/Forest Ecologist
Ecosystem Restoration and Biochar Consulting
1 (541) 672-1914

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