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OOPS, I meant late 80’s when I was in the beginning of the Solar industry, sorry.
On 8 Dec 2020, at 1:06 pm, Geoff Thomas <wind@...
Hi Frank, I have had this argument with Don, he has a normal but unfortunate tendency to think he knows best.
I think my points dovetail with yours, as I pointed out to him that when I was in the beginning of the Solar development days, = back in the early 2000,s it was quite an open thing, - like Biochar now, there was not much bureaucratic interference.
Then through grants, everybody had to be accredited, the bureaucrats, suddenly found they had another thing they could say no to, but fortunately no-one wanted them to as Solar was gaining in popularity, and only now, as the Industry has come of age, have the bureaucrats finally got enough power to squash it but it is too big to squash, so they can only get away with helpful bits around the edges.
That is the stage Biochar has to reach, when it is full grown, and developing all along the frontier, is the only time Bureaucrats should be allowed any power, - then minor tweaking on safety issues etc. is fine, it won’t kill it.
In regard to fires, in Australia there are strict no-burn times and they would apply to any open fire except totally indoors.
As a lot of fires are started accidentally, - only occasionally deliberately, the pressure on stronger legislation is increasing. - You can tell Don I have developed a new water delivery system for fire trucks that will allow all firetrucks so fitted to be 15 minutes earlier to a fire call out than now.
I am happy to share the concept with him, - or anyone in such other fire suffering places as America for that matter.
As long as people, land managers, farm and forest owners are allowed in Australia and even encouraged by State Fire Authorities to reduce biomass fuel by setting it alight with a drip torch or Heli-torch because it is seen as best option, there is a wide ranging options to deal with small to medium scale char productions.
The organisation is not a Authority but a represents interests of its members.
As long as it is possible to go to the next Big Box Hardware chain store to get a fire bowl that can be used for all sorts of ways, and if someone uses a fire pit method to address the various issues, needs an opportunities to make char / Pyrogenic Carbon for all sorts of things, then this reality.
‘Big Brother’ will do what big brothers sometimes trying to do, the objective should be a better future.
So, when someone is creative and thinks about to assist and to make things happen, the last thing we need is to confuse the community.
Education, training, demonstration and conversation around the kilns do a lot to explore pathways for a better future, be that in Tassie, VIC, WA, Qld, Spain or somewhere else. The value of the ‘Kin Tiki’ deep con kiln and the Oregon Kiln and the many other flame curtain processes in various shapes and sizes and design features lead to education and the ability to get things done.
Balz Baur of BAZNA in Serbia is an innovative operator who utilises the thermal energy next to a shed via a smart heat exchanger.
The photos Don has shared from about 2015 if I recall have no heat & wind shield, no air injection ring tube and the emissions tests from that process next to a rubber tired platform is something not to be recommended.
I recall photos that Paul Taylor shared with me at the time of a truck load of short wood blocks / offcuts that was unloaded at the time.
This feedstock is very different to vineyard and fruit orchard and nut and olive grove material that many use.
Over the years, our (very happy) clients around Australia TAS, VIC, WA, QLD know why they have chosen to get a KON-TIKI-TAS kiln from 300litre, 1m3 and 1,85m3 size.
2021 will be interesting and we will be exhibiting for the 6th time at Agfest in early May with anything from as little as 100litre per batch to 14,000to/pa continuous flow technologies.
It is great to see how more and more Regions explore the opportunities at every scale appropriate to the local conditions and needs.
The Gippsland Climate Action Network covers a huge area with many reasons to encourage, inform, train, imagine how to restore what was lost and what needs to be done to make it another valuable ‘Centre of Expertise’ in things renewable and sustainability.
There is lots to do and the last thing we need is to confuse the community and regulators with ‘red herrings’.
Don, if you like, watch this and see what we (incl. me and my son) have been involved with, way back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qwVsv5OqIg to bring about change. All a matter scale.
The process continues.
I replied as CEO of ANZBIG because this is something we are working through in the "Draft Code of Practice for Sustainable Production and Use of Biochar in Australia and New Zealand" https://anzbig.org/resources/
Effectively, it doesn't matter how you make it as long as you meet your state regulations for emissions, waste and fire but rather whether it will pass the testing regime so that it can be safely applied to soil.
In the devastating Australian bushfires last summer I heard someone started a fire on the NSW South Coast burning off in drums and I thought to myself, oh geez one day biochar is going to be associated with bushfires so we've got to be really careful because whilst you might follow best practice, others won't.
As far as Byron Biochar goes, I drew up a business plan based on my understanding of NSW legislation at the time, i.e. you can make and apply biochar to your own soil but as soon as you sell it to your neighbor you've got to meet the emissions and waste guidelines. Therefore, I started out offering a mobile service using a Kontiki to property owners during burn-off season and aligned myself with advanced technology that has EPA approval on production to be an authorised reseller of char and vinegar. As it turns out even this may not be enough and we are talking with NSW EPA right now.
The webinar where HP mentions the 35 years to get a Kontiki to carbon neutral/negative because it releases methane is in this webinar from early 2019 after the IPCC special report mentioned PyCCS/Biochar for the first time. Perhaps his view on this has changed and once again I know it's better than burning off or landfilling https://biochar-international.org/webinars/ibi-educational-webinar-series-carbon-sink-trading/
I know it's more expensive but I still think a producer could get return on investment to go the next step and have a fully enclosed kiln that is safe to operate even during total fire ban and has the capability of producing vinegar too. SJ has designed a kit one recently and of course many know of the "Big Roo" by Rusell Burnett. Also, Robert Laird of Pyrolitech has designed a nice little unit that does both and he claims that he can compress the syngas into a bottle (further regulations would be required on that).
I have attached a few photos of the kilns I am talking of and a link to video by Pyrolitech here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYabmsbZ3rc