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All great to hear.
Reports from the South African Forestry Service suggests that the square Kon-Tiki is very awkward to carry up tough slopes and tight trails. You might consider short, narrow designs for such uses.
We have nothing against big per se. It is only that big must be centralized with feedstock brought to it. This can be accomplished by locating the unit next to a feedstock source, such as a timber mill or coconut plantation, or by setting up where good roads and easy "harvesting" permit collection of feedstock within a 15 km radius. Where these conditions exist, size is preferable since it permits efficiencies of scale, controlled pyrolysis and use of the latest technology.
Alternatively, there is Prof. Pan's approach in Chian, which is to locate a scaled to need unit at the center of a ring of feedstock "depots" that accept bales from nearby rice farmers. The pyrolyzer then works through the bales housed in the depots over the course of a year. The pyrolyzers used today are not very good, but there is no absolute reason for this. It is simply cheape.
Unfortunately, where we work, the centralized solutions that have been tried have failed because of collection costs. Our solution - and we would be happy to learn of a better one - is distributed production. That is, where the lack of roads, distance, terrain and/or small fields combine to make collection costly, we distribute production to individual farmers using the cheapest technology possible and require that farmers pitch up with the dry biochar, preferably when they arrive with their saleable crop.
In general, we have found that troughs of any sort (flame caps, Kon-Tiki's or whatever) are too costly for the average farmer and require a welder and electrical power not available in most communities. The alternative, the trench, is functionally identical and costs nothing. I know of no place where knowledge of the trench exists that the trough has lasted long.
Please feel free to enlighten me if you know more. We are not a company or engineers, but a small NGO with no professionals on staff. We welcome all expert input.
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Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart
How about next to an apple / Fruit orchard, Hazelnut Grove, in an Olive Grove, sloping Vineyard etc. etc. Talk is cheap and doing it counts more than poking around…
Anyone interested to know, when it comes to stationary and high tech / industrial scale projects would be able to see what else we have on offer under our Business webpage under products.
After 6 years the current KON-TIKI-TAS kiln models are all still batch processes from 300 litre, 1000litre and 1,850 litre per batch.
In 2021 we intend to also have a 100 litre mini model and a seriously larger Jumbo model as a continuous flow will various “ bells and whistles” and world first features.
We will be able to handle materials of all sorts and in all sorts of locations and all sorts of scales, all depending on the business case and local regional situation and needs.
So far we are happy to know all our clients have a reason why they like to do business with us.
To get a sludge and biosolids pyrolysis plant project and a wood-power co-generation plant become reality takes time and commitment to detail from the word go.
To me the little 300 litre KON-TIKI-TAS Compact kiln model is to me and our clients in Tassie and Queensland the equivalent to the forever popular, versatile little red swiss army knife.
Smart Cart, Heat & Wind Shield for optimum gas combustion and operator protection, a optional swing over stainless steel cooking plate and BBQ and even the optional up to 25kg Meat Rotisserie.
The KTT – Teepee Water Boiler & Heat exchanger is in the wings. This will enable people in remote and problematic places to help themselves from char production (for all sorts of uses), and cooking, boiling and BBQing etc. The greatest benefit will be when people in emergency situations can produce clean, healthy filtered water by combining the various grades and sizes of clean chars as filtration medium. Biochar Water Filtration systems as the well designed, built, trialled, demonstrated and proven by Josh Kearns and his team of Aqsolutions https://www.aqsolutions.org as Ecological Transition Engineering defines the path to sustainability.
We combine work as productive fun leading to sustainability
Just a quick comment about a point that you make in passing but that I have to field constantly: what about all the wasted heat? Well, here's the question: Just what are you supposed to do with it in the middle of the woods? I mean, seriously, I stand around with all this heat beating off my face and ask myself with every burn, can't you think of anything useful to do with this? Now, of course, there may be smarter, more inventive folks out there, but for better or worse, I have never met them.
Question for all of you: What do you do with the waste heat from a forest waste burner in the midst of the forest?
Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart
I notice you wrote your comment, question and concerns as CEO of ANZBIG, not as a trader of various Biochar related products / by-products in the Australian market place.
You tried to point to / or to quote some statement from 2018 by HPS of the Ithaka Institute, but can’t remember the title but stated a number of 35 years…
If that number was actually true and not out by a decade or so, this kind of statement could very well be taken out of context.
In fact I was in contact with HPS as late as last week and we are very much in agreement of the usefulness and potential of this mobile, flexible, entrance level, proof of concept process now adopted and practiced in way over 70 countries.
Like a spate, axe, chainsaw, angle-grinder, rifle, knife, a matchstick, drip torch etc there are things to consider where, when, what is appropriate.
Kelpie Wilson in the United States has and is addressing many of the issues associated with the things of concern and considerations. The US Forest Service will have many links, papers and presentations available why the support flame cap and flame curtain kilns, even 40 foot containers that produce at the moment just 5% to 8% char/ pyrogenic carbon.
The ‘chicken & egg’ what came first question is complex and rather than trying to spent valuable time in explaining what is and what is not here and now, I will continue with what needs to be done to get things moving forward from the micro to the macro, here on our patch, this island and beyond.
“… concerns with the Kon-tiki have always been the fire risk (naked flame, sparks)
the inefficient loss of gas and heat to atmosphere (in most cases 5x the biomass to get one part char).
Hans Peter mentioned in an IBI Webinar in 2018 (can't remember title) that it would take 35 years for a Kon-tiki to be carbon neutral due to the emissions being released.”
Our ‘glocal’ knowledge network (me included) are very concerns about the annually increasing, unprecedented export of unused biomass energy and releases of particulates that turn evening to red coloured sunsets and circulate earth a number of times before turning snow and glaciers black. Work is progressing, that is clear.
BIT – Biochar Initiative Tasmania and more
Hi Frank et al,
Frank, I respect what you have done and the clever way you modified the Kon-tiki originally designed by the Japanese and modified by Hans Peter & Paul Taylor. I also think it's clever the way you worked out how to process the char to a saleable product that I'm sure brings back loyal customers. My concerns with the Kon-tiki have always been the fire risk (naked flame, sparks) and the inefficient loss of gas and heat to atmosphere (in most cases 5x the biomass to get one part char). Hans Peter mentioned in an IBI Webinar in 2018 (can't remember title) that it would take 35 years for a Kon-tiki to be carbon neutral due to the emissions being released. What are your thoughts on these matters and do you stop production or require special permit during the summer months to keep going?
I saw that Paul Taylor & Stephen Joseph developed a hood with a chimney on it for the Kon-tiki which looked safer and perhaps more effective? My intention is not to be negative because I know it's a better way than burning off or landfilling biomass but I think it's a discussion that we need to have an industry and branding of safe and effective production and use of biochar in Australia and New Zealand.
CEO @ ANZBIG