Re: Pull embers from three-stone cookstove to use as biochar.


d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

Hi, Ronal, long time.

Sorry about being away for a bit. Too many meetings on too many topics.

See my responses below in all caps (my usual). Consider them also in answer to Paul Anderson's lengthy and accurate dissertation on "char" with which I disagree in this context, as i do to Kevin's reference to my often used phrase "good enough."

M

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Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart

+1 732-745-9295 | +66 (0)85 199-2958 | d.michael.shafer@...

www.warmheartworldwide.org | Skype: live:d.michael.shafer53

61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand

On Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 1:09 PM Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:
Michael and.6 Ccs: - and adding “stoves' - as Kevin started a cookstove - related thread; and adding Paul

1.  I apologize for missing your message below until just now.

2.  Paul Anderson has also addressed the “excited” sentence below.   

3.  I know that you are doing excellent biochar field work using char produced via corn cobs charred in TLUD type fashion in 200 liter drums.   This qualifies as biochar for me.   Your char/biiochar work is great.
Can you further clarify this last “excited’ sentence?  That is - I am “excited" about both your char/biochar and Kevin’s char/biochar.  I like Kevin’s because it uses (cooking) the energy that most 200 liter drum’s can’t.  And for the multiple reasons I gave earlier today on why 3-stone fires remain so successful (zero cost, non-batch,  less fuel preparation,  etc..  Kevin could be making a major change in the way three-stone fires will be used - and his idea (and self-funding) is only a few weeks old.    To the climate benefit of us all.

IN A SENSE, I MUST AGREE. THE ENERGY CAPTURE ASPECT OF THE EMBERS APPROACH IS GREAT AND SOLVES THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH TLUDs, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MAKING USE OF THE HEAT PRODUCED UNDER ALL BUT THE RAREST OF CONDITIONS.

IN GENERAL, HOWEVER, I AM NOT BOWLED OVER. WHY? FIRST, IN MOST TRULY POOR AREAS, THINGS LIKE CORN COBS AND OTHER FUELS EASILY PYROLYZED IN A TLUD ARE SELDOM AVAILABLE. RATHER, MOST BIOCHAR IS MADE BY DIGGING A TRENCH IN THE GROUND TO PYROLYZE HAY, STALKS, STEMS, AND STRAW AS WELL AS HARD TO MANAGE STUFF LIKE BRANCHES AND BAMBOO THAT OTHERWISE REQUIRE A LOT OF ENERGY TO CUT TO SHAPE.

SECOND, WHAT IS EXCITING ABOUT WHAT I REFER TO AS BIOCHAR, THAT BASIC STUFF PRODUCED BETWEEN 450 AND 550 C IS THE NEAT ARRANGEMENT OF THE C INTO CIRCLES AND ALL THE REST THAT SEEM TO PROVIDE BIOCHAR MADE AT THIS TEMPERATURE ITS VERY LONG LASTING AND AMAZING SOIL ENHANCEMENT PROPERTIES. CONVERSELY, THE LOWER TEMPERATURE STUFF THAT CONTINUES TO CONTAIN LOTS OF AROMATICS DOES HAVE IMMEDIATE VIRTUES. MOST IMPORTANT, THESE "HUMICS" AS I BELIEVE THEY ARE CALLED. SPEED GERMINATION AND WHAT NOT FOR APPROXIMATELY A YEAR UNTIL THEY ARE EXHAUSTED. WHILE THIS IS PERFECT IF YOU ARE MAKING A FERTILIZER AND WANT REPEAT CUSTOMERS, IT IS NOT GOOD FOR USE IN GARDENS FOR THE LONG-TERM.

I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT EMBER CHARS OTHER CAPABILITIES - ITS ABSORPTION AND ADSORPTION CAPACITIES THAT MAKE BIOCHAR SO VALUABLE IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND IN POLLUTED SOILS. THESE, HOWEVER, FIGURE VERY IMPORTANTLY AMONG THE REASONS FOR WHICH I AM "EXCITED" BY WHAT I REFER TO AS "BIOCHAR" (TEMP RANGE SPECIFIED) AND WORRY THAT DEFLECTING EFFORTS TO TRAIN POOR FARMERS TO MAKE BIOCHAR FROM AVAILABLE AG WASTES THAT WILL OTHERWISE BE BURNED IN NOT A GOOD IDEA. ALL OF WHICH LEADS BACK TO MY FINAL QUESTION: "WHY ARE WE SO EXCITED ABOUT BIOCHAR WHEN THE ALTERNATIVE OF USING CHARCOAL IS SO CLOSE AT HAND?"

4.  So to repeat. - I am not understanding your last sentence - seeming to make a distinction where I see little..

Ron



On Mar 28, 2021, at 2:39 AM, d.michael.shafer@... wrote:

Ron,

Would be very interested in results. My understanding is that the problem with charcoal is that it never gets hot enough (a) to burn out all of the tars and other aromatics and (b) to form the carbons into the necessary sheets of ring structures. If this is not true, why are we so excited about biochar when the alternative of using charcoal is so close at hand?





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Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart
www.warmheartworldwide.org | Skype: live:d.michael.shafer53
61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand
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On Sun, Mar 28, 2021 at 8:18 AM Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:
Michael,  cc Kevin

It should be fairly easy to test with seed sprouting at a kitchen window.

RWL;  I have excised five more messages below going back to March 11 - mostly between Kevin and myself -  all related to what I have begun calling. BC-HERS, but not related to Michaels above short message

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