- Can biochar be stored outside, uncovered in huge piles?
Re: Can biochar be stored outside, uncovered in huge piles?
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Hello Nando and all,
Since Aug. 2014 we produce two kinds of Biochar in our KON-TIKI-TAS deep cone kilns.
To be frank, it was my idea at the time to have a 50mm/ 2” quench & drain pipe with ball valve and camlock nipple at the base of the Standard & the KTT Stretch model so we can flood quench the char from below.
This enables the maximum adsorption of the quench medium and it dissolves a lot of the ash on the way to the surface of the flame curtain kiln.
Depending on the initially intended use application, we either flood quench with clean Char (rainwater quenched) or we produce nutrient enriched Biochar, by flooding the kiln with liquid manure slurry either from below the kiln or in concentration from the inner side wall over the rim.
We allow the char to fully soak and then after draining, we process the fresh Biochar with a multi-blade shredder to the intended size.
Then the nutrient enriched, fine char is stored in 1m3 Tote Tanks for say 6 weeks to cure and mature before it is bagged and sold.
I am sure that the larger producers in the EBI network (Sonnenerde, SYNCRAFT, PYREG just to name 3) will / would be able to answer the question of potential of self ignition and safety requirements.
Cheers from under Down Under
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Nando Breiter
Sent: Sunday, August 8, 2021 6:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Can biochar be stored outside, uncovered in huge piles?
Generally speaking, I believe there is a fire risk for freshly made char if it is in too large a pile, but I'm no expert. There are accounts of freshly made char being loaded into the back of a dump truck catching on fire en route, and fire eventually consuming the truck. Shipping specifications for char indicate that the maximum package should be about a cubic meter sac, and these sacks should be packed in a container so there is space between them so that heat doesn't build up to excessive levels.
So this leads me to suggest that freshly made char should not be piled more than say a meter high, and the piles should be monitored to see how hot they may get to gain experience. As the hours and days pass, the rate of surface oxidation will decrease to the point where it may be safe to pile the char meters high. Others with more experience in large scale storage of char may have better advice.
We are about to start a project in Uganda to have commercial farmers make biochar from maize stalks. It is looking likely that we will be able to collect many, many thousands of tonnes of biochar. The cost of the biochar is minimal. The cost of transportation and storage is a problem, a good problem to have.
We will work out the transportation problem. But the cost of bags to store the biochar is prohibitive.
We would like to store the biochar in large piles outside, uncovered. Is there a fire risk? Would rain somehow damage the biochar? Is there something else we should consider?
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