Date   

Re: Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory | InsideClimate News #climate #emissions #nitrousoxide

Harald Bier
 

Thanks for sharing, 

I know about the work of Doug Pow as we are well connected to ANZBIG and I am actually trying to convince some farmers here to give it a try. 
Such a simple and effective way.
N2O CO2-Equivalent is generally calculated as 298 times that of CO2. That’s according to IPCC 4. 

Best

Am 13.10.2020 um 06:54 schrieb Geoff Thomas <wind@...>:

A further issue, - when I was calculating, in my humble way,  the reduction of feeding cows charcaol in Australia, - 2% of our national greenhouse emissions, and then methane, a further 6%, based on methane being 80 or 90 times more potent than Carbon Diocide, but only for 14 years, whereas C02 perhaps hundreds of years, there must be some idea of the "Half-Life” or whatever is appropriate for N20? 
 =  a further question to this discussion.

G

On 11 Oct 2020, at 11:10 pm, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Geoff, 

of course you’re right here. Just that I wouldn’t call the avoidance of emission sequestration. The added carbon that remains in the soil: yes. 
I was referring to changing our practices in order to emit less, e.g. through improved fertilization techniques, the use of organic fertilization etc. AND using biochar as a complementary. 
Distinguishing between emission reduction and carbon sinks is important when it comes to carbon accounting and there it has to be clearly divided, that’s what I think and this is why I mentioned it. 
I also know there is no C in N2O ;-)
With regards to biochar in dairy, I recommend this: https://pyrolysis.cals.cornell.edu/ Another great piece of work by Kathleen Draper.

Best, Harald 

Am 11.10.2020 um 05:54 schrieb Geoff Thomas <wind@...>:

So reducing the N20 is like emissions reduction, as it is an emission, but if you for eg feed cows charcoal, - the which reduces methane, reducing emissions and turning it into more cow, and stores carbon in the soil, - which is Drawing Back the carbon we put into the air, it also reduces N20, so Harald does the N20 not be emitted by the cow or not produced because the charcoal in it’s system sequesters it like the charcoal?

- being provocative because I don’t know but suspect you do :)

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 4:14 am, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Kim, 

I would say so. At least for us, this is one of our many arguments for the use of biochar in agriculture. If you’re interested, look at this: 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270822030_The_molar_H_COrg_ratio_of_biochar_is_a_key_factor_in_mitigating_N2O_emissions_from_soil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718339330 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12390

Best, Harald



Am 10.10.2020 um 17:07 schrieb Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...>:

All,
Does this new research report that exposes the major contribution of N2O from overuse of fertilizer present an opportunity for biochar?
Kim


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07102020/nitrous-oxide-fertilizer-emissions-nature-study?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=c580aa2b23-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-c580aa2b23-327797005


















Re: Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory | InsideClimate News #climate #emissions #nitrousoxide

Geoff Thomas
 

A further issue, - when I was calculating, in my humble way,  the reduction of feeding cows charcaol in Australia, - 2% of our national greenhouse emissions, and then methane, a further 6%, based on methane being 80 or 90 times more potent than Carbon Diocide, but only for 14 years, whereas C02 perhaps hundreds of years, there must be some idea of the "Half-Life” or whatever is appropriate for N20? 
 =  a further question to this discussion.

G

On 11 Oct 2020, at 11:10 pm, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Geoff, 

of course you’re right here. Just that I wouldn’t call the avoidance of emission sequestration. The added carbon that remains in the soil: yes. 
I was referring to changing our practices in order to emit less, e.g. through improved fertilization techniques, the use of organic fertilization etc. AND using biochar as a complementary. 
Distinguishing between emission reduction and carbon sinks is important when it comes to carbon accounting and there it has to be clearly divided, that’s what I think and this is why I mentioned it. 
I also know there is no C in N2O ;-)
With regards to biochar in dairy, I recommend this: https://pyrolysis.cals.cornell.edu/ Another great piece of work by Kathleen Draper.

Best, Harald 

Am 11.10.2020 um 05:54 schrieb Geoff Thomas <wind@...>:

So reducing the N20 is like emissions reduction, as it is an emission, but if you for eg feed cows charcoal, - the which reduces methane, reducing emissions and turning it into more cow, and stores carbon in the soil, - which is Drawing Back the carbon we put into the air, it also reduces N20, so Harald does the N20 not be emitted by the cow or not produced because the charcoal in it’s system sequesters it like the charcoal?

- being provocative because I don’t know but suspect you do :)

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 4:14 am, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Kim, 

I would say so. At least for us, this is one of our many arguments for the use of biochar in agriculture. If you’re interested, look at this: 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270822030_The_molar_H_COrg_ratio_of_biochar_is_a_key_factor_in_mitigating_N2O_emissions_from_soil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718339330 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12390

Best, Harald



Am 10.10.2020 um 17:07 schrieb Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...>:

All,
Does this new research report that exposes the major contribution of N2O from overuse of fertilizer present an opportunity for biochar?
Kim


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07102020/nitrous-oxide-fertilizer-emissions-nature-study?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=c580aa2b23-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-c580aa2b23-327797005

















Re: Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory | InsideClimate News #climate #emissions #nitrousoxide

Geoff Thomas
 

Hi Harald,  thanks for replying, good to discuss these issues,  - in regards to "Just that I wouldn’t call the avoidance of emission sequestration.” I think we may benefit by gnawing a bit more finely, although ultimate certainty may elude us.

You have suggested Kathleen Draper as your source, and indeed she draws on comprehensive sources in Europe, where it is said that more charcoal is fed to animals than turned into Biochar by current methods to turn it into Biochar.
IE, the charcoal is turned into Biochar by the animal’s digestive system.

As a contrast I submit Doug Pow’s videos, - here the first, - you need not listen to the Avocado second half. - please note the references folk.

 Then the second video, the which is a sort of reprise, or maybe summary, excepting a particular section in the video where he talks of reducing, etc N20 just after the 3 minute mark, and then up to the 3 minute 40 seconds talking of reducing/eliminating the methane, by its conversion by bacteria and creating more Cow.  - so sequestering the methane, not avoiding the Methane, although another question is as to what happens to that sequestered methane in the future of the cow, - is it confirmed as sequestered or lost as is carbon in the forest, - returning to the atmosphere? Does it get emitted if eaten or sequestered if treated by aneorobic digestion, eg Gobar gas or developments from such? Is methane so formed used to generate electricity then avoiding not sequestering? - Do meat eaters fart more than vegetarians, and how much N20 in each group’s farts? - 
A subject of intimate research..

  - however, the second video.. 

In that first bit of the 3 minutes he doesn’t say that the N20 is made into Cow, just the Methane.

As many have watched and thought about that video, there is probably more data about whether the N20 is sequestered or avoided, hopefully another reader may enlighten us on that issue.

Thanks for your patience, please don’t think I am pettyfogging, these will in the near future probably be seen as major issues.
 - With good reason.
 
Cheers,
Geoff Thomas.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 11:10 pm, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Geoff, 

of course you’re right here. Just that I wouldn’t call the avoidance of emission sequestration. The added carbon that remains in the soil: yes. 
I was referring to changing our practices in order to emit less, e.g. through improved fertilization techniques, the use of organic fertilization etc. AND using biochar as a complementary. 
Distinguishing between emission reduction and carbon sinks is important when it comes to carbon accounting and there it has to be clearly divided, that’s what I think and this is why I mentioned it. 
I also know there is no C in N2O ;-)
With regards to biochar in dairy, I recommend this: https://pyrolysis.cals.cornell.edu/ Another great piece of work by Kathleen Draper.

Best, Harald 

Am 11.10.2020 um 05:54 schrieb Geoff Thomas <wind@...>:

So reducing the N20 is like emissions reduction, as it is an emission, but if you for eg feed cows charcoal, - the which reduces methane, reducing emissions and turning it into more cow, and stores carbon in the soil, - which is Drawing Back the carbon we put into the air, it also reduces N20, so Harald does the N20 not be emitted by the cow or not produced because the charcoal in it’s system sequesters it like the charcoal?

- being provocative because I don’t know but suspect you do :)

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 4:14 am, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Kim, 

I would say so. At least for us, this is one of our many arguments for the use of biochar in agriculture. If you’re interested, look at this: 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270822030_The_molar_H_COrg_ratio_of_biochar_is_a_key_factor_in_mitigating_N2O_emissions_from_soil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718339330 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12390

Best, Harald



Am 10.10.2020 um 17:07 schrieb Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...>:

All,
Does this new research report that exposes the major contribution of N2O from overuse of fertilizer present an opportunity for biochar?
Kim


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07102020/nitrous-oxide-fertilizer-emissions-nature-study?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=c580aa2b23-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-c580aa2b23-327797005

















Re: Converting ICE to BioGas #biofuels

Muriel Strand
 

prioritizing, "the sensible, resilient transition is toward small scale, locally grown food."

yes, i think physical efficiency is about optimizing =
(clean air and water, healthy food, cooking, comfy shelter, and pleny of sleep & exercise) / (renewable energy & resources)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333581837_Is_it_true_that_'Small_Is_Beautiful'

Muriel Strand, P.E.

Advertising is a private tax.
- Andre Schiffrin

www.bio-paradigm.blogspot.com/
www.work4sustenance.blogspot.com

On Oct 12, 2020, at 6:17 AM, Nando Breiter <nando@carbonzero.ch> wrote:

Rob,

The question in my mind is how difficult such a transition would be -- is it practical?

Broadly speaking, I think that the transition away from diesel for farm machinery is the least practical compared to all other uses of liquid fossil fuels. For personal transport and shipping, batteries are already replacing fossil fuels. The issue with using battery powered tractors or combines is twofold: 1) they are too heavy for the power currently required in large-scale farming 2) they don't have sufficient storage capacity to run for the 12 to 16 hours straight that is common during planting and harvest. A large enough battery to meet those requirements would make farm implements extremely heavy, and that doesn't work well at all out in a field.

Storing electrons requires mass, and as I understand it, current batteries are already near the optimum in this regard. If your heavy EV vehicle, such as a semi, is on a paved road, that's ok, but if it is out in the middle of a field sunk into a soft patch, again, that's not viable, particularly if your neighbors only have EV's to pull you out.

Maybe a solution is a move toward very wide and long caterpillar tracks to support the extra weight, but that doesn't necessarily solve the storage issue. The operational limit to the current range of EV tractors available is 4 hours. Running very heavy equipment over a field will of course compact the soil.

Running legacy farm implements on special fuels must be reliable. During planting or harvest, a farmer will be waiting for a window in the weather and when that window comes, often they need to run equipment from very early morning to very late at night to get seed in the ground or the harvest in before it rains or snows or freezes. Equipment often breaks down in these periods as it is. I think that adding on a requirement to transition away from diesel must depend on the technology being readily available, practical and reliable in an agricultural context, both the production of the fuel in sufficient quantity and the conversion of engines to run on such a fuel.

I strongly doubt this will magically happen as a result of market forces, and to me, that's the real issue at play here. Unless the state of Vermont is willing to develop and operate the pyrolysis fuel production plants, the biomass supply chains needed to meet demand, and develop and supply the fuel conversion kits for equipment, farmers will be put in s difficult bind trying to get all of this in place largely on their own to meet a requirement that they transition away from diesel.

I've seen a concept tractor from John Deere that runs on an extension cord. https://www.producer.com/2019/02/deeres-new-electric-tractor-tosses-the-battery/ That solves the weight issue of running farm equipment on electrons, but managing a mile long high voltage extension cord spooled out onto the field while harvesting wind damaged corn in the dark with a grain truck running alongside, also with its own high voltage extension cord ... what could possibly go wrong?

Is large scale commercial farming as currently practiced viable in a future without fossil fuels? Maybe we'll eventually work it out. However, here's the issue in a nutshell: if fossil fuel production somehow suddenly collapses ( how could that happen? ) - instead of following a gentle, perfectly predictable decline that we as a society deftly anticipate with our perfectly developed and executed plans - food production suddenly collapses with it.

A focus on the word transition is critical in my opinion. Will that transition be predictable? Will the invisible hand of Adam Smith be capable to magically transition a fossil fuel dependent food supply in a just-in-time way to a yet unknown means of producing our food, hopefully in a climate friendly way?

So to me, the sensible, resilient transition is toward small scale, locally grown food. Such a transition would also employ many people in a meaningful, rewarding way. On a small scale regenerative farm, a small, light EV tractor or utility vehicle would be sufficient. If and when diesel becomes unavailable or too expensive, even if this happens suddenly, production and delivery of food would be unaffected.

That's not to say large scale farming should be abolished. I'm only saying that the addition of many more small scale regenerative farms would engender a much more resilient food supply, and reduce emissions, and employ more people. Bernie Sanders would be happy with that plan.

And instead of utilizing pyrolysis to make liquid fuels, use it to make biochar to combine with or cover manure to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions. A focus there will have a real impact. Nitrous oxide has about 250 - 300 times the global warming potential of CO2, and methane has a factor of about 30 GWP . https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials. Legislation to allow, encourage or even require the routine use of biochar as a feed additive for livestock (rather than under the prescription of a vet) would be another way to significantly reduce GHG emissions.

What about the use of biochar in sewage treatment to reduce GHG emissions? Human sewage also emits methane and nitrous oxide.

So in summary, I think the legislative focus should be on:
• encouraging a transition to small scale regenerative local food production to provide a much more resilient food supply and reduce CO2 emissions in multiple ways
• much lower on-farm energy use
• lower CO2 emissions from soils plus greater retention of C because of no-till
• lower CO2 emissions from food transport over shorter distances
• the use of biochar to reduce the more potent GHG emissions from manure, both human and animal
• the use of feed char to reduce more potent GHG emissions emissions from the digestive tract outlets of farm animals
Hope that's helpful.




--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Save the Date: National Biochar Week Dec 7-11, 2020 #event #webinar

Tom Miles
 

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[eco-ag-forum] biochar and CEC #cec #properties

David Yarrow
 

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: David Yarrow via groups.io <dyarrow5=gmail.com@groups.io>
Date: Mon, Oct 12, 2020 at 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: [eco-ag-forum] biochar and CEC

On Oct 11, 2020, at 6:06 PM, Roger Williams <rogerw@...> wrote:
What is the effect of biochar on Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) readings?

so, biochar is baked at 700 to 1200 degrees.  this cooks out most of the volatile molecules – mostly the cellular matter – and leaves behind the structural biomatter, such as cellulose, lignin, etc. – the plant skeletons.  thus, biochar is "empty", and thus, very lightweight.  also, ionic atoms are also cooked out, leaving lots of empty charge sites on the cellulosic structures.  and also thus, biochar is very hungry and looking for ions to refill its empty charge sites.

so, in general, i expect fresh, raw biochar will dramatically boost the CEC of soil – by as much as 20 points or more – far more than clay, compost or ordinary biomass.  thus, fresh, raw biochar will suck up minerals ions from soil and "rob" them from plant roots.  less so for microbes, which have better, smaller tools to extract mineral ions.  the routine observation is adding fresh, raw biochar to soil will retard plant growth the first year – which convinces unwary, uneducated farmers that biochar is a waste of money and time.

further, because biochar from plant biomass is mostly a microscopic sponge riddled with micropores, it has 100s and 1000s times more internal ion capture capacity than on its outer surfaces.  the mineral ions disappear inside biochar, where they're much harder to extract or leach out.  this amplifies the "first year" effects of suppressed growth.
micropores3_220.jpg
micropores_250.jpg
micropores_200.jpg
eventually biochar absorbs enough ions to be "full," and then is ready to go to work servicing microbes & plant roots. the bits of biochar gather up and store nutrient ions which then become warehouse depots for H+ exchanges with other soil organisms – the beginning of the underground economies of the soil food web.

so, what we teach growers is to prepare biochar for use in soil by "charging" it in advance with a full load of nutrient ions.  my first preference to "charge" freshly made biochar is sea minerals – a fully soluble, biobalanced mix of trace elements.  but blending new biochar with manure, urine, compost, rockdust (ultrafine), etc. will get this critical chore done.  water is a key ingredient to facilitate this process, since the water solution carries the ionized atoms into the char interior.  properly prepared, biochar can be "charged" in a few hours, altho many folks like to let the mix sit for a few days to a week.
4Ms.jpg
for what it's worth for precise clarity, "hook" is a fuzzy word to describe what is going on.  CEC is based on a slight electrostatic attraction between a negative charge on the substrate substance (biochar) and the positive charge of the cations.  this is similar to the hydrogen "bond" of water molecules, which is what makes water wet and the universal solvent.  (for what it's worth here, hydrogen "bonds" are what holds the "rungs" of DNA together at opposite sides of the twin spiral helix, and allows the strands to be unzipped & rezipped for reading & replication).  in truth, this isn't a bond, where atoms share electrons in common orbits, and thus require extra energy to break apart.  "hook" implies a stronger, permanent attachment like a real bond – a covalent.

however, biochar has another, further and unusual property that augments CEC.  biochar also has positive charge sites on its surfaces that will attract negative ions = anions.  biochar has rare facility, almost unknown in soil science: AEC.  and the first two anions in biology are nitrogen & phosphorus.  so biochar can capture and hold these two critical nutrient ions – the N & P of NPK.  this has huge implications for soil functioning that seems still poorly understood & appreciated by mainstream, conventional soil management.  

first off, this means biochar in soil will sharply reduce leaching & loss of N & P from soil.  multiple science research has documented up to an 80% reduction in N leaching out of the root zone.  considering N & P are the two main water pollutants poisoning water worldwide, this widespread deployment of biochar in soils farmed by industrial agriculture.  and considering the huge expense of these two fertilizers, biochar in soil will save farmers a huge amount of money.

second, N & P are not mere nutrients, but are cycles.  the N cycle is driven by bacteria, and fungi are key partners in the P cycle.  biochar in soil will support re-establishment of these two nutrient cycles and sharply increase their effectiveness & efficiency.  N cycle bacteria can live inside the biochar micropores, and develop communities of microbes that support & assist the N cycle bacteria.

for a green & peaceful planet,
david yarrow

On Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 8:31 PM Alice <alice@...> wrote:
I believe that conceptually you are correct; the TCEC is a measure of the number of “hooks” present in the soil that may receive cations. The barium TCEC test strips all the “hooks" of cations, then refills them with barium and so is a test of the number of “hooks” present. However most labs instead measure the number of Ca, Mg, K, Na and H+ ions present (H+ is inferred from the pH) and from that calculate the TCEC. Logan does the latter.

I wonder whether in biochar, especially biochar that is not completely charged, if the standard TCEC test underestimates the number of hooks.

Alice

On Oct 11, 2020, at 6:06 PM, Roger Williams <rogerw@...> wrote:

What is the effect of biochar on CEC readings?

I think of the CEC figure in a soil test as a readout on how many "hooks" are available in the soil to hold on to ions. Without enough of these hooks, the ions wash through more quickly. Biochar is said to provide places for the ions to latch on that are not available to the soil in its normal condition, a similar set of hooks.

Thoughts?

Roger

-- 

Roger Clark Williams

24060 Cedar Mountain Dr., Rapidan, VA 22733

Mobile: +1-802-355-9933

Alternate email: rogerw05465@...


"If you love it enough, anything will talk with you." - George Washington Carver (~1860s – 1943), arguably the father of regenerative agriculture 




--
Alice Reinheimer
    webmaster
        Grow Abundant Gardens  /  alice@...
            Soil and Health Library


Re: 2nd batch flame cap trench method #flamecap #technology

Paul S Anderson
 

Eli,

 

Some quick notes.     50% of carbon atoms of biomass remain in the biochar, but by weight that is only about 20%.   Retorts and TLUDs do not produce char that is, in general, different from flame-cap / trench / cavity char.

 

I do not trust an Infrared thermometer to be relevant for the temperatures of charcoal making.   If other readers disagree, I am interested in their responses.

 

You could get variation in your trench-made chars if you do not have some  mixing to be sure that no biomass has been protected from pyrolysis heat because of other biomass on top of it.  

 

Any type of blower on a long metal pipe can give you some thermal boost.  

 

Best wishes,

 

Paul

 

Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   www.drtlud.com

         Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud

         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: www.JuntosNFP.org 

Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com

Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org)

         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eli Fishpaw via groups.io
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2020 9:28 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: [Biochar] 2nd batch flame cap trench method

 

[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...]

I am preparing for my second flame cap trough batch for creating charcoal to process into biochar.  This 6’ long 20” wide, 20” deep at bottom trench, reduces the processing needed of the feedstock as compared to retort chambers such as 55 gallon TLUD.  I have heard the figure of only 18% or carbon contained in wood becomes recalcitrant (not biologically available).  I have heard 50% for retorts and TLUDs.  There is something very primal about this low-tech method (earth, wood, fire, water).  As a novice, this method delivers significant quantities of char (120 gallons in first batch). 

 

I want to review lessons learned from first batch as well as integrating info learned from this list, my only interactive source of information about biochar.  According to Nando Brieter on http://biochar.info/?p=en.biochar_preparation , temperature of processing should be between 300 C – 900 C (572 F-1652 F) to achieve maximum Cation Exchange Capacity.  According to Paul Andersen’s paper, max surface area is achieved between 500 C -700 C (932 F-1292 F).  I am going to try to somewhat control the temp.  My infrared thermometer only goes up to 1015F.  On first batch there were a few times when temp was above that.  However, I doubt it ever got into activated charcoal territory. 

 

I have gathered wood and brush from my surroundings, sorting by size and dryness.  I want to start with small and dry material and incrementally work up to 8-12” diameter x 16” logs that are well cured.  When the fire is really hot, I noticed that even the somewhat green or even partially rotted material that is added, quickly vaporized and became a source of heat.  I want to monitor the temperature with my infrared thermometer.  When the fire is not as hot as I want it, I will add smaller or dryer material to bring it back.  One discovery from first run was dry grass clippings would quickly raise temp of fire.  I will note Frank Strike’s suggestion of using a leaf blower to spike the fire when it is cooler than desired.  To avoid the need to purchase that equipment, I want to use a shop vac by taping a galvanized down spout to the end of plastic tube to give some non-flammable reach for air injection into the fire. 

 

I have larger material that is well cured. Once that is burning, those pieces should add volatile gases for a while.   After that is added, if temp allows, I will add less cured logs.  Then, I will incrementally add smaller material that will achieve the flame cap when I see ash forming (white color).  Incrementally smaller feedstock will require incrementally less time to achieve pyrolysis.  Adding increasingly smaller material until eventually, I am adding kindling.  The smaller material requires less time for pyrolysis.  I am hoping to reduce the amount of partial pyrolysis pieces. 

 

I will dowse with garden hose to end the process.  One thing I noticed when I used a 30 gallon metal tub for flame cap method, when I doused for cooling off the charcoal to avoid turning into ash, it was hard to determine how much water was enough.  When I came back the next day, the total volume had shrunk because some of the deep feedstock continued to burn with access to air without the flame cap going and turned to ash.  On the other hand, I do not want to over water it.  I splurged for a grain grinder to crush the charcoal.  The dowsing benefits that process by reducing the dust that would occur with fully dry charcoal.  However, I am hesitant to flood trench with standing water visible, because I think grinder would have trouble with that also.  I am considering after initial dowsing, loading into metal trash cans that I can put a tight lid on to prevent the free flow of air to prevent conversion to ash. 

Your thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks for reading my long message.  


2nd batch flame cap trench method #flamecap #technology

Eli Fishpaw
 

I am preparing for my second flame cap trough batch for creating charcoal to process into biochar.  This 6’ long 20” wide, 20” deep at bottom trench, reduces the processing needed of the feedstock as compared to retort chambers such as 55 gallon TLUD.  I have heard the figure of only 18% or carbon contained in wood becomes recalcitrant (not biologically available).  I have heard 50% for retorts and TLUDs.  There is something very primal about this low-tech method (earth, wood, fire, water).  As a novice, this method delivers significant quantities of char (120 gallons in first batch). 

 

I want to review lessons learned from first batch as well as integrating info learned from this list, my only interactive source of information about biochar.  According to Nando Brieter on http://biochar.info/?p=en.biochar_preparation , temperature of processing should be between 300 C – 900 C (572 F-1652 F) to achieve maximum Cation Exchange Capacity.  According to Paul Andersen’s paper, max surface area is achieved between 500 C -700 C (932 F-1292 F).  I am going to try to somewhat control the temp.  My infrared thermometer only goes up to 1015F.  On first batch there were a few times when temp was above that.  However, I doubt it ever got into activated charcoal territory. 

 

I have gathered wood and brush from my surroundings, sorting by size and dryness.  I want to start with small and dry material and incrementally work up to 8-12” diameter x 16” logs that are well cured.  When the fire is really hot, I noticed that even the somewhat green or even partially rotted material that is added, quickly vaporized and became a source of heat.  I want to monitor the temperature with my infrared thermometer.  When the fire is not as hot as I want it, I will add smaller or dryer material to bring it back.  One discovery from first run was dry grass clippings would quickly raise temp of fire.  I will note Frank Strike’s suggestion of using a leaf blower to spike the fire when it is cooler than desired.  To avoid the need to purchase that equipment, I want to use a shop vac by taping a galvanized down spout to the end of plastic tube to give some non-flammable reach for air injection into the fire. 

 

I have larger material that is well cured. Once that is burning, those pieces should add volatile gases for a while.   After that is added, if temp allows, I will add less cured logs.  Then, I will incrementally add smaller material that will achieve the flame cap when I see ash forming (white color).  Incrementally smaller feedstock will require incrementally less time to achieve pyrolysis.  Adding increasingly smaller material until eventually, I am adding kindling.  The smaller material requires less time for pyrolysis.  I am hoping to reduce the amount of partial pyrolysis pieces. 

 

I will dowse with garden hose to end the process.  One thing I noticed when I used a 30 gallon metal tub for flame cap method, when I doused for cooling off the charcoal to avoid turning into ash, it was hard to determine how much water was enough.  When I came back the next day, the total volume had shrunk because some of the deep feedstock continued to burn with access to air without the flame cap going and turned to ash.  On the other hand, I do not want to over water it.  I splurged for a grain grinder to crush the charcoal.  The dowsing benefits that process by reducing the dust that would occur with fully dry charcoal.  However, I am hesitant to flood trench with standing water visible, because I think grinder would have trouble with that also.  I am considering after initial dowsing, loading into metal trash cans that I can put a tight lid on to prevent the free flow of air to prevent conversion to ash. 

Your thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks for reading my long message.  


Re: Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory | InsideClimate News #climate #emissions #nitrousoxide

Eli Fishpaw
 

When considering Greenhouse Gases, we commonly refer to the buildup of carbon in the atmosphere, primarily CO2, but also methane and nitrous oxides.  I am in favor of a carbon tax to create market incentive to reduce emissions.  However, I would prefer it be a greenhouse gas tax that would be based on CO2 equivalents.  This would include N2O, which has no carbon, but has the heat retention impact of 298 times that of  CO2, therefore CO2 Equivalent of 298.  Therefore, the tax rate of a ton of CO2 x 298 would be the tax for a ton of N2O.  It is shocking to see that most refrigerants used in refrigerators, ac and heat pumps has CO2 Equivalent of many thousands.  
 
If our practices avoid N2O emissions, we are reducing the CO2 that needs to be removed.  Catching ammonia from urine to feed soil microbes would also reduce net emissions of GHG.  Although, until we achieve net sequestration of CO2 equivalents, finding carbon sinks such a biochar in soil will remain a important possibility for finding the balance we are looking for.  
 
Eli 


----- Original Message -----
From: Harald Bier [mailto:Harald.Bier@...]
To: "main@biochar.groups.io" <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Sent: Sun, 11 Oct 2020 15:10:27 +0200
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory | InsideClimate News

Dear Geoff, 
 
of course you’re right here. Just that I wouldn’t call the avoidance of emission sequestration. The added carbon that remains in the soil: yes. 
I was referring to changing our practices in order to emit less, e.g. through improved fertilization techniques, the use of organic fertilization etc. AND using biochar as a complementary. 
Distinguishing between emission reduction and carbon sinks is important when it comes to carbon accounting and there it has to be clearly divided, that’s what I think and this is why I mentioned it. 
I also know there is no C in N2O ;-)
With regards to biochar in dairy, I recommend this: https://pyrolysis.cals.cornell.edu/ Another great piece of work by Kathleen Draper.
 
Best, Harald 

Am 11.10.2020 um 05:54 schrieb Geoff Thomas <wind@...>:
So reducing the N20 is like emissions reduction, as it is an emission, but if you for eg feed cows charcoal, - the which reduces methane, reducing emissions and turning it into more cow, and stores carbon in the soil, - which is Drawing Back the carbon we put into the air, it also reduces N20, so Harald does the N20 not be emitted by the cow or not produced because the charcoal in it’s system sequesters it like the charcoal?

- being provocative because I don’t know but suspect you do :)

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 4:14 am, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Kim, 

I would say so. At least for us, this is one of our many arguments for the use of biochar in agriculture. If you’re interested, look at this: 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270822030_The_molar_H_COrg_ratio_of_biochar_is_a_key_factor_in_mitigating_N2O_emissions_from_soil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718339330 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12390

Best, Harald



Am 10.10.2020 um 17:07 schrieb Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...>:

All,
Does this new research report that exposes the major contribution of N2O from overuse of fertilizer present an opportunity for biochar?
Kim


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07102020/nitrous-oxide-fertilizer-emissions-nature-study?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=c580aa2b23-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-c580aa2b23-327797005















Re: Converting ICE to BioGas #biofuels

Nando Breiter
 

Rob,

The question in my mind is how difficult such a transition would be -- is it practical?  

Broadly speaking, I think that the transition away from diesel for farm machinery is the least practical compared to all other uses of liquid fossil fuels. For personal transport and shipping, batteries are already replacing fossil fuels. The issue with using battery powered tractors or combines is twofold: 1) they are too heavy for the power currently required in large-scale farming 2) they don't have sufficient storage capacity to run for the 12 to 16 hours straight that is common during planting and harvest. A large enough battery to meet those requirements would make farm implements extremely heavy, and that doesn't work well at all out in a field.

Storing electrons requires mass, and as I understand it, current batteries are already near the optimum in this regard. If your heavy EV vehicle, such as a semi, is on a paved road, that's ok, but if it is out in the middle of a field sunk into a soft patch, again, that's not viable, particularly if your neighbors only have EV's to pull you out. 

Maybe a solution is a move toward very wide and long caterpillar tracks to support the extra weight, but that doesn't necessarily solve the storage issue. The operational limit to the current range of EV tractors available is 4 hours. Running very heavy equipment over a field will of course compact the soil. 

Running legacy farm implements on special fuels must be reliable. During planting or harvest, a farmer will be waiting for a window in the weather and when that window comes, often they need to run equipment from very early morning to very late at night to get seed in the ground or the harvest in before it rains or snows or freezes. Equipment often breaks down in these periods as it is. I think that adding on a requirement to transition away from diesel must depend on the technology being readily available, practical and reliable in an agricultural context, both the production of the fuel in sufficient quantity and the conversion of engines to run on such a fuel. 

I strongly doubt this will magically happen as a result of market forces, and to me, that's the real issue at play here. Unless the state of Vermont is willing to develop and operate the pyrolysis fuel production plants, the biomass supply chains needed to meet demand, and develop and supply the fuel conversion kits for equipment, farmers will be put in s difficult bind trying to get all of this in place largely on their own to meet a requirement that they transition away from diesel. 

I've seen a concept tractor from John Deere that runs on an extension cord. https://www.producer.com/2019/02/deeres-new-electric-tractor-tosses-the-battery/ That solves the weight issue of running farm equipment on electrons, but managing a mile long high voltage extension cord spooled out onto the field while harvesting wind damaged corn in the dark with a grain truck running alongside, also with its own high voltage extension cord ... what could possibly go wrong?

Is large scale commercial farming as currently practiced viable in a future without fossil fuels? Maybe we'll eventually work it out. However, here's the issue in a nutshell: if fossil fuel production somehow suddenly collapses ( how could that happen? ) - instead of following a gentle, perfectly predictable decline that we as a society deftly anticipate with our perfectly developed and executed plans - food production suddenly collapses with it. 

A focus on the word transition is critical in my opinion. Will that transition be predictable? Will the invisible hand of Adam Smith be capable to magically transition a fossil fuel dependent food supply in a just-in-time way to a yet unknown means of producing our food, hopefully in a climate friendly way? 

So to me, the sensible, resilient transition is toward small scale, locally grown food. Such a transition would also employ many people in a meaningful, rewarding way. On a small scale regenerative farm, a small, light EV tractor or utility vehicle would be sufficient. If and when diesel becomes unavailable or too expensive, even if this happens suddenly, production and delivery of food would be unaffected. 

That's not to say large scale farming should be abolished. I'm only saying that the addition of many more small scale regenerative farms would engender a much more resilient food supply, and reduce emissions, and employ more people. Bernie Sanders would be happy with that plan.

And instead of utilizing pyrolysis to make liquid fuels, use it to make biochar to combine with or cover manure to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions. A focus there will have a real impact. Nitrous oxide has about 250 - 300 times the global warming potential of CO2, and methane has a factor of about 30 GWP . https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials. Legislation to allow, encourage or even require the routine use of biochar as a feed additive for livestock (rather than under the prescription of a vet) would be another way to significantly reduce GHG emissions. 

What about the use of biochar in sewage treatment to reduce GHG emissions? Human sewage also emits methane and nitrous oxide. 

So in summary, I think the legislative focus should be on:
  1. encouraging a transition to small scale regenerative local food production to provide a much more resilient food supply and reduce CO2 emissions in multiple ways 
    • much lower on-farm energy use
    • lower CO2 emissions from soils plus greater retention of C because of no-till
    • lower CO2 emissions from food transport over shorter distances
  2. the use of biochar to reduce the more potent GHG emissions from manure, both human and animal
  3. the use of feed char to reduce more potent GHG emissions emissions from the digestive tract outlets of farm animals
Hope that's helpful.


--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory | InsideClimate News #climate #emissions #nitrousoxide

Harald Bier
 

Dear Geoff, 

of course you’re right here. Just that I wouldn’t call the avoidance of emission sequestration. The added carbon that remains in the soil: yes. 
I was referring to changing our practices in order to emit less, e.g. through improved fertilization techniques, the use of organic fertilization etc. AND using biochar as a complementary. 
Distinguishing between emission reduction and carbon sinks is important when it comes to carbon accounting and there it has to be clearly divided, that’s what I think and this is why I mentioned it. 
I also know there is no C in N2O ;-)
With regards to biochar in dairy, I recommend this: https://pyrolysis.cals.cornell.edu/ Another great piece of work by Kathleen Draper.

Best, Harald 

Am 11.10.2020 um 05:54 schrieb Geoff Thomas <wind@...>:

So reducing the N20 is like emissions reduction, as it is an emission, but if you for eg feed cows charcoal, - the which reduces methane, reducing emissions and turning it into more cow, and stores carbon in the soil, - which is Drawing Back the carbon we put into the air, it also reduces N20, so Harald does the N20 not be emitted by the cow or not produced because the charcoal in it’s system sequesters it like the charcoal?

- being provocative because I don’t know but suspect you do :)

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 4:14 am, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@...> wrote:

Dear Kim, 

I would say so. At least for us, this is one of our many arguments for the use of biochar in agriculture. If you’re interested, look at this: 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270822030_The_molar_H_COrg_ratio_of_biochar_is_a_key_factor_in_mitigating_N2O_emissions_from_soil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718339330 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12390

Best, Harald



Am 10.10.2020 um 17:07 schrieb Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...>:

All,
Does this new research report that exposes the major contribution of N2O from overuse of fertilizer present an opportunity for biochar?
Kim


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07102020/nitrous-oxide-fertilizer-emissions-nature-study?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=c580aa2b23-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-c580aa2b23-327797005
















Lab to test for pathogens in biochar charged with human urine? #analysis #urine #pathogen

Kobus Venter
 

Hi Kevin,

I assisted IMPILO YABANTU in developing a low-tech system (fully franchised will come out under $60k US) that can dry and carbonize faecal sludge, which over a period of 3 years (since 2017) morphed into 6 interconnected kilns (containing drum retorts) in a process we coined 'progressive batch' where gases flow from one kiln to the next in series. Some of it was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 


So my experience only relates to sterilizing faecal sludge, in which some lab samples contained up 400,000 coliform concentrations down to Nil. Our "biochar" product is sold to Regenerative Agriculture Specialisation (RA$) in South Africa. At this stage we see no use of placing coliforms back into the biochar we have spent considreable energy removing. They have already done extensive field trials with a product that contains biochar. Their product called VitaSoil has 4 components:

1. Biochar which provides the refuge for microbes

2. Decomposed pine sawdust - nutrient source

3. Vermicasts - diversity 

4. Selected microbes with increased tolerance to chemicals and heat to help re-ignite soil biology

The natural "soil reef" created by above amendment will assist the natural microbes in the soil to flourish. 

I would also point you to Green Peace efforts to counter the practice of dumping contaminated sewage on fields in the UK: https://youtu.be/jUdM3iK4O0c

The problem as I see it is that humans and animals that step onto these pathogens can spread it into households unintentionally.

Wbr

Kobus



On Sat, 10 Oct 2020, 22:12 mikethewormguy via groups.io, <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Kevin,

I would test the urine before applying it to the char

I would recommend creating a lot system for the urine collection for the purpose of traceability. The volume of the lot is based on risk management and not on science.  It is a business decision.

Each lot should be tested and the lot test data provided to the grower.

The pathogens we test for include generic Ecoli, Salmonella,  fecal coliform, and shigella toxin. Here in the US these test take around 5 days to get done and cost around $100 total.

You may want to consider a "kill" step using either dropping the pH or adding an essential oil.  The kill step provides assurance that no matter what happens upstream, the material applied to the crop is pathogen free at the time of delivery.

In addition, are you familiar with HACCP....?  Hazard Analysis Crtical Control Points is a food safety approach that maps all of the steps in a process where a contaminant, physical, biological, chemical, can enter the process. 

Food Safety is all about risk management. Lot control is all about limiting the size of your risk.

my 3 cents 

Mike, a Food Safety/ HACCP auditor in a prior life.......


Re: Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory | InsideClimate News #climate #emissions #nitrousoxide

Geoff Thomas
 

So reducing the N20 is like emissions reduction, as it is an emission, but if you for eg feed cows charcoal, - the which reduces methane, reducing emissions and turning it into more cow, and stores carbon in the soil, - which is Drawing Back the carbon we put into the air, it also reduces N20, so Harald does the N20 not be emitted by the cow or not produced because the charcoal in it’s system sequesters it like the charcoal?

- being provocative because I don’t know but suspect you do :)

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 4:14 am, Harald Bier <Harald.Bier@biochar-industry.com> wrote:

Dear Kim,

I would say so. At least for us, this is one of our many arguments for the use of biochar in agriculture. If you’re interested, look at this:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270822030_The_molar_H_COrg_ratio_of_biochar_is_a_key_factor_in_mitigating_N2O_emissions_from_soil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718339330

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12390

Best, Harald



Am 10.10.2020 um 17:07 schrieb Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@gmail.com>:

All,
Does this new research report that exposes the major contribution of N2O from overuse of fertilizer present an opportunity for biochar?
Kim


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07102020/nitrous-oxide-fertilizer-emissions-nature-study?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=c580aa2b23-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-c580aa2b23-327797005









Re: Origins of flame cap technology #flamecap #technology

Geoff Thomas
 

Hi Frank, your air injection rim sounds a bit like the secondary air injection in a T-Lud cooking stove, do you have a pic of it working?

On another comment thread just recently someone was saying that Methane may not get to combustion temperature, so would be polluting as Methane does, - not good, so I was thinking about how to get the temperature up higher.
Insulation would help, but what I wonder, is based on a gas light, - such as you have at barbecues and blackouts and such, where a thin fabric is where combustion takes place. 

In case you have not used one, - you tie a soft fabric over the gas outlet in the lamp, first setting it afire where it slowly burns and changes composition to a fragile rigid bulb, - called the mantle, then you turn on the gas, light it  and it glows, the more you turn up the gas the brighter the light.
This is the opposite to a gas heater where the gas flame heats up a clay grid to the lower infrared temperature so it puts out warmth, not light.

So if one covered the middle of the top (or whatever suits) of the airspace above the flame cap, bringing it down to the combustion zone, (could be, like the mantle, like an umbrella? ) - might it not exhibit that phenoma of the very hot wire/ceramic which would hopefully get the methane combusting? 

I guess you would know the Methane was not combusting by the smell?
The wire/mesh would need to be fine, but not as fine as in a gas lamp, and I guess you would need someting like a pedal actuator to quickly get it out of the way to feed more wood, etc. in - perhaps with like a back door shock absorber to not jerk it.

The gas lamp mantle is very fragile, but with thicker wire, perhaps not so much - and also using one of Stephen Joseph’s ideas, you could dip it into a clay solution, containing other minerals, strengthening it, so when the mantle disintegrates (perhaps absorbing some of those oils..) it will augment the qualities of the biochar, - and easier to apply than painting it on to pieces of wood.
Whatever, you are in experimental mode whereas I am trying to reduce bushfire destruction so maybe you might be inspired or someone else have time to experiment.

Cheers,
Geoff.

On 11 Oct 2020, at 11:11 am, Frank Strie <frank.strie@...> wrote:

Very good and valuable points Geoff,
It is the responsible operator / char master and team who is able to minimise the air pollution.
As in my last email from a few minutes ago, we have also optional the stainless steel Air Injection Rim Tube to boost the gas combustion above the glow zone / in the flame zone.
This is only required sporadically with moist and dense materials. If we are not satisfied with the temperature  we briefly start the leaf blower and push fresh air so the flames go up 3 meters or more and the smoke is no more. 
I can not see how reliable measurements of the particulate matter can be set in such batch processes that are relevant for regional, national and global operations. 
It is a different matter when it comes to stationary facilities and in urban or industrial areas. 
Provided the operator(s) understand the issues and care to minimise air pollution, there are no complains or concerns from neighbours.
If authorities and bureaucrats over complicate things more problematic wildfires and far worse polluting  burnoffs and possible damage to infrastructure and life will prevail. 
Thanks for the exchange
Frank   

 
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Geoff Thomas
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2020 10:43 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Cc: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...>; Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; biochar@groups.io; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>; josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Origins of flame cap technology
 
My experience with my Pyramid Kiln, - early version from Kelpie, is that operator skill and experience makes a huge difference, I mean HUGE, ie very smokey to no smoke at all, nor any smell.
 
Measurement of course is still possible with any skill level, but nothing should be measured from low skill or windy days, imho.
 
Also, half decomposed rainforest wood is a special challenge, and too much can extinguish the burn.
 
Has anybody sent a copy of this discussion to Warm Heart? - They may have some info also, - certainly a huge range of Flame cap Kilns.
 
The area of most efficaceous usage of flame cap kilns is the wet tropics, that is a point worth considering.
 
Cheers,
 
Geoff Thomas.
 
On 10 Oct 2020, at 10:19 pm, Paul S Anderson <psanders@...> wrote:
 
Dear Biochar Discussion Group,
 
Some of the  messages(such as the one below)  about this Subject have not gone to the full Discussion Group.   I have collected them in to one Word file but without any editing.  If someone volunteers to write the Origins story, I can send the full file.   (I am doing  other writings at present, so not me for this job.)
 
The flame cap discussion will continue on the Discussion group.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   www.drtlud.com
         Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: www.JuntosNFP.org  
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org)
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...> 
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2020 2:57 AM
To: Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>; josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...] 
Dear all, 
 
It is great to collect all these historical and technical information. What do you think about editing all this into a tBJ article?
 
Please find attached the Kon-Tiki emission paper, that Kelpie mentioned. Here we tested Kon-Tikis with different angels (between 45° to 70°), volume (0.2 to 1 m3) and materials (steel w./w.o. rim shield and hole in the ground). Essentially, the different forms, volumes, materials did not show significant differences. The most important variable is the care that the char-maker invests to maintain a continuous hot flame cap. Once the fire zone is not hot enough and smoke evolves, PM, CH4, CO emissions peak. Crucial are also the starting and the quenching phase. In the upcoming paper by Amonette et al. data will be presented that the biochar from Kon-Tiki type making can be considered at climate neutral for the first 20 to 30 years but not as a carbon sink due to the CH4 emissions. As shown in Cornelissen et al. the CH4-emissions are low compared to traditional char making or to wild fires but due to the high GWP of methane in the first 20 years, the biochar sink can only compensate the climate forcing of the methane during this first two decades. 
 
From experience, we use shallower Kon-Tiki (30-45°) for lower caloric and small sized biomass like straw, husks, cobs, leaves that pyrolyse very quickly; and deeper kilns (60 – 90°) for higher caloric but denser and more voluminous biomass like wood. 
 
Attached are some further publications dedicated to flame cap pyrolysis and characterization of the resulting chars.  
 
Cheers, Hans-Peter
 
Von: Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>
Datum: Samstag, 10. Oktober 2020 um 05:40
An: Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Cc: Biochar Group <main@biochar.groups.io>, "Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
Excellent questions Hugh. Emissions testing is the bottleneck we have to get through, if we want to 
get to the next level with flame cap devices. 
Jim Amonette has brought the methane issue to our attention.
So far all we have is the emissions data that HP did in Nepal. Thank you for that HP, I have used it a lot.
 
The biggest innovation in Flame Caps so far has been Paul Taylor's idea of adding a heat shield. 
This has very fun effects on fluid and combustion dynamics and I wish we had a computational fluid dynamics
person who could look at this as an afterburner design problem. 
 
In the meantime we all continue to tinker.
Check out some nice video of flaming vortex loops in this short video I made:
 
Kelpie
 
On Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 5:46 PM Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...> wrote:
List, et al.
 
Since we are drilling down on the flame cap option, what is the consensus on emissions and levels of unburned VOC's, methane, etc. I am concerned there is a continuous region of quenching at the limits of the flames as they dart around, leaving carbon monoxide and perhaps forming PM2.5 via the Boudouard reaction, and possibly methane forming in the lower sections of the pyrolyzing biomass that does not combust in the flame cap due to methane's high auto-ignition temperature of above 550C. In addition, the issue of transient emissions during the addition of fresh biomass and the readily observed transient smoke escaping the flame cap.
 
If anyone has any data, please share it and the source with the group.
 
Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE
 
On Friday, October 9, 2020, 7:13:29 PM EDT, Paul Taylor <potaylor@...> wrote:
 
 

This angle was certainly a question.  I always made the 1.2m diam kilns with 60 deg sides because with that angle you naturally maximally use a standard 1:2 format rectangular sheet.  The first KT was steeper.  The maximization of use is not quite unique for the 2 sheets needed to make bigger cones but I settled on a maximum volume achieved at about 64.5 deg and 1.65m diameter (for 1.2m x 2.4m sheets; 1.69 m diam, 67.6 deg for the 4% larger Chinese/European sheets).

The convection dynamics indicated that steep, tall sides maximized vortex strength and stability. This of course is aided by the sides being hotter, so a heat shield with proper spacing, computed from thickness of skin layers, helped in several ways.  Very shallow cones switch to a reverse vortex as you would expect with a flat sheet, as Josiah first did it, and this is the incorrect vortex shown in the Japanese drawings.  There is an intermediate shallow cone angle (<45 deg), where the two modes compete, so the vortex has no strength and stability and it is hard to maintain good fire with inimical feedstock. 

A couple of reasons for cone shape seemed to be easier to start with small fire, and quicker coverage and protection of biochar in early stages by more char.   However, understanding the vortex dynamics would be strong in a vertical wall, encouraged the simplification to rings.  These could be started well and quickly with air leakage around the bottom, which was blocked once the sides were hot and updraft strong, so the vortex kicked in.  The strong vortex drives air down to the pyrolysis front, determining the rate of pyrolysis, so has importance.  The big Mokis were truncated cones with open bottom as well, but were generally not deep. 

We were unsure of our success with the first running of the completely sealed bottom of the deep cone KT. In fact we did find it hard to start with a small fire in the bottom, and we learned to start a fire on top of biomass piled high up into the kiln to aid access of air to the initial fire. 

A new innovation in the KT was the drain at the bottom to allow easy draining and capture of the smoke water, which opened up the method of bottom quenching with nutrient solutions.  Naturally we experimented with leaving the small drain open for starting, closing it later, but surprisingly it did not help in natural draft, which I later realized was due to the convection flows creating a low pressure under the kiln.

Paul



On 10/10/20, 6:06 AM, "tmiles@..." <tmiles@...> wrote:

Interesting history. In my conversations with both Mokei and Dr. Ogawa in Japan in 2011 he emphasized the importance of the 60 degree angle of the sides of the kiln for optimizing char production. At the time Moki was offering kilns up to 10 feet in diameter but the ones we saw in use were more like 4-6 feet in diameter. 
 
Tom
 
 

From: Paul Taylor <potaylor@...> 
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2020 10:09 AM
To: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...>; Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 

Hi all: the origin for me of the flame cap was Tom Reed’s open pyramid pyrolysis, and his exemplification of it in “pinecone pyrolysis”, and of course the Jack Daniel’s method from the 1930s, which Peter Hirst presented in his chapter in the Biochar Revolution, 2010. 

The cone approach for me was specifically inspired by Tom Miles in his 2011 presentation referencing the Jan 2010 paper on the use of the Moki Kiln for making biochar for the “Cool Veges” initiative: A Rural Revitalization Scheme in Japan Utilizing Biochar and Eco-Branding: The Carbon Minus Project, Kameoka City. Steven R. McGreevy, Akira Shibata, 
and by this report using the Moki kiln.
Properties of Cinders from Red Pine, Black Locust and Henon Bamboo Inoue, Y ; Mogi, K ; Yoshizawa, S
APBC Kyoto 2011

That was reinforced by an article and blog by an Englishman who reported a technique of gradually pushing biomass into an open fire in a pit or trench.  In my presentations I included Tom Reeds pyramid pyrolysis and the Moki kiln to explain methods of making biochar distinct from the TLUD and the retort, and I started to design large transportable flame cap ring kilns, assembled in sections, for handling large burn piles on my property in N NSW.  Independently, in late 2012, Dolph, a neighbor here, reported making biochar in an open top, deep steel ring, which he called the Moxham.    http://biocharproject.org/charmasters-log/farm-scale-biochar/

In 2013 Kelpie also discovered and reported the gradual feeding technique for the cone kiln, and Stuart Mather drew attention to the Holy Mother Kiln that Dr Reddy reported in May 2011:  https://biocharkiln.blogspot.com   He called it a TLUD but you can start a flame cap ring in a “TLUD” mode, then convert to flame cap by closing off the primary air, thus preserving the created char and allowing more biomass to be added till the kiln is full of char.  

So 2013 was a big year for the convergent emergence of the flame cap method, I think for some of us triggered by Tom Miles presentation in 2011, but it might be considered a reprise of an earlier convergent emergence in 2009-11 of explorations by Josiah, Reddy, the Japanese, and the Englishman. It took till 2013/14 for a final breaking of the spell that making biochar required various complexities of vessels, pipes, seals, lids and chimneys.

This then was all brought to Switzerland in Jul 2014 and comingled with Hans-Peter’s provenance.  Kon Tiki was named as we first lit it because it was the first voyage of a large deep cone kiln, and we had no idea if it could work.  The name was confirmed when I discovered Kon-Tiki was a fire/sun god.  The observation of the inward rolling vortex in the Kon-Tiki (similar to back eddies familiar from rafting the Grand Canyon) were consistent with physics, and corrected the confusing unphysical convection arrows shown in the Japanese drawings.  This convection driven dynamic provided a natural draft system that conveyed a balance and sufficiency of air and mixing to both the pyrolysis and the gas combustion regions. Calculations of the convective flow velocities confirmed this, and also guided understanding of the impact of diameter and wall slope, verified by subsequent experiments. 

For me this was a renewal of a much earlier origin in 1980 during my 9 month’s of studies in India. There I acquired and brought back to the US an Agni Yoga pyramid, a small copper inverted pyramid, which is used to pyrolyse a mixture of cow dung, ghee and rice hulls or other biomass in a dawn and dusk ritual to heal earth and atmosphere (with the C/ash residue being valued for soil fertility). This inspired an interest in fire as an important element to manage, which manifested in starting a company in the 1980s, Micro-organic Fuel. This combined enzyme digested rice hulls or wheat straw, coal dust, and sodium silicate, and heated them to make low S synthetic fire logs or beautiful fire-proof wood-like building materials (depending on the amount of sodium silicate).  

The cone kiln or pyramid kiln (and open flame cap kiln in general), literalized the Agni ritual into a technology to physically heal earth and atmosphere, and I began calling my workshops such.  Hans-Peter and I discussed all this as we explored all variations of shapes and sizes, including heat shields and pits, during our first Kon-Tiki runs in Switzerland.

In Australia later in 2014 with Stephen Joseph we explored snuffing with a cover consisting of combinations of Fe rich clay, compost and cold charcoal, which in a reprise of Josiah’s discovery provided a baking for at least 4 days during which spatial and temporal temperature profiles measured in the range 250-450C. This produced a layer of biochar mineral complex to mix into the biochar.

Paul

On 10/9/20, 1:50 PM, "josiah hunt" <josiahhunt@...> wrote:
Hi Paul, here is a much better copy of that Poster from the Ames Conference 2010

<image001.jpg>
On Oct 8, 2020, at 5:15 PM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:

Thank you all very much.   If you think of other info or people, please contact me and the others.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com<http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>      Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org<http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com<http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org<http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <
schmidt@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 3:45 PM
To: josiah hunt <
josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report toabuse@...] 
Dear Paul and all, 
(adding Paul Taylor on cc)
 
I do not remember exactly if I found out about the “flame cap” / “flame curtain” principle through Kelpie’s backyard website or through Josiah’s pit demonstration. It was the one or the other but what is sure is that what we called the Kon-Tiki came after (in 2014) and was inspired by Kelpie, Josiah, Moki, Moxham, Wittman, Gilmore and the ancients. Paul (Taylor) and I described this “history” in our first article about the Kon-Tiki, the democratization of biochar production: 
https://www.biochar-journal.org/en/ct/39.
Our part in the story is mainly the popularization of the Kon-Tiki through articles and open access designs and operating instructions. This led to the nice success of Kon-Tiki type constructions in > 65 countries already in 2017.
 
In our article, Paul and I also explain why we choose the Kon-Tiki as a generic name for it and why it was important to use a catchy, generic name. Outside the US, and in a growing number of scientific publications, everybody uses the name Kon-Tiki which is very helpful for the scale-up and community exchange. 
 
Thanks to Kelpie and Josiah, who started this journey for all of us.
Cheers, Hans-Peter 
 
Von: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>
Datum: Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2020 um 20:04
An: "Anderson, Paul" <
psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>, Tom Miles <tmiles@...>, 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>, Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology

Hello All, 
 
Covergent evolution.  
 
In August 2008, I first began efforts to intentionally produce biochar.  Guided by memories of bonfires on the beach, and the large bed of coals present in the waning hours, the first fires were on flat ground and built in a way that had a fast crescendo towards a peak point, then allowed to burn to coals before quenching.  When shaping the ground after each fire and before the next, ash and char would be scraped up, and a small depression was formed, this spurred the thinking that intentionally increasing that depression would make a better bed for the coals, and could give me better air control against the air intake that happens at the sides and bottoms and directly eats the building stock of char.  Deepening the depression quickly showed positive results.  Trial and error quickly resulted in a cone shaped pit in the ground with a high back on the lee side (when incline is present).  Several pits were used for commercial production of biochar for a period lasting about 5 years.  Several hundred tons of biochar were produced in this manner during that time. 
 
Quenching was performed with water in the first efforts.  Then it was discovered that a dirt cover, applied only at the end when all the wood has been carbonized, could snuff out the embers effectively and efficiently.  Dirt cover would be removed several days later during harvesting of char.  Metal roofing and several other materials were trialled for coverings.  Clay rich dirt was the favored cover material, and was re-used many times until it became more charcoal than clay, at which point it was tossed in the compost.  
 
NOTE: The soils where I was doing the majority of the commercial production fires were mostly volcanic cinder, which allowed a unique trick - the embers could gently and evenly breath just enough oxygen from the soil to keep the temperatures at or above 250C for days or even weeks if I were to let it. This allowed for a “baking” trick that is rarely repeatable.  
 
Attached is a poster I presented at the 2010 conference in Ames Iowa.  
 
- Josiah Hunt
808 936-3484

"Each generation is entitled to the interest on the natural capital, but the principal should be handed on unimpaired."
Canada’s Commission on Conservation (1915)

<image001.jpg>
 
On Oct 8, 2020, at 10:15 AM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:
 
Kelpie,    And adding Josiah Hunt to this group of recipients and Hugh because he has been following this for years.
 
It was as recent as 2012 for you  !!!   The concept came from Japan but not brought by the Japanese.   How did you come across the concept?   Was Josiah Hunt making char in pits back then?   Or when did he start and why?   
 
These stories of origins will be lost if we do not pull them together.
 
Because of you I made my first attempt with a half-barrel (longitudinal cut) in 2014, and I immediately want to the covered design with the portal in the side and chimneys, put in a provisional patent application and then in 2015 started showing the covered cavity kiln (which did not rotate to accomplish the mixing until the second half of 2019). 
 
Did Hans-Peter or Kathleen or anyone else do flame cap work then or earlier?
 
Paul 
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>     Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:57 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Cc: 
tmiles@...; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report toabuse@...] 
Looking at my photo records, I see that I finally figured out how to use the cone kiln in spring 2013
https://photos.app.goo.gl/U4qpskMMRBg4V4M26
I built it the year before and it took me many tries to figure out how it worked. The pictures from Japan were all I had to go on.
I gave a flash talk on the cone kiln at the 2013 USBI conference in Amherst and after that, a lot of people started experimenting with cone kilns
I then switched to pyramid and cylinder shapes because the cone was much too difficult and expensive to fabricate. The other shapes work just as well if not better, especially the cylinder.  Dolph Cooke pioneered the cylinder kilns around the same time I made my cone kiln.
Thanks for being the historian here, Paul!
 
-Kelpie
 
-Kelpie
 
 
On Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 9:09 AM Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...> wrote:

Tom,
 
Yes, roots of flame cap go back to Japan.    When did it get started, or when did you see him making biochar?
 
But sometimes there can be LOOOOONG lead up times.   Like hundreds of years for terra preta before it was becoming recognized in about 2007.    
 
Who “brought the Moki kiln to the attention of a wider audience”?   HPS and Kelpie were really early, right?   But when were their starts?    I hope they will  answer.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@...<mailto:psanders@...>      Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: 
tmiles@... <tmiles@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:03 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>; 'Kelpie Wilson' <kelpiew@...>; ''Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal' <schmidt@...>; 'Kathleen Draper' <draper@...>
Subject: RE: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...] 
Dr. Makato Ogawa, the Moki Kiln, Japan was the first one I saw making biochar.
 
Tom
 
 
From: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...> 
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2020 9:47 PM
To: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Tom Miles - Oregon - listservs <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Cc: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Subject: Origins of flame cap technology
 
Kelpie, Hans-Peter, Kathleen and Tom,
 
When and by whom did the flame cap technology begin and become recognized?   I also call  it “cavity kilns” of which there are open top and covered versions, but nothing on that occurred until 2014.   
 
We should eventually get such information recorded, but my need at the moment is to give credit to the  early innovators and the time period of origin, so general answers are fine.
 
I  hope to hear from you soon.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 

 
 

 
-- 
Email: kelpiew@...
Mobile: 541-218-9890
Time zone: Pacific Time, USA
Skype: kelpie.wilson
 



Re: Lab to test for pathogens in biochar charged with human urine? #analysis #urine #pathogen

Frank Strie
 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/22/study-gives-green-light-to-use-of-urine-as-crop-fertiliser

 

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/feeding-plants-with-urine.htm

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Nando Breiter
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:40 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Lab to test for pathogens in biochar charged with human urine?

 

... expose the urine to sunlight before adding it to the char ...



CarbonZero Sagl
CP 15
6999 Astano
Switzerland

+41 76 303 4477 cell / WhatsApp
skype: ariamedia

 

 

On Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 12:37 AM Nando Breiter <nando@...> wrote:

To inform myself, I found in a quick google search that urine from someone with a urinary tract infection can commonly contain (be caused by) e coli and fecal coliform, and rarely salmonella and shigella. 

 

There is a technique to purify water by using UV from sunlight - by putting it in a clear plastic bottle. Perhaps it would be sufficient to expose the urine to sunlight in a clear container. See https://www.cdc.gov/safewater/solardisinfection.html



CarbonZero Sagl
CP 15
6999 Astano
Switzerland

+41 76 303 4477 cell / WhatsApp
skype: ariamedia

 

 

On Sat, Oct 10, 2020 at 10:12 PM mikethewormguy via groups.io <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Kevin,

I would test the urine before applying it to the char

I would recommend creating a lot system for the urine collection for the purpose of traceability. The volume of the lot is based on risk management and not on science.  It is a business decision.

Each lot should be tested and the lot test data provided to the grower.

The pathogens we test for include generic Ecoli, Salmonella,  fecal coliform, and shigella toxin. Here in the US these test take around 5 days to get done and cost around $100 total.

You may want to consider a "kill" step using either dropping the pH or adding an essential oil.  The kill step provides assurance that no matter what happens upstream, the material applied to the crop is pathogen free at the time of delivery.

In addition, are you familiar with HACCP....?  Hazard Analysis Crtical Control Points is a food safety approach that maps all of the steps in a process where a contaminant, physical, biological, chemical, can enter the process. 

Food Safety is all about risk management. Lot control is all about limiting the size of your risk.

my 3 cents 

Mike, a Food Safety/ HACCP auditor in a prior life.......


--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: Origins of flame cap technology #flamecap #technology

Frank Strie
 

Very good and valuable points Geoff,
It is the responsible operator / char master and team who is able to minimise the air pollution.
As in my last email from a few minutes ago, we have also optional the stainless steel Air Injection Rim Tube to boost the gas combustion above the glow zone / in the flame zone.
This is only required sporadically with moist and dense materials. If we are not satisfied with the temperature  we briefly start the leaf blower and push fresh air so the flames go up 3 meters or more and the smoke is no more.
I can not see how reliable measurements of the particulate matter can be set in such batch processes that are relevant for regional, national and global operations.
It is a different matter when it comes to stationary facilities and in urban or industrial areas.
Provided the operator(s) understand the issues and care to minimise air pollution, there are no complains or concerns from neighbours.
If authorities and bureaucrats over complicate things more problematic wildfires and far worse polluting  burnoffs and possible damage to infrastructure and life will prevail.
Thanks for the exchange
Frank   

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Geoff Thomas
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2020 10:43 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Cc: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...>; Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; biochar@groups.io; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>; josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Origins of flame cap technology

 

My experience with my Pyramid Kiln, - early version from Kelpie, is that operator skill and experience makes a huge difference, I mean HUGE, ie very smokey to no smoke at all, nor any smell.

 

Measurement of course is still possible with any skill level, but nothing should be measured from low skill or windy days, imho.

 

Also, half decomposed rainforest wood is a special challenge, and too much can extinguish the burn.

 

Has anybody sent a copy of this discussion to Warm Heart? - They may have some info also, - certainly a huge range of Flame cap Kilns.

 

The area of most efficaceous usage of flame cap kilns is the wet tropics, that is a point worth considering.

 

Cheers,

 

Geoff Thomas.

 

On 10 Oct 2020, at 10:19 pm, Paul S Anderson <psanders@...> wrote:

 

Dear Biochar Discussion Group,

 

Some of the  messages(such as the one below)  about this Subject have not gone to the full Discussion Group.   I have collected them in to one Word file but without any editing.  If someone volunteers to write the Origins story, I can send the full file.   (I am doing  other writings at present, so not me for this job.)

 

The flame cap discussion will continue on the Discussion group.

 

Paul

 

Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   www.drtlud.com

         Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud

         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: www.JuntosNFP.org  

Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com

Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org)

         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.

 

From: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...> 
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2020 2:57 AM
To: Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>; josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology

 

[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...] 

Dear all, 

 

It is great to collect all these historical and technical information. What do you think about editing all this into a tBJ article?

 

Please find attached the Kon-Tiki emission paper, that Kelpie mentioned. Here we tested Kon-Tikis with different angels (between 45° to 70°), volume (0.2 to 1 m3) and materials (steel w./w.o. rim shield and hole in the ground). Essentially, the different forms, volumes, materials did not show significant differences. The most important variable is the care that the char-maker invests to maintain a continuous hot flame cap. Once the fire zone is not hot enough and smoke evolves, PM, CH4, CO emissions peak. Crucial are also the starting and the quenching phase. In the upcoming paper by Amonette et al. data will be presented that the biochar from Kon-Tiki type making can be considered at climate neutral for the first 20 to 30 years but not as a carbon sink due to the CH4 emissions. As shown in Cornelissen et al. the CH4-emissions are low compared to traditional char making or to wild fires but due to the high GWP of methane in the first 20 years, the biochar sink can only compensate the climate forcing of the methane during this first two decades. 

 

From experience, we use shallower Kon-Tiki (30-45°) for lower caloric and small sized biomass like straw, husks, cobs, leaves that pyrolyse very quickly; and deeper kilns (60 – 90°) for higher caloric but denser and more voluminous biomass like wood. 

 

Attached are some further publications dedicated to flame cap pyrolysis and characterization of the resulting chars.  

 

Cheers, Hans-Peter

 

Von: Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>
Datum: Samstag, 10. Oktober 2020 um 05:40
An: Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Cc: Biochar Group <main@biochar.groups.io>, "Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology

 

Excellent questions Hugh. Emissions testing is the bottleneck we have to get through, if we want to 

get to the next level with flame cap devices. 

Jim Amonette has brought the methane issue to our attention.

So far all we have is the emissions data that HP did in Nepal. Thank you for that HP, I have used it a lot.

 

The biggest innovation in Flame Caps so far has been Paul Taylor's idea of adding a heat shield. 

This has very fun effects on fluid and combustion dynamics and I wish we had a computational fluid dynamics

person who could look at this as an afterburner design problem. 

 

In the meantime we all continue to tinker.

Check out some nice video of flaming vortex loops in this short video I made:

 

Kelpie

 

On Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 5:46 PM Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...> wrote:

List, et al.

 

Since we are drilling down on the flame cap option, what is the consensus on emissions and levels of unburned VOC's, methane, etc. I am concerned there is a continuous region of quenching at the limits of the flames as they dart around, leaving carbon monoxide and perhaps forming PM2.5 via the Boudouard reaction, and possibly methane forming in the lower sections of the pyrolyzing biomass that does not combust in the flame cap due to methane's high auto-ignition temperature of above 550C. In addition, the issue of transient emissions during the addition of fresh biomass and the readily observed transient smoke escaping the flame cap.

 

If anyone has any data, please share it and the source with the group.

 

Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE

 

On Friday, October 9, 2020, 7:13:29 PM EDT, Paul Taylor <potaylor@...> wrote:

 

 

This angle was certainly a question.  I always made the 1.2m diam kilns with 60 deg sides because with that angle you naturally maximally use a standard 1:2 format rectangular sheet.  The first KT was steeper.  The maximization of use is not quite unique for the 2 sheets needed to make bigger cones but I settled on a maximum volume achieved at about 64.5 deg and 1.65m diameter (for 1.2m x 2.4m sheets; 1.69 m diam, 67.6 deg for the 4% larger Chinese/European sheets).

The convection dynamics indicated that steep, tall sides maximized vortex strength and stability. This of course is aided by the sides being hotter, so a heat shield with proper spacing, computed from thickness of skin layers, helped in several ways.  Very shallow cones switch to a reverse vortex as you would expect with a flat sheet, as Josiah first did it, and this is the incorrect vortex shown in the Japanese drawings.  There is an intermediate shallow cone angle (<45 deg), where the two modes compete, so the vortex has no strength and stability and it is hard to maintain good fire with inimical feedstock. 

A couple of reasons for cone shape seemed to be easier to start with small fire, and quicker coverage and protection of biochar in early stages by more char.   However, understanding the vortex dynamics would be strong in a vertical wall, encouraged the simplification to rings.  These could be started well and quickly with air leakage around the bottom, which was blocked once the sides were hot and updraft strong, so the vortex kicked in.  The strong vortex drives air down to the pyrolysis front, determining the rate of pyrolysis, so has importance.  The big Mokis were truncated cones with open bottom as well, but were generally not deep. 

We were unsure of our success with the first running of the completely sealed bottom of the deep cone KT. In fact we did find it hard to start with a small fire in the bottom, and we learned to start a fire on top of biomass piled high up into the kiln to aid access of air to the initial fire. 

A new innovation in the KT was the drain at the bottom to allow easy draining and capture of the smoke water, which opened up the method of bottom quenching with nutrient solutions.  Naturally we experimented with leaving the small drain open for starting, closing it later, but surprisingly it did not help in natural draft, which I later realized was due to the convection flows creating a low pressure under the kiln.

Paul



On 10/10/20, 6:06 AM, "tmiles@..." <tmiles@...> wrote:

Interesting history. In my conversations with both Mokei and Dr. Ogawa in Japan in 2011 he emphasized the importance of the 60 degree angle of the sides of the kiln for optimizing char production. At the time Moki was offering kilns up to 10 feet in diameter but the ones we saw in use were more like 4-6 feet in diameter. 
 
Tom
 
 

From: Paul Taylor <potaylor@...> 
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2020 10:09 AM
To: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...>; Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 

Hi all: the origin for me of the flame cap was Tom Reed’s open pyramid pyrolysis, and his exemplification of it in “pinecone pyrolysis”, and of course the Jack Daniel’s method from the 1930s, which Peter Hirst presented in his chapter in the Biochar Revolution, 2010. 

The cone approach for me was specifically inspired by Tom Miles in his 2011 presentation referencing the Jan 2010 paper on the use of the Moki Kiln for making biochar for the “Cool Veges” initiative: A Rural Revitalization Scheme in Japan Utilizing Biochar and Eco-Branding: The Carbon Minus Project, Kameoka City. Steven R. McGreevy, Akira Shibata, 
and by this report using the Moki kiln.
Properties of Cinders from Red Pine, Black Locust and Henon Bamboo Inoue, Y ; Mogi, K ; Yoshizawa, S
APBC Kyoto 2011

That was reinforced by an article and blog by an Englishman who reported a technique of gradually pushing biomass into an open fire in a pit or trench.  In my presentations I included Tom Reeds pyramid pyrolysis and the Moki kiln to explain methods of making biochar distinct from the TLUD and the retort, and I started to design large transportable flame cap ring kilns, assembled in sections, for handling large burn piles on my property in N NSW.  Independently, in late 2012, Dolph, a neighbor here, reported making biochar in an open top, deep steel ring, which he called the Moxham.    http://biocharproject.org/charmasters-log/farm-scale-biochar/

In 2013 Kelpie also discovered and reported the gradual feeding technique for the cone kiln, and Stuart Mather drew attention to the Holy Mother Kiln that Dr Reddy reported in May 2011:  https://biocharkiln.blogspot.com   He called it a TLUD but you can start a flame cap ring in a “TLUD” mode, then convert to flame cap by closing off the primary air, thus preserving the created char and allowing more biomass to be added till the kiln is full of char.  

So 2013 was a big year for the convergent emergence of the flame cap method, I think for some of us triggered by Tom Miles presentation in 2011, but it might be considered a reprise of an earlier convergent emergence in 2009-11 of explorations by Josiah, Reddy, the Japanese, and the Englishman. It took till 2013/14 for a final breaking of the spell that making biochar required various complexities of vessels, pipes, seals, lids and chimneys.

This then was all brought to Switzerland in Jul 2014 and comingled with Hans-Peter’s provenance.  Kon Tiki was named as we first lit it because it was the first voyage of a large deep cone kiln, and we had no idea if it could work.  The name was confirmed when I discovered Kon-Tiki was a fire/sun god.  The observation of the inward rolling vortex in the Kon-Tiki (similar to back eddies familiar from rafting the Grand Canyon) were consistent with physics, and corrected the confusing unphysical convection arrows shown in the Japanese drawings.  This convection driven dynamic provided a natural draft system that conveyed a balance and sufficiency of air and mixing to both the pyrolysis and the gas combustion regions. Calculations of the convective flow velocities confirmed this, and also guided understanding of the impact of diameter and wall slope, verified by subsequent experiments. 

For me this was a renewal of a much earlier origin in 1980 during my 9 month’s of studies in India. There I acquired and brought back to the US an Agni Yoga pyramid, a small copper inverted pyramid, which is used to pyrolyse a mixture of cow dung, ghee and rice hulls or other biomass in a dawn and dusk ritual to heal earth and atmosphere (with the C/ash residue being valued for soil fertility). This inspired an interest in fire as an important element to manage, which manifested in starting a company in the 1980s, Micro-organic Fuel. This combined enzyme digested rice hulls or wheat straw, coal dust, and sodium silicate, and heated them to make low S synthetic fire logs or beautiful fire-proof wood-like building materials (depending on the amount of sodium silicate).  

The cone kiln or pyramid kiln (and open flame cap kiln in general), literalized the Agni ritual into a technology to physically heal earth and atmosphere, and I began calling my workshops such.  Hans-Peter and I discussed all this as we explored all variations of shapes and sizes, including heat shields and pits, during our first Kon-Tiki runs in Switzerland.

In Australia later in 2014 with Stephen Joseph we explored snuffing with a cover consisting of combinations of Fe rich clay, compost and cold charcoal, which in a reprise of Josiah’s discovery provided a baking for at least 4 days during which spatial and temporal temperature profiles measured in the range 250-450C. This produced a layer of biochar mineral complex to mix into the biochar.

Paul

On 10/9/20, 1:50 PM, "josiah hunt" <josiahhunt@...> wrote:

Hi Paul, here is a much better copy of that Poster from the Ames Conference 2010

<image001.jpg>

On Oct 8, 2020, at 5:15 PM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:

Thank you all very much.   If you think of other info or people, please contact me and the others.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com<http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>      Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org<http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com<http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org<http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <
schmidt@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 3:45 PM
To: josiah hunt <
josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report toabuse@...] 
Dear Paul and all, 
(adding Paul Taylor on cc)
 
I do not remember exactly if I found out about the “flame cap” / “flame curtain” principle through Kelpie’s backyard website or through Josiah’s pit demonstration. It was the one or the other but what is sure is that what we called the Kon-Tiki came after (in 2014) and was inspired by Kelpie, Josiah, Moki, Moxham, Wittman, Gilmore and the ancients. Paul (Taylor) and I described this “history” in our first article about the Kon-Tiki, the democratization of biochar production: 
https://www.biochar-journal.org/en/ct/39.
Our part in the story is mainly the popularization of the Kon-Tiki through articles and open access designs and operating instructions. This led to the nice success of Kon-Tiki type constructions in > 65 countries already in 2017.
 
In our article, Paul and I also explain why we choose the Kon-Tiki as a generic name for it and why it was important to use a catchy, generic name. Outside the US, and in a growing number of scientific publications, everybody uses the name Kon-Tiki which is very helpful for the scale-up and community exchange. 
 
Thanks to Kelpie and Josiah, who started this journey for all of us.
Cheers, Hans-Peter 
 
Von: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>
Datum: Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2020 um 20:04
An: "Anderson, Paul" <
psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>, Tom Miles <tmiles@...>, 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>, Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology

Hello All, 
 
Covergent evolution.  
 
In August 2008, I first began efforts to intentionally produce biochar.  Guided by memories of bonfires on the beach, and the large bed of coals present in the waning hours, the first fires were on flat ground and built in a way that had a fast crescendo towards a peak point, then allowed to burn to coals before quenching.  When shaping the ground after each fire and before the next, ash and char would be scraped up, and a small depression was formed, this spurred the thinking that intentionally increasing that depression would make a better bed for the coals, and could give me better air control against the air intake that happens at the sides and bottoms and directly eats the building stock of char.  Deepening the depression quickly showed positive results.  Trial and error quickly resulted in a cone shaped pit in the ground with a high back on the lee side (when incline is present).  Several pits were used for commercial production of biochar for a period lasting about 5 years.  Several hundred tons of biochar were produced in this manner during that time. 
 
Quenching was performed with water in the first efforts.  Then it was discovered that a dirt cover, applied only at the end when all the wood has been carbonized, could snuff out the embers effectively and efficiently.  Dirt cover would be removed several days later during harvesting of char.  Metal roofing and several other materials were trialled for coverings.  Clay rich dirt was the favored cover material, and was re-used many times until it became more charcoal than clay, at which point it was tossed in the compost.  
 
NOTE: The soils where I was doing the majority of the commercial production fires were mostly volcanic cinder, which allowed a unique trick - the embers could gently and evenly breath just enough oxygen from the soil to keep the temperatures at or above 250C for days or even weeks if I were to let it. This allowed for a “baking” trick that is rarely repeatable.  
 
Attached is a poster I presented at the 2010 conference in Ames Iowa.  
 
- Josiah Hunt
808 936-3484

"Each generation is entitled to the interest on the natural capital, but the principal should be handed on unimpaired."
Canada’s Commission on Conservation (1915)

<image001.jpg>
 

On Oct 8, 2020, at 10:15 AM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:
 
Kelpie,    And adding Josiah Hunt to this group of recipients and Hugh because he has been following this for years.
 
It was as recent as 2012 for you  !!!   The concept came from Japan but not brought by the Japanese.   How did you come across the concept?   Was Josiah Hunt making char in pits back then?   Or when did he start and why?   
 
These stories of origins will be lost if we do not pull them together.
 
Because of you I made my first attempt with a half-barrel (longitudinal cut) in 2014, and I immediately want to the covered design with the portal in the side and chimneys, put in a provisional patent application and then in 2015 started showing the covered cavity kiln (which did not rotate to accomplish the mixing until the second half of 2019). 
 
Did Hans-Peter or Kathleen or anyone else do flame cap work then or earlier?
 
Paul 
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>     Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:57 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Cc: 
tmiles@...; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report toabuse@...] 
Looking at my photo records, I see that I finally figured out how to use the cone kiln in spring 2013
https://photos.app.goo.gl/U4qpskMMRBg4V4M26
I built it the year before and it took me many tries to figure out how it worked. The pictures from Japan were all I had to go on.
I gave a flash talk on the cone kiln at the 2013 USBI conference in Amherst and after that, a lot of people started experimenting with cone kilns
I then switched to pyramid and cylinder shapes because the cone was much too difficult and expensive to fabricate. The other shapes work just as well if not better, especially the cylinder.  Dolph Cooke pioneered the cylinder kilns around the same time I made my cone kiln.
Thanks for being the historian here, Paul!
 
-Kelpie
 
-Kelpie
 
 
On Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 9:09 AM Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...> wrote:


Tom,
 
Yes, roots of flame cap go back to Japan.    When did it get started, or when did you see him making biochar?
 
But sometimes there can be LOOOOONG lead up times.   Like hundreds of years for terra preta before it was becoming recognized in about 2007.    
 
Who “brought the Moki kiln to the attention of a wider audience”?   HPS and Kelpie were really early, right?   But when were their starts?    I hope they will  answer.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@...<mailto:psanders@...>      Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: 
tmiles@... <tmiles@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:03 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>; 'Kelpie Wilson' <kelpiew@...>; ''Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal' <schmidt@...>; 'Kathleen Draper' <draper@...>
Subject: RE: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...] 
Dr. Makato Ogawa, the Moki Kiln, Japan was the first one I saw making biochar.
 
Tom
 
 
From: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...> 
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2020 9:47 PM
To: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Tom Miles - Oregon - listservs <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Cc: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Subject: Origins of flame cap technology
 
Kelpie, Hans-Peter, Kathleen and Tom,
 
When and by whom did the flame cap technology begin and become recognized?   I also call  it “cavity kilns” of which there are open top and covered versions, but nothing on that occurred until 2014.   
 
We should eventually get such information recorded, but my need at the moment is to give credit to the  early innovators and the time period of origin, so general answers are fine.
 
I  hope to hear from you soon.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 


 

 


 

-- 

Email: kelpiew@...
Mobile: 541-218-9890

Time zone: Pacific Time, USA
Skype: kelpie.wilson

 


Re: FW: Origins of flame cap technology #flamecap #technology

Frank Strie
 

Thanks for the extensive up to date information Tom,
Considering the many different feedstock conditions, diameter, moisture content, oil content, in leaves & needles, litter, in the field / forest / outdoors, the mobile flame curtain kilns enable hazard reductions. We have used anything from Blackberry scrub, Grapevines, Olive tree pruning,  Hazelnut thing and fruit tree branches. The thinner and dryer the woody feedstock material is the faster heat penetration and evaporation of volatile substances.
Like in Oregon in South East Australia, here in Tasmania and also in New Zealand Gorse
(Ulex europaeus)  is an Invasive Weed of National Significance https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/weeds/weeds-index/declared-weeds-index/gorse .
The question and challenge is to turn this around from a problems to opportunities, from waste to values. Gorse and other woody weeds are pioneer plants thriving and  spreading in the previously cleared landscape for agriculture / grazing , and many areas  where previously native forests were clear-felled and converted to monoculture tree plantations of Eucalypt and Radiata Pine well exceeding 60,000ha in Tasmania alone.
When Gorse is mulched,  cleared or chemically killed and then burned, be that scattered or in piles, these practices are highly polluting as this creates huge black smoke clouds and seeds get activated to regenerate even thicker.
Australia like the Pacific North West, the Mediterranean and many regions around the world  are confronted with the extreme weather  events.
We need to better manage and utilize vegetation =  stored solar energy and sequester carbon from Asphalt,  Agriculture, Aquaculture to Zoos.

Also general vegetation management planning is crucial and this stored solar energy should ideally be utilized in the optimum circular bioeconomy, making use of the thermal energy, potential biomethane, potential power generation and always Pyrogenic Carbon = Char cogeneration.
Due to the great distances, low population an mild climate conditions, the ‘drip torch’ and Heli-torch are used mostly by State Fire Service and  Forestry Companies and Farmers etc. …
Considering the scale and urgency  for better management require further technology development and this is what we are working on as well.

Since August 2014 we have initially designed the

  1. KON-TIKI-TAS Standard, ~ 1.000 liter deep cone kiln on a HD Skid Frame, Forklift holder, 50mm /2”quench & drain pipe, gate valve and nipple,  a solid burn floor barrier at the pivot point,  tip out winch, and  with optional stainless steel air injection rim tube

  2. KON-TIKI-TAS Compact with a Smart Cart transport ~300 liter, optional BBQ and cook

  3. KON-TIKI-TAS  Stretch Cone Kiln ~1.850 liter, with burn floor barrier, large Heat & Wind Shield for optimum combustion and operator protection and optional Air Injection Rim Tube and 10m long  2” hose camlock to be used for air supply with Leaf-blower and for flood quenching by gravity,  from 1m3 tank.   

We use Rainwater for clean char production or for nutrient enriched Biochar a liquid pig manure slurry or poultry manure tea  & fish brew.

In early 2021 we will launch the even larger KON-TIKI-TAS  Jumbo kiln as a continuous flow system for mobile, industrial scale production by land owners and contactors.  Consideration is given to have these kilns also used in semi-stationary locations to utilize the thermal energy via heat exchanger where appropriate.  
KON-TIKI-TAS Kilns are now used here in TAS, but also in VIC, WA, QLD and before too long also in SA.  There is an ever increasing interest to combine Restorative Forest & Landscape Management with Regenerative Farming and the Circular Bioeconomy.
We are involved with ProSilva Forestry, Farmers for Climate Action , Soil First Tasmania and the IBI and share information with our collaborators at the Ithaka Institute, BIT ´Biochar Initiative Tasmania, the IBI,  national and international Change Agents such as the EcoModelRegion
Ökoregion Kaindorf Austria.
Work in progress, thanks again for the information exchange in this discussion group platform.
Frank
 www.terraptretadevelopments.com.au

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Miles
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2020 5:51 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: Origins of flame cap technology

 

In 2019 US Biochar proposed emission testing of several carbonizers, including flame cap kilns, for the purpose of developing a “climate index” of technologies to show relative contributions to carbon reduction. That proposal was rejected but the work still needs to be done. Methane, although a minor component of emissions from industrial sources, is often not measured directly in testing for compliance with emissions regulations. Carbon Monoxide is often used as a surrogate for unburned hydrocarbons. Small scale systems like flame cap kilns are often not tested. One kiln we attempted to test a few years ago was too big for a lab which is certified to test emissions from wood heating appliances. Special equipment is required.

 

This week we conducted test burns of the US Forest Service/Air Burners Inc. “Charboss” which is a small air curtain incinerator designed to recover biochar. Air Curtain Incinerators are efficient burners for volume reduction. Th Charboss is still under development. It is an adaptation of the ABI Burn Boss which was developed by ABI for the USFS to burn small hand piles of slash efficiently. The intent of the USFS/ABI Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is to optimize carbon recovery from the mobile units. We conducted tests in two different applications: invasive species and forest residues. The invasive species is gorse, Ulex europaeus, which introduced from Scotland in the late 1800s and  has taken over more than 35,000 acres in the sand dunes on the Oregon Coast. It is an oily, awkward, highly flammable  material with persistent seeds that make it difficult to eradicate. It has caused the local town to burn down twice. The small stem diameter makes it difficult to carbonize in the air burner. The forest residues were in slash piles at 5000 feet elevation in a thinned firebreak intended to protect a forest stand and wilderness area from the spread of wildfire. The slash was more suited to carbon recovery. The operation was similar to the larger scale air curtain burner demonstration that Kelpie and the Umpqua Biochar Education Team (UBET) demonstrated a few years ago. Permitting rules and procedures in Oregon have changed since then.     

 

Our Clean Air Oregon division of the department of environmental quality has been modelling potential toxic emissions from air curtain incinerators prior to permitting. For our demonstrations we were required to analyze potential toxic metals in the fuel, char, ash, cooling water and, by difference, in the emissions. Required emission testing was using EPA Method 9 for opacity during startup (1/2 hr), operation (three one-hour tests) and shutdown (1/2 to two hours).  Opacity Method 9 requires an observer who has been EPA certified within the last six months. The tests demonstrated less than 10% opacity using this method which corresponds to particulate emissions of less than 0.1 grains/dry standard cubic foot in these devices. Testing emissions in an open stack with turbulent mixing in a curtain of air that is just four feet wide and 10 feet long can be a challenge. Temperatures and velocities varied widely. A collector hood above the stack has been used in formal tests for full scale (8 ft x 40 ft) air curtain burners. EPA and others have done a substantial amount of particulate and opacity emission testing for the ABI devices. There has been less gaseous emission testing, especially for the long list of toxic compounds that the authorities would like to see documented.  

 

Tom

 

    

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2020 8:45 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: Origins of flame cap technology

 

Kelpie notes: So far all we have is the emissions data that HP did in Nepal. Thank you for that HP, I have used it a lot.

 

Where is this emission data available? - Hugh

 

 

 

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, 8:31:02 AM EDT, Paul S Anderson <psanders@...> wrote:

 

 

 

 

Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   www.drtlud.com

         Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud

         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: www.JuntosNFP.org 

Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com

Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org)

         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.

 

From: Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2020 7:12 AM
To: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...>; Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>; josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>; Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology

 

[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...]

The important thing about the Kon-Tiki is it is a self regulating natural draft system that provides mixing and a sufficiency of PA and SA in ratio.  More vortex, as is obtained with the stronger focused convection with a heat shield, drives more PA and SA. More PA drives faster pyrolysis, greater release of gases, but also hotter walls, and more heat and updraft above the kiln, all of which drive more convection, which drives more SA for complete combustion of more pyrogas, and so on.  

So unless there is a desire to limit pyrolysis rate, or T, or a safety issue, my usual instruction is to feed the flame, making it as big as you can grow it.  Throw the new material into flame. The generated heat will soon spread flame to other areas.  Feed too fast or too slow and flame will get less.  Flame is your friend in a flame cap kiln doing all the functions you need. Growing the flame is helpful when the kiln is being used in its function of turning a cleanup job into biochar efficiently. If the flame is too big (safety issue), then this is a good time to dump in that rotting log, damper/bigger biomass, or some fresher prunings, you would like gone.  The Amazonians search out certain rotting logs to smolder in their terra preta production fire if they wanted to make a terra preta for high fertility.  

Growing the flame does not influence much the HTT.  I always found a consistent temp in the pyrolysis zone, under the flame, which dropped in a regular way as the material was increasingly covered.  Slowing (and improving) pyrolysis and lowering T may be achieved by throwing in clay, or with water sprays. The caveat on growing the flame in order to maximize biomass processing rate is if you dump a big piece in it may get buried before it has fully dried and substantially commenced full pyrolysis, which with insufficient residence time after that may result in an incompletely processed piece at the end of the day.  So there is an optimum feedstock size suitable for optimal production rate, and and a maximum size for given future session duration. Pyrolysis rate in wood, limited by drying and conductivity of wood/char is roughly 1in of thickness per hour.  When only 1.5 hour left to run before quench, limit diameter to 2in dry material (1 h to process that and 30 min for exhaustion and combustion of residual pyrogas from the kiln).  Heat shield helps, including greatly in thermal comfort around an aggressively or optimally operated kiln.  

CFD on the Kon Tiki would be a fun project.  However, I did apply quite a bit of quantitative convection modeling including with heat shield.  A thing that must be tried is to put a 55g drum chimney above the KT, with no cone.   We did inverted cone and chimney, but I did not get around to chimney with no cone. The right height is above the dead zone which is above the hole of the vortex donut.  This allows room to enter biomass, and will drag all combustion gases around the dead zone into it, and enhance updraft, hence all vortex rates and stability. The inverted cone hood does not help (it can interfere with the vortex) and is not needed, as a virtual hood will form naturally. I realized immediately in 2014 the KT is a natural draft, cylindrically symmetric, air curtain burner, hence the earlier name of flame curtain kiln.

Looks like COVID will trap us in Australia, This will be the first time I have spent a year here since 1967.

Regards...Paul



On 10/10/20, 6:57 PM, "Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <schmidt@...> wrote:

Dear all,
 
It is great to collect all these historical and technical information. What do you think about editing all this into a tBJ article?
 
Please find attached the Kon-Tiki emission paper, that Kelpie mentioned. Here we tested Kon-Tikis with different angels (between 45° to 70°), volume (0.2 to 1 m3) and materials (steel w./w.o. rim shield and hole in the ground). Essentially, the different forms, volumes, materials did not show significant differences. The most important variable is the care that the char-maker invests to maintain a continuous hot flame cap. Once the fire zone is not hot enough and smoke evolves, PM, CH4, CO emissions peak. Crucial are also the starting and the quenching phase. In the upcoming paper by Amonette et al. data will be presented that the biochar from Kon-Tiki type making can be considered at climate neutral for the first 20 to 30 years but not as a carbon sink due to the CH4 emissions. As shown in Cornelissen et al. the CH4-emissions are low compared to traditional char making or to wild fires but due to the high GWP of methane in the first 20 years, the biochar sink can only compensate the climate forcing of the methane during this first two decades.
 
>From experience, we use shallower Kon-Tiki (30-45°) for lower caloric and small sized biomass like straw, husks, cobs, leaves that pyrolyse very quickly; and deeper kilns (60 – 90°) for higher caloric but denser and more voluminous biomass like wood.
 
Attached are some further publications dedicated to flame cap pyrolysis and characterization of the resulting chars.  
 
Cheers, Hans-Peter
 

Von: Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>
Datum: Samstag, 10. Oktober 2020 um 05:40
An: Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Cc: Biochar Group <main@biochar.groups.io>, "Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology



Excellent questions Hugh. Emissions testing is the bottleneck we have to get through, if we want to

get to the next level with flame cap devices.

Jim Amonette has brought the methane issue to our attention.

So far all we have is the emissions data that HP did in Nepal. Thank you for that HP, I have used it a lot.



The biggest innovation in Flame Caps so far has been Paul Taylor's idea of adding a heat shield.

This has very fun effects on fluid and combustion dynamics and I wish we had a computational fluid dynamics

person who could look at this as an afterburner design problem.



In the meantime we all continue to tinker.

Check out some nice video of flaming vortex loops in this short video I made:

https://youtu.be/oCQ6NoY2-Fg


Kelpie



On Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 5:46 PM Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...> wrote:


List, et al.



Since we are drilling down on the flame cap option, what is the consensus on emissions and levels of unburned VOC's, methane, etc. I am concerned there is a continuous region of quenching at the limits of the flames as they dart around, leaving carbon monoxide and perhaps forming PM2.5 via the Boudouard reaction, and possibly methane forming in the lower sections of the pyrolyzing biomass that does not combust in the flame cap due to methane's high auto-ignition temperature of above 550C. In addition, the issue of transient emissions during the addition of fresh biomass and the readily observed transient smoke escaping the flame cap.



If anyone has any data, please share it and the source with the group.



Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE



On Friday, October 9, 2020, 7:13:29 PM EDT, Paul Taylor <potaylor@...> wrote:





This angle was certainly a question.  I always made the 1.2m diam kilns with 60 deg sides because with that angle you naturally maximally use a standard 1:2 format rectangular sheet.  The first KT was steeper.  The maximization of use is not quite unique for the 2 sheets needed to make bigger cones but I settled on a maximum volume achieved at about 64.5 deg and 1.65m diameter (for 1.2m x 2.4m sheets; 1.69 m diam, 67.6 deg for the 4% larger Chinese/European sheets).

The convection dynamics indicated that steep, tall sides maximized vortex strength and stability. This of course is aided by the sides being hotter, so a heat shield with proper spacing, computed from thickness of skin layers, helped in several ways.  Very shallow cones switch to a reverse vortex as you would expect with a flat sheet, as Josiah first did it, and this is the incorrect vortex shown in the Japanese drawings.  There is an intermediate shallow cone angle (<45 deg), where the two modes compete, so the vortex has no strength and stability and it is hard to maintain good fire with inimical feedstock.

A couple of reasons for cone shape seemed to be easier to start with small fire, and quicker coverage and protection of biochar in early stages by more char.   However, understanding the vortex dynamics would be strong in a vertical wall, encouraged the simplification to rings.  These could be started well and quickly with air leakage around the bottom, which was blocked once the sides were hot and updraft strong, so the vortex kicked in.  The strong vortex drives air down to the pyrolysis front, determining the rate of pyrolysis, so has importance.  The big Mokis were truncated cones with open bottom as well, but were generally not deep.

We were unsure of our success with the first running of the completely sealed bottom of the deep cone KT. In fact we did find it hard to start with a small fire in the bottom, and we learned to start a fire on top of biomass piled high up into the kiln to aid access of air to the initial fire.

A new innovation in the KT was the drain at the bottom to allow easy draining and capture of the smoke water, which opened up the method of bottom quenching with nutrient solutions.  Naturally we experimented with leaving the small drain open for starting, closing it later, but surprisingly it did not help in natural draft, which I later realized was due to the convection flows creating a low pressure under the kiln.

Paul



On 10/10/20, 6:06 AM, "tmiles@..." <tmiles@...> wrote:

Interesting history. In my conversations with both Mokei and Dr. Ogawa in Japan in 2011 he emphasized the importance of the 60 degree angle of the sides of the kiln for optimizing char production. At the time Moki was offering kilns up to 10 feet in diameter but the ones we saw in use were more like 4-6 feet in diameter.
 
Tom
 
 

From: Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2020 10:09 AM
To: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...>; Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 

Hi all: the origin for me of the flame cap was Tom Reed’s open pyramid pyrolysis, and his exemplification of it in “pinecone pyrolysis”, and of course the Jack Daniel’s method from the 1930s, which Peter Hirst presented in his chapter in the Biochar Revolution, 2010.

The cone approach for me was specifically inspired by Tom Miles in his 2011 presentation referencing the Jan 2010 paper on the use of the Moki Kiln for making biochar for the “Cool Veges” initiative: A Rural Revitalization Scheme in Japan Utilizing Biochar and Eco-Branding: The Carbon Minus Project, Kameoka City. Steven R. McGreevy, Akira Shibata,
and by this report using the Moki kiln.
Properties of Cinders from Red Pine, Black Locust and Henon Bamboo Inoue, Y ; Mogi, K ; Yoshizawa, S
APBC Kyoto 2011

That was reinforced by an article and blog by an Englishman who reported a technique of gradually pushing biomass into an open fire in a pit or trench.  In my presentations I included Tom Reeds pyramid pyrolysis and the Moki kiln to explain methods of making biochar distinct from the TLUD and the retort, and I started to design large transportable flame cap ring kilns, assembled in sections, for handling large burn piles on my property in N NSW.  Independently, in late 2012, Dolph, a neighbor here, reported making biochar in an open top, deep steel ring, which he called the Moxham.    http://biocharproject.org/charmasters-log/farm-scale-biochar/

In 2013 Kelpie also discovered and reported the gradual feeding technique for the cone kiln, and Stuart Mather drew attention to the Holy Mother Kiln that Dr Reddy reported in May 2011:  https://biocharkiln.blogspot.com   He called it a TLUD but you can start a flame cap ring in a “TLUD” mode, then convert to flame cap by closing off the primary air, thus preserving the created char and allowing more biomass to be added till the kiln is full of char.  

So 2013 was a big year for the convergent emergence of the flame cap method, I think for some of us triggered by Tom Miles presentation in 2011, but it might be considered a reprise of an earlier convergent emergence in 2009-11 of explorations by Josiah, Reddy, the Japanese, and the Englishman. It took till 2013/14 for a final breaking of the spell that making biochar required various complexities of vessels, pipes, seals, lids and chimneys.

This then was all brought to Switzerland in Jul 2014 and comingled with Hans-Peter’s provenance.  Kon Tiki was named as we first lit it because it was the first voyage of a large deep cone kiln, and we had no idea if it could work.  The name was confirmed when I discovered Kon-Tiki was a fire/sun god.  The observation of the inward rolling vortex in the Kon-Tiki (similar to back eddies familiar from rafting the Grand Canyon) were consistent with physics, and corrected the confusing unphysical convection arrows shown in the Japanese drawings.  This convection driven dynamic provided a natural draft system that conveyed a balance and sufficiency of air and mixing to both the pyrolysis and the gas combustion regions. Calculations of the convective flow velocities confirmed this, and also guided understanding of the impact of diameter and wall slope, verified by subsequent experiments.

For me this was a renewal of a much earlier origin in 1980 during my 9 month’s of studies in India. There I acquired and brought back to the US an Agni Yoga pyramid, a small copper inverted pyramid, which is used to pyrolyse a mixture of cow dung, ghee and rice hulls or other biomass in a dawn and dusk ritual to heal earth and atmosphere (with the C/ash residue being valued for soil fertility). This inspired an interest in fire as an important element to manage, which manifested in starting a company in the 1980s, Micro-organic Fuel. This combined enzyme digested rice hulls or wheat straw, coal dust, and sodium silicate, and heated them to make low S synthetic fire logs or beautiful fire-proof wood-like building materials (depending on the amount of sodium silicate).  

The cone kiln or pyramid kiln (and open flame cap kiln in general), literalized the Agni ritual into a technology to physically heal earth and atmosphere, and I began calling my workshops such.  Hans-Peter and I discussed all this as we explored all variations of shapes and sizes, including heat shields and pits, during our first Kon-Tiki runs in Switzerland.

In Australia later in 2014 with Stephen Joseph we explored snuffing with a cover consisting of combinations of Fe rich clay, compost and cold charcoal, which in a reprise of Josiah’s discovery provided a baking for at least 4 days during which spatial and temporal temperature profiles measured in the range 250-450C. This produced a layer of biochar mineral complex to mix into the biochar.

Paul

On 10/9/20, 1:50 PM, "josiah hunt" <josiahhunt@...> wrote:

Hi Paul, here is a much better copy of that Poster from the Ames Conference 2010

On Oct 8, 2020, at 5:15 PM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:

Thank you all very much.   If you think of other info or people, please contact me and the others.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/>
      Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>     Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to:
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/>
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/>
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <
schmidt@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 3:45 PM
To: josiah hunt <
josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...]
Dear Paul and all,
(adding Paul Taylor on cc)
 
I do not remember exactly if I found out about the “flame cap” / “flame curtain” principle through Kelpie’s backyard website or through Josiah’s pit demonstration. It was the one or the other but what is sure is that what we called the Kon-Tiki came after (in 2014) and was inspired by Kelpie, Josiah, Moki, Moxham, Wittman, Gilmore and the ancients. Paul (Taylor) and I described this “history” in our first article about the Kon-Tiki, the democratization of biochar production:
https://www.biochar-journal.org/en/ct/39.
Our part in the story is mainly the popularization of the Kon-Tiki through articles and open access designs and operating instructions. This led to the nice success of Kon-Tiki type constructions in > 65 countries already in 2017.
 
In our article, Paul and I also explain why we choose the Kon-Tiki as a generic name for it and why it was important to use a catchy, generic name. Outside the US, and in a growing number of scientific publications, everybody uses the name Kon-Tiki which is very helpful for the scale-up and community exchange.
 
Thanks to Kelpie and Josiah, who started this journey for all of us.
Cheers, Hans-Peter
 
Von: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>
Datum: Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2020 um 20:04
An: "Anderson, Paul" <
psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>, Tom Miles <tmiles@...>, 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>, Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology

Hello All,
 
Covergent evolution.  
 
In August 2008, I first began efforts to intentionally produce biochar.  Guided by memories of bonfires on the beach, and the large bed of coals present in the waning hours, the first fires were on flat ground and built in a way that had a fast crescendo towards a peak point, then allowed to burn to coals before quenching.  When shaping the ground after each fire and before the next, ash and char would be scraped up, and a small depression was formed, this spurred the thinking that intentionally increasing that depression would make a better bed for the coals, and could give me better air control against the air intake that happens at the sides and bottoms and directly eats the building stock of char.  Deepening the depression quickly showed positive results.  Trial and error quickly resulted in a cone shaped pit in the ground with a high back on the lee side (when incline is present).  Several pits were used for commercial production of biochar for a period lasting about 5 years.  Several hundred tons of biochar were produced in this manner during that time.
 
Quenching was performed with water in the first efforts.  Then it was discovered that a dirt cover, applied only at the end when all the wood has been carbonized, could snuff out the embers effectively and efficiently.  Dirt cover would be removed several days later during harvesting of char.  Metal roofing and several other materials were trialled for coverings.  Clay rich dirt was the favored cover material, and was re-used many times until it became more charcoal than clay, at which point it was tossed in the compost.  
 
NOTE: The soils where I was doing the majority of the commercial production fires were mostly volcanic cinder, which allowed a unique trick - the embers could gently and evenly breath just enough oxygen from the soil to keep the temperatures at or above 250C for days or even weeks if I were to let it. This allowed for a “baking” trick that is rarely repeatable.  
 
Attached is a poster I presented at the 2010 conference in Ames Iowa.  
 
- Josiah Hunt
808 936-3484

"Each generation is entitled to the interest on the natural capital, but the principal should be handed on unimpaired."
Canada’s Commission on Conservation (1915)

<image001.jpg>
 

On Oct 8, 2020, at 10:15 AM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:
 
Kelpie,    And adding Josiah Hunt to this group of recipients and Hugh because he has been following this for years.
 
It was as recent as 2012 for you  !!!   The concept came from Japan but not brought by the Japanese.   How did you come across the concept?   Was Josiah Hunt making char in pits back then?   Or when did he start and why?   
 
These stories of origins will be lost if we do not pull them together.
 
Because of you I made my first attempt with a half-barrel (longitudinal cut) in 2014, and I immediately want to the covered design with the portal in the side and chimneys, put in a provisional patent application and then in 2015 started showing the covered cavity kiln (which did not rotate to accomplish the mixing until the second half of 2019).
 
Did Hans-Peter or Kathleen or anyone else do flame cap work then or earlier?
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/>
      Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>     Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to:
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/>
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/>
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:57 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Cc:
tmiles@...; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...]
Looking at my photo records, I see that I finally figured out how to use the cone kiln in spring 2013
https://photos.app.goo.gl/U4qpskMMRBg4V4M26
I built it the year before and it took me many tries to figure out how it worked. The pictures from Japan were all I had to go on.
I gave a flash talk on the cone kiln at the 2013 USBI conference in Amherst and after that, a lot of people started experimenting with cone kilns
I then switched to pyramid and cylinder shapes because the cone was much too difficult and expensive to fabricate. The other shapes work just as well if not better, especially the cylinder.  Dolph Cooke pioneered the cylinder kilns around the same time I made my cone kiln.
Thanks for being the historian here, Paul!
 
-Kelpie
 
-Kelpie
 
 
On Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 9:09 AM Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...> wrote:


Tom,
 
Yes, roots of flame cap go back to Japan.    When did it get started, or when did you see him making biochar?
 
But sometimes there can be LOOOOONG lead up times.   Like hundreds of years for terra preta before it was becoming recognized in about 2007.    
 
Who “brought the Moki kiln to the attention of a wider audience”?   HPS and Kelpie were really early, right?   But when were their starts?    I hope they will  answer.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/>
      Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>     Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to:
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/>
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/>
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From:
tmiles@... <tmiles@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:03 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>; 'Kelpie Wilson' <kelpiew@...>; ''Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal' <schmidt@...>; 'Kathleen Draper' <draper@...>
Subject: RE: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...]
Dr. Makato Ogawa, the Moki Kiln, Japan was the first one I saw making biochar.
 
Tom
 
 
From: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2020 9:47 PM
To: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Tom Miles - Oregon - listservs <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Cc: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Subject: Origins of flame cap technology
 
Kelpie, Hans-Peter, Kathleen and Tom,
 
When and by whom did the flame cap technology begin and become recognized?   I also call  it “cavity kilns” of which there are open top and covered versions, but nothing on that occurred until 2014.   
 
We should eventually get such information recorded, but my need at the moment is to give credit to the  early innovators and the time period of origin, so general answers are fine.
 
I  hope to hear from you soon.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/>
      Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to:
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/>
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/>
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 


 

 


 


Re: Origins of flame cap technology #flamecap #technology

Geoff Thomas
 

My experience with my Pyramid Kiln, - early version from Kelpie, is that operator skill and experience makes a huge difference, I mean HUGE, ie very smokey to no smoke at all, nor any smell.

Measurement of course is still possible with any skill level, but nothing should be measured from low skill or windy days, imho.

Also, half decomposed rainforest wood is a special challenge, and too much can extinguish the burn.

Has anybody sent a copy of this discussion to Warm Heart? - They may have some info also, - certainly a huge range of Flame cap Kilns.

The area of most efficaceous usage of flame cap kilns is the wet tropics, that is a point worth considering.

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

On 10 Oct 2020, at 10:19 pm, Paul S Anderson <psanders@...> wrote:

Dear Biochar Discussion Group,
 
Some of the  messages(such as the one below)  about this Subject have not gone to the full Discussion Group.   I have collected them in to one Word file but without any editing.  If someone volunteers to write the Origins story, I can send the full file.   (I am doing  other writings at present, so not me for this job.)
 
The flame cap discussion will continue on the Discussion group.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   www.drtlud.com
         Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: www.JuntosNFP.org  
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org)
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...> 
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2020 2:57 AM
To: Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>; josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...] 
Dear all, 
 
It is great to collect all these historical and technical information. What do you think about editing all this into a tBJ article?
 
Please find attached the Kon-Tiki emission paper, that Kelpie mentioned. Here we tested Kon-Tikis with different angels (between 45° to 70°), volume (0.2 to 1 m3) and materials (steel w./w.o. rim shield and hole in the ground). Essentially, the different forms, volumes, materials did not show significant differences. The most important variable is the care that the char-maker invests to maintain a continuous hot flame cap. Once the fire zone is not hot enough and smoke evolves, PM, CH4, CO emissions peak. Crucial are also the starting and the quenching phase. In the upcoming paper by Amonette et al. data will be presented that the biochar from Kon-Tiki type making can be considered at climate neutral for the first 20 to 30 years but not as a carbon sink due to the CH4 emissions. As shown in Cornelissen et al. the CH4-emissions are low compared to traditional char making or to wild fires but due to the high GWP of methane in the first 20 years, the biochar sink can only compensate the climate forcing of the methane during this first two decades. 
 
From experience, we use shallower Kon-Tiki (30-45°) for lower caloric and small sized biomass like straw, husks, cobs, leaves that pyrolyse very quickly; and deeper kilns (60 – 90°) for higher caloric but denser and more voluminous biomass like wood. 
 
Attached are some further publications dedicated to flame cap pyrolysis and characterization of the resulting chars.  
 
Cheers, Hans-Peter
 
Von: Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>
Datum: Samstag, 10. Oktober 2020 um 05:40
An: Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Cc: Biochar Group <main@biochar.groups.io>, "Schmidt, Hans-Peter" <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
Excellent questions Hugh. Emissions testing is the bottleneck we have to get through, if we want to 
get to the next level with flame cap devices. 
Jim Amonette has brought the methane issue to our attention.
So far all we have is the emissions data that HP did in Nepal. Thank you for that HP, I have used it a lot.
 
The biggest innovation in Flame Caps so far has been Paul Taylor's idea of adding a heat shield. 
This has very fun effects on fluid and combustion dynamics and I wish we had a computational fluid dynamics
person who could look at this as an afterburner design problem. 
 
In the meantime we all continue to tinker.
Check out some nice video of flaming vortex loops in this short video I made:
 
Kelpie
 
On Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 5:46 PM Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...> wrote:
List, et al.
 
Since we are drilling down on the flame cap option, what is the consensus on emissions and levels of unburned VOC's, methane, etc. I am concerned there is a continuous region of quenching at the limits of the flames as they dart around, leaving carbon monoxide and perhaps forming PM2.5 via the Boudouard reaction, and possibly methane forming in the lower sections of the pyrolyzing biomass that does not combust in the flame cap due to methane's high auto-ignition temperature of above 550C. In addition, the issue of transient emissions during the addition of fresh biomass and the readily observed transient smoke escaping the flame cap.
 
If anyone has any data, please share it and the source with the group.
 
Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE
 
On Friday, October 9, 2020, 7:13:29 PM EDT, Paul Taylor <potaylor@...> wrote:
 
 

This angle was certainly a question.  I always made the 1.2m diam kilns with 60 deg sides because with that angle you naturally maximally use a standard 1:2 format rectangular sheet.  The first KT was steeper.  The maximization of use is not quite unique for the 2 sheets needed to make bigger cones but I settled on a maximum volume achieved at about 64.5 deg and 1.65m diameter (for 1.2m x 2.4m sheets; 1.69 m diam, 67.6 deg for the 4% larger Chinese/European sheets).

The convection dynamics indicated that steep, tall sides maximized vortex strength and stability. This of course is aided by the sides being hotter, so a heat shield with proper spacing, computed from thickness of skin layers, helped in several ways.  Very shallow cones switch to a reverse vortex as you would expect with a flat sheet, as Josiah first did it, and this is the incorrect vortex shown in the Japanese drawings.  There is an intermediate shallow cone angle (<45 deg), where the two modes compete, so the vortex has no strength and stability and it is hard to maintain good fire with inimical feedstock. 

A couple of reasons for cone shape seemed to be easier to start with small fire, and quicker coverage and protection of biochar in early stages by more char.   However, understanding the vortex dynamics would be strong in a vertical wall, encouraged the simplification to rings.  These could be started well and quickly with air leakage around the bottom, which was blocked once the sides were hot and updraft strong, so the vortex kicked in.  The strong vortex drives air down to the pyrolysis front, determining the rate of pyrolysis, so has importance.  The big Mokis were truncated cones with open bottom as well, but were generally not deep. 

We were unsure of our success with the first running of the completely sealed bottom of the deep cone KT. In fact we did find it hard to start with a small fire in the bottom, and we learned to start a fire on top of biomass piled high up into the kiln to aid access of air to the initial fire. 

A new innovation in the KT was the drain at the bottom to allow easy draining and capture of the smoke water, which opened up the method of bottom quenching with nutrient solutions.  Naturally we experimented with leaving the small drain open for starting, closing it later, but surprisingly it did not help in natural draft, which I later realized was due to the convection flows creating a low pressure under the kiln.

Paul



On 10/10/20, 6:06 AM, "tmiles@..." <tmiles@...> wrote:

Interesting history. In my conversations with both Mokei and Dr. Ogawa in Japan in 2011 he emphasized the importance of the 60 degree angle of the sides of the kiln for optimizing char production. At the time Moki was offering kilns up to 10 feet in diameter but the ones we saw in use were more like 4-6 feet in diameter. 
 
Tom
 
 

From: Paul Taylor <potaylor@...> 
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2020 10:09 AM
To: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <schmidt@...>; Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 

Hi all: the origin for me of the flame cap was Tom Reed’s open pyramid pyrolysis, and his exemplification of it in “pinecone pyrolysis”, and of course the Jack Daniel’s method from the 1930s, which Peter Hirst presented in his chapter in the Biochar Revolution, 2010. 

The cone approach for me was specifically inspired by Tom Miles in his 2011 presentation referencing the Jan 2010 paper on the use of the Moki Kiln for making biochar for the “Cool Veges” initiative: A Rural Revitalization Scheme in Japan Utilizing Biochar and Eco-Branding: The Carbon Minus Project, Kameoka City. Steven R. McGreevy, Akira Shibata, 
and by this report using the Moki kiln.
Properties of Cinders from Red Pine, Black Locust and Henon Bamboo Inoue, Y ; Mogi, K ; Yoshizawa, S
APBC Kyoto 2011

That was reinforced by an article and blog by an Englishman who reported a technique of gradually pushing biomass into an open fire in a pit or trench.  In my presentations I included Tom Reeds pyramid pyrolysis and the Moki kiln to explain methods of making biochar distinct from the TLUD and the retort, and I started to design large transportable flame cap ring kilns, assembled in sections, for handling large burn piles on my property in N NSW.  Independently, in late 2012, Dolph, a neighbor here, reported making biochar in an open top, deep steel ring, which he called the Moxham.    http://biocharproject.org/charmasters-log/farm-scale-biochar/

In 2013 Kelpie also discovered and reported the gradual feeding technique for the cone kiln, and Stuart Mather drew attention to the Holy Mother Kiln that Dr Reddy reported in May 2011:  https://biocharkiln.blogspot.com   He called it a TLUD but you can start a flame cap ring in a “TLUD” mode, then convert to flame cap by closing off the primary air, thus preserving the created char and allowing more biomass to be added till the kiln is full of char.  

So 2013 was a big year for the convergent emergence of the flame cap method, I think for some of us triggered by Tom Miles presentation in 2011, but it might be considered a reprise of an earlier convergent emergence in 2009-11 of explorations by Josiah, Reddy, the Japanese, and the Englishman. It took till 2013/14 for a final breaking of the spell that making biochar required various complexities of vessels, pipes, seals, lids and chimneys.

This then was all brought to Switzerland in Jul 2014 and comingled with Hans-Peter’s provenance.  Kon Tiki was named as we first lit it because it was the first voyage of a large deep cone kiln, and we had no idea if it could work.  The name was confirmed when I discovered Kon-Tiki was a fire/sun god.  The observation of the inward rolling vortex in the Kon-Tiki (similar to back eddies familiar from rafting the Grand Canyon) were consistent with physics, and corrected the confusing unphysical convection arrows shown in the Japanese drawings.  This convection driven dynamic provided a natural draft system that conveyed a balance and sufficiency of air and mixing to both the pyrolysis and the gas combustion regions. Calculations of the convective flow velocities confirmed this, and also guided understanding of the impact of diameter and wall slope, verified by subsequent experiments. 

For me this was a renewal of a much earlier origin in 1980 during my 9 month’s of studies in India. There I acquired and brought back to the US an Agni Yoga pyramid, a small copper inverted pyramid, which is used to pyrolyse a mixture of cow dung, ghee and rice hulls or other biomass in a dawn and dusk ritual to heal earth and atmosphere (with the C/ash residue being valued for soil fertility). This inspired an interest in fire as an important element to manage, which manifested in starting a company in the 1980s, Micro-organic Fuel. This combined enzyme digested rice hulls or wheat straw, coal dust, and sodium silicate, and heated them to make low S synthetic fire logs or beautiful fire-proof wood-like building materials (depending on the amount of sodium silicate).  

The cone kiln or pyramid kiln (and open flame cap kiln in general), literalized the Agni ritual into a technology to physically heal earth and atmosphere, and I began calling my workshops such.  Hans-Peter and I discussed all this as we explored all variations of shapes and sizes, including heat shields and pits, during our first Kon-Tiki runs in Switzerland.

In Australia later in 2014 with Stephen Joseph we explored snuffing with a cover consisting of combinations of Fe rich clay, compost and cold charcoal, which in a reprise of Josiah’s discovery provided a baking for at least 4 days during which spatial and temporal temperature profiles measured in the range 250-450C. This produced a layer of biochar mineral complex to mix into the biochar.

Paul

On 10/9/20, 1:50 PM, "josiah hunt" <josiahhunt@...> wrote:
Hi Paul, here is a much better copy of that Poster from the Ames Conference 2010

<image001.jpg>
On Oct 8, 2020, at 5:15 PM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:

Thank you all very much.   If you think of other info or people, please contact me and the others.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com<http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>      Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org<http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com<http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org<http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Schmidt, Hans-Peter <
schmidt@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 3:45 PM
To: josiah hunt <
josiahhunt@...>; Anderson, Paul <psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; Tom Miles <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>; Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>; Paul Taylor <potaylor@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report toabuse@...] 
Dear Paul and all, 
(adding Paul Taylor on cc)
 
I do not remember exactly if I found out about the “flame cap” / “flame curtain” principle through Kelpie’s backyard website or through Josiah’s pit demonstration. It was the one or the other but what is sure is that what we called the Kon-Tiki came after (in 2014) and was inspired by Kelpie, Josiah, Moki, Moxham, Wittman, Gilmore and the ancients. Paul (Taylor) and I described this “history” in our first article about the Kon-Tiki, the democratization of biochar production: 
https://www.biochar-journal.org/en/ct/39.
Our part in the story is mainly the popularization of the Kon-Tiki through articles and open access designs and operating instructions. This led to the nice success of Kon-Tiki type constructions in > 65 countries already in 2017.
 
In our article, Paul and I also explain why we choose the Kon-Tiki as a generic name for it and why it was important to use a catchy, generic name. Outside the US, and in a growing number of scientific publications, everybody uses the name Kon-Tiki which is very helpful for the scale-up and community exchange. 
 
Thanks to Kelpie and Josiah, who started this journey for all of us.
Cheers, Hans-Peter 
 
Von: josiah hunt <josiahhunt@...>
Datum: Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2020 um 20:04
An: "Anderson, Paul" <
psanders@...>
Cc: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>, Tom Miles <tmiles@...>, 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>, Kathleen Draper <draper@...>, Hugh McLaughlin <hsmclaughlin@...>
Betreff: Re: Origins of flame cap technology

Hello All, 
 
Covergent evolution.  
 
In August 2008, I first began efforts to intentionally produce biochar.  Guided by memories of bonfires on the beach, and the large bed of coals present in the waning hours, the first fires were on flat ground and built in a way that had a fast crescendo towards a peak point, then allowed to burn to coals before quenching.  When shaping the ground after each fire and before the next, ash and char would be scraped up, and a small depression was formed, this spurred the thinking that intentionally increasing that depression would make a better bed for the coals, and could give me better air control against the air intake that happens at the sides and bottoms and directly eats the building stock of char.  Deepening the depression quickly showed positive results.  Trial and error quickly resulted in a cone shaped pit in the ground with a high back on the lee side (when incline is present).  Several pits were used for commercial production of biochar for a period lasting about 5 years.  Several hundred tons of biochar were produced in this manner during that time. 
 
Quenching was performed with water in the first efforts.  Then it was discovered that a dirt cover, applied only at the end when all the wood has been carbonized, could snuff out the embers effectively and efficiently.  Dirt cover would be removed several days later during harvesting of char.  Metal roofing and several other materials were trialled for coverings.  Clay rich dirt was the favored cover material, and was re-used many times until it became more charcoal than clay, at which point it was tossed in the compost.  
 
NOTE: The soils where I was doing the majority of the commercial production fires were mostly volcanic cinder, which allowed a unique trick - the embers could gently and evenly breath just enough oxygen from the soil to keep the temperatures at or above 250C for days or even weeks if I were to let it. This allowed for a “baking” trick that is rarely repeatable.  
 
Attached is a poster I presented at the 2010 conference in Ames Iowa.  
 
- Josiah Hunt
808 936-3484

"Each generation is entitled to the interest on the natural capital, but the principal should be handed on unimpaired."
Canada’s Commission on Conservation (1915)

<image001.jpg>
 
On Oct 8, 2020, at 10:15 AM, Anderson, Paul <psanders@...> wrote:
 
Kelpie,    And adding Josiah Hunt to this group of recipients and Hugh because he has been following this for years.
 
It was as recent as 2012 for you  !!!   The concept came from Japan but not brought by the Japanese.   How did you come across the concept?   Was Josiah Hunt making char in pits back then?   Or when did he start and why?   
 
These stories of origins will be lost if we do not pull them together.
 
Because of you I made my first attempt with a half-barrel (longitudinal cut) in 2014, and I immediately want to the covered design with the portal in the side and chimneys, put in a provisional patent application and then in 2015 started showing the covered cavity kiln (which did not rotate to accomplish the mixing until the second half of 2019). 
 
Did Hans-Peter or Kathleen or anyone else do flame cap work then or earlier?
 
Paul 
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@... <mailto:psanders@...>     Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:57 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Cc: 
tmiles@...; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Subject: Re: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report toabuse@...] 
Looking at my photo records, I see that I finally figured out how to use the cone kiln in spring 2013
https://photos.app.goo.gl/U4qpskMMRBg4V4M26
I built it the year before and it took me many tries to figure out how it worked. The pictures from Japan were all I had to go on.
I gave a flash talk on the cone kiln at the 2013 USBI conference in Amherst and after that, a lot of people started experimenting with cone kilns
I then switched to pyramid and cylinder shapes because the cone was much too difficult and expensive to fabricate. The other shapes work just as well if not better, especially the cylinder.  Dolph Cooke pioneered the cylinder kilns around the same time I made my cone kiln.
Thanks for being the historian here, Paul!
 
-Kelpie
 
-Kelpie
 
 
On Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 9:09 AM Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...> wrote:

Tom,
 
Yes, roots of flame cap go back to Japan.    When did it get started, or when did you see him making biochar?
 
But sometimes there can be LOOOOONG lead up times.   Like hundreds of years for terra preta before it was becoming recognized in about 2007.    
 
Who “brought the Moki kiln to the attention of a wider audience”?   HPS and Kelpie were really early, right?   But when were their starts?    I hope they will  answer.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@...<mailto:psanders@...>      Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 
From: 
tmiles@... <tmiles@...> 
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:03 AM
To: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>; 'Kelpie Wilson' <kelpiew@...>; ''Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal' <schmidt@...>; 'Kathleen Draper' <draper@...>
Subject: RE: Origins of flame cap technology
 
[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to abuse@...] 
Dr. Makato Ogawa, the Moki Kiln, Japan was the first one I saw making biochar.
 
Tom
 
 
From: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...> 
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2020 9:47 PM
To: Kelpie Wilson <
kelpiew@...>; 'Hans-Peter Schmidt' - Switzerland - Nepal <schmidt@...>; Tom Miles - Oregon - listservs <tmiles@...>; Kathleen Draper <draper@...>
Cc: Anderson, Paul <
psanders@...>
Subject: Origins of flame cap technology
 
Kelpie, Hans-Peter, Kathleen and Tom,
 
When and by whom did the flame cap technology begin and become recognized?   I also call  it “cavity kilns” of which there are open top and covered versions, but nothing on that occurred until 2014.   
 
We should eventually get such information recorded, but my need at the moment is to give credit to the  early innovators and the time period of origin, so general answers are fine.
 
I  hope to hear from you soon.
 
Paul
 
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:   
www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com>  <http://www.drtlud.com/> 
       Email:  psanders@...       Skype:   paultlud
         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 
www.JuntosNFP.org <http://www.JuntosNFP.org>  <http://www.juntosnfp.org/> 
Inventor of RoCC kilns for biochar and energy:  See  
www.woodgas.com <http://www.woodgas.com>  <http://www.woodgas.com/> 
Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies atwww.capitalism21.org <http://www.capitalism21.org>  <http://www.capitalism21.org/> )
         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.
 

 
 

 
-- 
Email: kelpiew@...
Mobile: 541-218-9890
Time zone: Pacific Time, USA
Skype: kelpie.wilson


Re: Lab to test for pathogens in biochar charged with human urine? #analysis #urine #pathogen

Nando Breiter
 

... expose the urine to sunlight before adding it to the char ...


CarbonZero Sagl
CP 15
6999 Astano
Switzerland

+41 76 303 4477 cell / WhatsApp
skype: ariamedia




On Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 12:37 AM Nando Breiter <nando@...> wrote:
To inform myself, I found in a quick google search that urine from someone with a urinary tract infection can commonly contain (be caused by) e coli and fecal coliform, and rarely salmonella and shigella. 

There is a technique to purify water by using UV from sunlight - by putting it in a clear plastic bottle. Perhaps it would be sufficient to expose the urine to sunlight in a clear container. See https://www.cdc.gov/safewater/solardisinfection.html


CarbonZero Sagl
CP 15
6999 Astano
Switzerland

+41 76 303 4477 cell / WhatsApp
skype: ariamedia




On Sat, Oct 10, 2020 at 10:12 PM mikethewormguy via groups.io <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Kevin,

I would test the urine before applying it to the char

I would recommend creating a lot system for the urine collection for the purpose of traceability. The volume of the lot is based on risk management and not on science.  It is a business decision.

Each lot should be tested and the lot test data provided to the grower.

The pathogens we test for include generic Ecoli, Salmonella,  fecal coliform, and shigella toxin. Here in the US these test take around 5 days to get done and cost around $100 total.

You may want to consider a "kill" step using either dropping the pH or adding an essential oil.  The kill step provides assurance that no matter what happens upstream, the material applied to the crop is pathogen free at the time of delivery.

In addition, are you familiar with HACCP....?  Hazard Analysis Crtical Control Points is a food safety approach that maps all of the steps in a process where a contaminant, physical, biological, chemical, can enter the process. 

Food Safety is all about risk management. Lot control is all about limiting the size of your risk.

my 3 cents 

Mike, a Food Safety/ HACCP auditor in a prior life.......


--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: Lab to test for pathogens in biochar charged with human urine? #analysis #urine #pathogen

Nando Breiter
 

To inform myself, I found in a quick google search that urine from someone with a urinary tract infection can commonly contain (be caused by) e coli and fecal coliform, and rarely salmonella and shigella. 

There is a technique to purify water by using UV from sunlight - by putting it in a clear plastic bottle. Perhaps it would be sufficient to expose the urine to sunlight in a clear container. See https://www.cdc.gov/safewater/solardisinfection.html


CarbonZero Sagl
CP 15
6999 Astano
Switzerland

+41 76 303 4477 cell / WhatsApp
skype: ariamedia




On Sat, Oct 10, 2020 at 10:12 PM mikethewormguy via groups.io <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Kevin,

I would test the urine before applying it to the char

I would recommend creating a lot system for the urine collection for the purpose of traceability. The volume of the lot is based on risk management and not on science.  It is a business decision.

Each lot should be tested and the lot test data provided to the grower.

The pathogens we test for include generic Ecoli, Salmonella,  fecal coliform, and shigella toxin. Here in the US these test take around 5 days to get done and cost around $100 total.

You may want to consider a "kill" step using either dropping the pH or adding an essential oil.  The kill step provides assurance that no matter what happens upstream, the material applied to the crop is pathogen free at the time of delivery.

In addition, are you familiar with HACCP....?  Hazard Analysis Crtical Control Points is a food safety approach that maps all of the steps in a process where a contaminant, physical, biological, chemical, can enter the process. 

Food Safety is all about risk management. Lot control is all about limiting the size of your risk.

my 3 cents 

Mike, a Food Safety/ HACCP auditor in a prior life.......


--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland

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