Topics

Waste cardboard, paper, newspaper, as feedstock #feedstock


Shaked From
 

Hi everyone,

For a few years now I’ve been using all the waste paper, news paper and cardboard that ends up in my house hold as feedstock for biochar, I use a 200 litre drum TLUD, leftover bones, fruit stones, egg shells, etc. go in the same drum at the same time.
i usually roll the cardboard and paper into ‘log’ shapes and stack in the drum with the rest mixed in..
for a while I had the postie dropping me all the leftover newspaper stacks, and those would go in as well.
i find using those materials as feedstock very practical as it all comes in similar enough thicknesses, it all comes dry, and it’s very easy to powder.

I have a few questions that I have not found peaceful with yet..

1. Toxicity in newspapers, I was told that only heavy metals could be an issue after going through such temperatures, and from my google style research it seems that it is very uncommon for newsprint to have any heavy metals involved any more..?

2. The quality of the char? I had not manage to find much research on the characteristics of char made of these materials, has anyone got access to such information? Has own experience?

3. In terms of CO2e, does it makes sense?
it seems that maybe these materials are being effectively recycled? Maybe for that reason this carbon is already in a ‘safe’ cycle? Maybe taking these out of the cycle means more trees are being chopped down unnecessarily? Or is it that at some point these materials end up rotting somewhere meaning the carbon is back in the atmosphere and so biochar is the safest? Etc...

I’m considering these both because of my small little thing, but also in terms of thinking of the local ‘rubbish and recycling’ facility and the amount of paper and such there...

Regards


Teel, Wayne
 

Shaked From:

 

While I can’t answer your questions completely, I can at least give a partial answer.  Most inks are now soy based and are not toxic.  If there is metal in paper it is coming from the pulping process as an unintended side effect.  The biggest danger from paper comes from bleaching with chlorine.  When you burn chlorine bleached paper without an extremely hot, high oxygen fire, you can get dioxins, which are carcinogenic.  I don’t think newsprint is bleached this way, but the advertising inserts sometimes are.

 

Paper is primarily cellulose fibers which are separated from lignin in the pulping process.  This means the cellular structure of the original material (you can make paper from more than just wood) is gone.  I have not looked at charred paper under a scanning electron microscope, but I imagine that the resulting images would look quite different.  The activity of biochar is dependent on surface area, which includes internal surface area of the ground biochar.  I would also guess, again without proof, that most of the powdery paper biochars’ would have high surface area, but no internal surface, making them more like 1:1 clay (kaolinite) in activity rather than like 2:1 clays (montmorillinite or smectites) which have separable layers and a lot higher cation exchange capacity. 

 

In terms of CO2 making biochar from paper makes sense.  Paper does not recycle well, it only downcycles.  High quality depends on fiber length, which is why softwoods like pine make better paper than hardwoods like oak.  When you take use paper and remake paper you shorten the fiber length so you can only use it for lower grade material.  After a few cycles it does not work anymore and has to go in compost or the soil.  (Cradle to Cradle, by Bill McDonough and Michael Brungart, is excellent on this subject.)  Sadly we tend to landfill the material and in an anaerobic environment it eventually gives off methane.  So charring the newspaper is probably good for CO2, saving more carbon for the long term.  As for the quality of biochar it makes, I will let others, like Hugh McLaughlin or Steven Joseph answer that part.

 

Wayne

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Shaked From
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2019 3:59 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: [Biochar] Waste cardboard, paper, newspaper, as feedstock #feedstock

 

Hi everyone,

For a few years now I’ve been using all the waste paper, news paper and cardboard that ends up in my house hold as feedstock for biochar, I use a 200 litre drum TLUD, leftover bones, fruit stones, egg shells, etc. go in the same drum at the same time.
i usually roll the cardboard and paper into ‘log’ shapes and stack in the drum with the rest mixed in..
for a while I had the postie dropping me all the leftover newspaper stacks, and those would go in as well.
i find using those materials as feedstock very practical as it all comes in similar enough thicknesses, it all comes dry, and it’s very easy to powder.

I have a few questions that I have not found peaceful with yet..

1. Toxicity in newspapers, I was told that only heavy metals could be an issue after going through such temperatures, and from my google style research it seems that it is very uncommon for newsprint to have any heavy metals involved any more..?

2. The quality of the char? I had not manage to find much research on the characteristics of char made of these materials, has anyone got access to such information? Has own experience?

3. In terms of CO2e, does it makes sense?
it seems that maybe these materials are being effectively recycled? Maybe for that reason this carbon is already in a ‘safe’ cycle? Maybe taking these out of the cycle means more trees are being chopped down unnecessarily? Or is it that at some point these materials end up rotting somewhere meaning the carbon is back in the atmosphere and so biochar is the safest? Etc...

I’m considering these both because of my small little thing, but also in terms of thinking of the local ‘rubbish and recycling’ facility and the amount of paper and such there...

Regards


winter.julien
 

Hi All;

Paper balls have been used in TLUD stoves for a while now.  The first reference to them I know of is
Davis, Jeff.  2006.  Fireballs: agglomerations of biomass.  Glow (A publication of the Asia Regional Cookstove Program) Vol. 38: 6-8, August 2006.

There is a video of them being used in Bangladesh.

The flame doesn't have as much yellow and is somewhat blue to transparent.  That may be due to the high proportion of cellulose.

They are not being promoted in Bangladesh at the moment, because their safety of the biochar is unknown.

Julien.





On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 5:56 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Shaked From:

 

While I can’t answer your questions completely, I can at least give a partial answer.  Most inks are now soy based and are not toxic.  If there is metal in paper it is coming from the pulping process as an unintended side effect.  The biggest danger from paper comes from bleaching with chlorine.  When you burn chlorine bleached paper without an extremely hot, high oxygen fire, you can get dioxins, which are carcinogenic.  I don’t think newsprint is bleached this way, but the advertising inserts sometimes are.

 

Paper is primarily cellulose fibers which are separated from lignin in the pulping process.  This means the cellular structure of the original material (you can make paper from more than just wood) is gone.  I have not looked at charred paper under a scanning electron microscope, but I imagine that the resulting images would look quite different.  The activity of biochar is dependent on surface area, which includes internal surface area of the ground biochar.  I would also guess, again without proof, that most of the powdery paper biochars’ would have high surface area, but no internal surface, making them more like 1:1 clay (kaolinite) in activity rather than like 2:1 clays (montmorillinite or smectites) which have separable layers and a lot higher cation exchange capacity. 

 

In terms of CO2 making biochar from paper makes sense.  Paper does not recycle well, it only downcycles.  High quality depends on fiber length, which is why softwoods like pine make better paper than hardwoods like oak.  When you take use paper and remake paper you shorten the fiber length so you can only use it for lower grade material.  After a few cycles it does not work anymore and has to go in compost or the soil.  (Cradle to Cradle, by Bill McDonough and Michael Brungart, is excellent on this subject.)  Sadly we tend to landfill the material and in an anaerobic environment it eventually gives off methane.  So charring the newspaper is probably good for CO2, saving more carbon for the long term.  As for the quality of biochar it makes, I will let others, like Hugh McLaughlin or Steven Joseph answer that part.

 

Wayne

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Shaked From
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2019 3:59 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: [Biochar] Waste cardboard, paper, newspaper, as feedstock #feedstock

 

Hi everyone,

For a few years now I’ve been using all the waste paper, news paper and cardboard that ends up in my house hold as feedstock for biochar, I use a 200 litre drum TLUD, leftover bones, fruit stones, egg shells, etc. go in the same drum at the same time.
i usually roll the cardboard and paper into ‘log’ shapes and stack in the drum with the rest mixed in..
for a while I had the postie dropping me all the leftover newspaper stacks, and those would go in as well.
i find using those materials as feedstock very practical as it all comes in similar enough thicknesses, it all comes dry, and it’s very easy to powder.

I have a few questions that I have not found peaceful with yet..

1. Toxicity in newspapers, I was told that only heavy metals could be an issue after going through such temperatures, and from my google style research it seems that it is very uncommon for newsprint to have any heavy metals involved any more..?

2. The quality of the char? I had not manage to find much research on the characteristics of char made of these materials, has anyone got access to such information? Has own experience?

3. In terms of CO2e, does it makes sense?
it seems that maybe these materials are being effectively recycled? Maybe for that reason this carbon is already in a ‘safe’ cycle? Maybe taking these out of the cycle means more trees are being chopped down unnecessarily? Or is it that at some point these materials end up rotting somewhere meaning the carbon is back in the atmosphere and so biochar is the safest? Etc...

I’m considering these both because of my small little thing, but also in terms of thinking of the local ‘rubbish and recycling’ facility and the amount of paper and such there...

Regards



--
Julien Winter
Cobourg, ON, CANADA


Tom Miles
 

Jeff did a lot of experiments with fireballs in the 2006-2008 time frame. You can see some of the pictures and notes on the Stoves.bioenergylists.org pages:

https://stoves.bioenergylists.org/search/node/fireball

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of winter.julien
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2019 9:44 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Waste cardboard, paper, newspaper, as feedstock #feedstock

 

Hi All;

 

Paper balls have been used in TLUD stoves for a while now.  The first reference to them I know of is

Davis, Jeff.  2006.  Fireballs: agglomerations of biomass.  Glow (A publication of the Asia Regional Cookstove Program) Vol. 38: 6-8, August 2006.

 

There is a video of them being used in Bangladesh.

 

The flame doesn't have as much yellow and is somewhat blue to transparent.  That may be due to the high proportion of cellulose.

 

They are not being promoted in Bangladesh at the moment, because their safety of the biochar is unknown.

 

Julien.

 

 

 

 

 

On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 5:56 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Shaked From:

 

While I can’t answer your questions completely, I can at least give a partial answer.  Most inks are now soy based and are not toxic.  If there is metal in paper it is coming from the pulping process as an unintended side effect.  The biggest danger from paper comes from bleaching with chlorine.  When you burn chlorine bleached paper without an extremely hot, high oxygen fire, you can get dioxins, which are carcinogenic.  I don’t think newsprint is bleached this way, but the advertising inserts sometimes are.

 

Paper is primarily cellulose fibers which are separated from lignin in the pulping process.  This means the cellular structure of the original material (you can make paper from more than just wood) is gone.  I have not looked at charred paper under a scanning electron microscope, but I imagine that the resulting images would look quite different.  The activity of biochar is dependent on surface area, which includes internal surface area of the ground biochar.  I would also guess, again without proof, that most of the powdery paper biochars’ would have high surface area, but no internal surface, making them more like 1:1 clay (kaolinite) in activity rather than like 2:1 clays (montmorillinite or smectites) which have separable layers and a lot higher cation exchange capacity. 

 

In terms of CO2 making biochar from paper makes sense.  Paper does not recycle well, it only downcycles.  High quality depends on fiber length, which is why softwoods like pine make better paper than hardwoods like oak.  When you take use paper and remake paper you shorten the fiber length so you can only use it for lower grade material.  After a few cycles it does not work anymore and has to go in compost or the soil.  (Cradle to Cradle, by Bill McDonough and Michael Brungart, is excellent on this subject.)  Sadly we tend to landfill the material and in an anaerobic environment it eventually gives off methane.  So charring the newspaper is probably good for CO2, saving more carbon for the long term.  As for the quality of biochar it makes, I will let others, like Hugh McLaughlin or Steven Joseph answer that part.

 

Wayne

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Shaked From
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2019 3:59 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: [Biochar] Waste cardboard, paper, newspaper, as feedstock #feedstock

 

Hi everyone,

For a few years now I’ve been using all the waste paper, news paper and cardboard that ends up in my house hold as feedstock for biochar, I use a 200 litre drum TLUD, leftover bones, fruit stones, egg shells, etc. go in the same drum at the same time.
i usually roll the cardboard and paper into ‘log’ shapes and stack in the drum with the rest mixed in..
for a while I had the postie dropping me all the leftover newspaper stacks, and those would go in as well.
i find using those materials as feedstock very practical as it all comes in similar enough thicknesses, it all comes dry, and it’s very easy to powder.

I have a few questions that I have not found peaceful with yet..

1. Toxicity in newspapers, I was told that only heavy metals could be an issue after going through such temperatures, and from my google style research it seems that it is very uncommon for newsprint to have any heavy metals involved any more..?

2. The quality of the char? I had not manage to find much research on the characteristics of char made of these materials, has anyone got access to such information? Has own experience?

3. In terms of CO2e, does it makes sense?
it seems that maybe these materials are being effectively recycled? Maybe for that reason this carbon is already in a ‘safe’ cycle? Maybe taking these out of the cycle means more trees are being chopped down unnecessarily? Or is it that at some point these materials end up rotting somewhere meaning the carbon is back in the atmosphere and so biochar is the safest? Etc...

I’m considering these both because of my small little thing, but also in terms of thinking of the local ‘rubbish and recycling’ facility and the amount of paper and such there...

Regards



--

Julien Winter
Cobourg, ON, CANADA


Shaked From
 

Thank you for the information and references.

just as a side track, my method of charing the materials described has been as in the pictures below:
The kiln I have used is based on the design found here which showed a very clean burn with hardly any visible smoke, very good draw and perfectly charred material.
(I hope this method of placing the pictures in the text box is going to work)


d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

I am inclined to think that Wayne has hit on the key issues: (1) inks today do not pose a toxicity risk and (2) paper does not have a better future as something else.



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

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

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

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


On Fri, Dec 20, 2019 at 1:30 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Jeff did a lot of experiments with fireballs in the 2006-2008 time frame. You can see some of the pictures and notes on the Stoves.bioenergylists.org pages:

https://stoves.bioenergylists.org/search/node/fireball

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of winter.julien
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2019 9:44 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Waste cardboard, paper, newspaper, as feedstock #feedstock

 

Hi All;

 

Paper balls have been used in TLUD stoves for a while now.  The first reference to them I know of is

Davis, Jeff.  2006.  Fireballs: agglomerations of biomass.  Glow (A publication of the Asia Regional Cookstove Program) Vol. 38: 6-8, August 2006.

 

There is a video of them being used in Bangladesh.

 

The flame doesn't have as much yellow and is somewhat blue to transparent.  That may be due to the high proportion of cellulose.

 

They are not being promoted in Bangladesh at the moment, because their safety of the biochar is unknown.

 

Julien.

 

 

 

 

 

On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 5:56 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Shaked From:

 

While I can’t answer your questions completely, I can at least give a partial answer.  Most inks are now soy based and are not toxic.  If there is metal in paper it is coming from the pulping process as an unintended side effect.  The biggest danger from paper comes from bleaching with chlorine.  When you burn chlorine bleached paper without an extremely hot, high oxygen fire, you can get dioxins, which are carcinogenic.  I don’t think newsprint is bleached this way, but the advertising inserts sometimes are.

 

Paper is primarily cellulose fibers which are separated from lignin in the pulping process.  This means the cellular structure of the original material (you can make paper from more than just wood) is gone.  I have not looked at charred paper under a scanning electron microscope, but I imagine that the resulting images would look quite different.  The activity of biochar is dependent on surface area, which includes internal surface area of the ground biochar.  I would also guess, again without proof, that most of the powdery paper biochars’ would have high surface area, but no internal surface, making them more like 1:1 clay (kaolinite) in activity rather than like 2:1 clays (montmorillinite or smectites) which have separable layers and a lot higher cation exchange capacity. 

 

In terms of CO2 making biochar from paper makes sense.  Paper does not recycle well, it only downcycles.  High quality depends on fiber length, which is why softwoods like pine make better paper than hardwoods like oak.  When you take use paper and remake paper you shorten the fiber length so you can only use it for lower grade material.  After a few cycles it does not work anymore and has to go in compost or the soil.  (Cradle to Cradle, by Bill McDonough and Michael Brungart, is excellent on this subject.)  Sadly we tend to landfill the material and in an anaerobic environment it eventually gives off methane.  So charring the newspaper is probably good for CO2, saving more carbon for the long term.  As for the quality of biochar it makes, I will let others, like Hugh McLaughlin or Steven Joseph answer that part.

 

Wayne

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Shaked From
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2019 3:59 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: [Biochar] Waste cardboard, paper, newspaper, as feedstock #feedstock

 

Hi everyone,

For a few years now I’ve been using all the waste paper, news paper and cardboard that ends up in my house hold as feedstock for biochar, I use a 200 litre drum TLUD, leftover bones, fruit stones, egg shells, etc. go in the same drum at the same time.
i usually roll the cardboard and paper into ‘log’ shapes and stack in the drum with the rest mixed in..
for a while I had the postie dropping me all the leftover newspaper stacks, and those would go in as well.
i find using those materials as feedstock very practical as it all comes in similar enough thicknesses, it all comes dry, and it’s very easy to powder.

I have a few questions that I have not found peaceful with yet..

1. Toxicity in newspapers, I was told that only heavy metals could be an issue after going through such temperatures, and from my google style research it seems that it is very uncommon for newsprint to have any heavy metals involved any more..?

2. The quality of the char? I had not manage to find much research on the characteristics of char made of these materials, has anyone got access to such information? Has own experience?

3. In terms of CO2e, does it makes sense?
it seems that maybe these materials are being effectively recycled? Maybe for that reason this carbon is already in a ‘safe’ cycle? Maybe taking these out of the cycle means more trees are being chopped down unnecessarily? Or is it that at some point these materials end up rotting somewhere meaning the carbon is back in the atmosphere and so biochar is the safest? Etc...

I’m considering these both because of my small little thing, but also in terms of thinking of the local ‘rubbish and recycling’ facility and the amount of paper and such there...

Regards



--

Julien Winter
Cobourg, ON, CANADA


Ron Larson
 

Shaked From:   cc list

You have raised some interesting new TLUD  issues with the four photos given in your message below.

Your “here” in the text refers back to Josh Kearns who has done much of the best work with improving water quality through “Aqueous Solutions”.  You have found it better apparently to not use the upper 200 liter “chimney”.  Any comments on time and material savings for your single barrel approach?

I don’t recall anyone reporting an input biomass assortment like you show.

This was your first photo - which was quite surprising to me in terms of having pieces running both vertically and horizontally.  Ever have any problems with getting an unintentional path from top to bottom through one of the rolls?   (Having a flat pyrolysis front?)

Are you satisfied with the quality of the char made from cardboard and (I presume) sometimes paper?


I don’t need to show the second photo, which had twigs in the center of a ring of rolled up cardboard - but here looking much more uniform..  Same questions on running OK always?
 


In this third photo, are the whitish pieces bones that you threw in before starting the next run?
The intent was mainly to to show the size and spring of the air holes?
Do the bones come out quite black?  Brittle enough to break apart??




Thanks for sharing this new (to me) loading approach.

I’m envious of the scene in the fourth photo.

To the rest of the biochar list - anyone else?

Ron



On Dec 20, 2019, at 1:05 AM, Shaked From <shakedfrom@...> wrote:

Thank you for the information and references.

just as a side track, my method of charing the materials described has been as in the pictures below:
The kiln I have used is based on the design found here which showed a very clean burn with hardly any visible smoke, very good draw and perfectly charred material.
(I hope this method of placing the pictures in the text box is going to work)
<A77FCBD5-7436-4CFE-AD7B-965FF91DB2B1.jpeg><44E372F0-1DA5-4F75-8628-F59B5D2AF70C.jpeg><5285E853-8ED5-442F-BA6C-24B8B9975059.jpeg><43CE22A9-F9AA-4297-8171-F8466CF92536.jpeg>


Shaked From
 

Hi Rob,
thanks for the questions, I’ll try to answer best I can.
I’m also just about to run another burn as material is piling up, I’ll be able to share more pictures, what is the best way to do that?
I’m sharing land with an organic market gardener, and waste cardboard seem to be an abundant resource.

in terms of your questions:
1. The picture with the bones at the bottom was aimed at showing the bottom of the kiln, I don’t tend to place the bones at the bottom as it’s the place receiving least heat, and bones do not seem to char well there.

2. I usually start with a bottom layer of sticks, to make sure that the flatness of paper does not block any air intake, the sticks allow even distribution of air. The picture showing the sticks also shows the next layer up of rolled cardboard, starting the stacking from the outside and not yet complete in the center, the sticks are only at the bottom layer.

3. Stacking the rolls of cardboard, paper, newspaper works well, and does not seem to matter upright or horizontal.

4. Nut shells or tree bark when available work well as a complete layer.

5. Bones, egg shells, fruit stones, avocado skins and other such material seem to char best scattered evenly through the paper/ cardboard mass in the top part of the drum.

6. In terms of the design of the kiln, I have seen ‘aqueous solutions’ using both of the approaches, the 2nd drum as a chimney or a third of a drum attached to a flue as a chimney, I chose the later as I had the flue and it seemed lighter and easier to remove at the end of the burn.
i followed their design exactly, and I am very happy with it, I have used TLUDs before, and this one is the cleanest burn homemade TLUD I have constructed and used.

7. Regarding the question about my satisfaction with the resulted char... I’m not sure, which is why I shared this material to start with.
its all charred right through, including the bones, has no smell or taste, washes off easily with a bit of water, soaks up liquid well, and powders without effort, but I had not managed to find any information on the structural characteristics of paper/cardboard char, and I had not run any field trials.

i have been using that char in 2 main ways:
1. Mixed with grass clippings or wood shavings in our composting toilets, so every time someone does their thing they add a handful of the mix into the chamber, once full it sits for six months to decompose, red worms are abundant in the chamber too, after six months the compost is used in the garden or as part of seed raising mix.

2. Our family lives from the farm animals and our garden, and urine is an important resource.
my understanding is that each liter of urine has approximately 10ml of N, and that bacteria consumes approximately 5:1 C:N, so I either mix 50ml of humates with every liter of urine, and that’s spread onto the garden / forest garden (diluted).
Or the urine goes into the dry paper and co. biochar to soak for a few days, then the liquid (black urine) is watered into the garden, and the saturated biochar is forked into the garden soil.

i should run some simple field tests.

as well, I read somewhere about a characterisation project? Aiming to link feedstock, pyrolysis method and resulted biochar?
I had not managed to find the database, is this in existence? Common knowledge to this list? How would one get access to the information? And has anyone seen some info on the structural characteristics of paper/cardboard biochar?

hope I clarified a few points.. :-)

happy celebrations
which ever you carry


Ron Larson
 

Shaked From:  cc list

Thanks a great deal.    See inserts.


On Dec 27, 2019, at 3:27 AM, Shaked From <shakedfrom@...> wrote:

Hi Rob,
thanks for the questions, I’ll try to answer best I can.
I’m also just about to run another burn as material is piling up, I’ll be able to share more pictures, what is the best way to do that?
[RWL:   Doing same is fine by me.

I’m sharing land with an organic market gardener, and waste cardboard seem to be an abundant resource.

in terms of your questions:
1. The picture with the bones at the bottom was aimed at showing the bottom of the kiln, I don’t tend to place the bones at the bottom as it’s the place receiving least heat, and bones do not seem to char well there.
[RWL:   Gotcha.  See note below on possible BLDD to replace TLUD operation - which would keep the bones low.

2. I usually start with a bottom layer of sticks, to make sure that the flatness of paper does not block any air intake, the sticks allow even distribution of air. The picture showing the sticks also shows the next layer up of rolled cardboard, starting the stacking from the outside and not yet complete in the center, the sticks are only at the bottom layer.
      [RWL:  I thought I was looking at topmost layer.  Thanks for noting this.

3. Stacking the rolls of cardboard, paper, newspaper works well, and does not seem to matter upright or horizontal.

4. Nut shells or tree bark when available work well as a complete layer.
[RWL:   Intresting that you think in terms of layers.  I have not previously heard that.

5. Bones, egg shells, fruit stones, avocado skins and other such material seem to char best scattered evenly through the paper/ cardboard mass in the top part of the drum.

6. In terms of the design of the kiln, I have seen ‘aqueous solutions’ using both of the approaches, the 2nd drum as a chimney or a third of a drum attached to a flue as a chimney, I chose the later as I had the flue and it seemed lighter and easier to remove at the end of the burn.
i followed their design exactly, and I am very happy with it, I have used TLUDs before, and this one is the cleanest burn homemade TLUD I have constructed and used.

7. Regarding the question about my satisfaction with the resulted char... I’m not sure, which is why I shared this material to start with.
its all charred right through, including the bones, has no smell or taste, washes off easily with a bit of water, soaks up liquid well, and powders without effort, but I had not managed to find any information on the structural characteristics of paper/cardboard char, and I had not run any field trials.

i have been using that char in 2 main ways:
1. Mixed with grass clippings or wood shavings in our composting toilets, so every time someone does their thing they add a handful of the mix into the chamber, once full it sits for six months to decompose, red worms are abundant in the chamber too, after six months the compost is used in the garden or as part of seed raising mix.

2. Our family lives from the farm animals and our garden, and urine is an important resource.
my understanding is that each liter of urine has approximately 10ml of N, and that bacteria consumes approximately 5:1 C:N, so I either mix 50ml of humates with every liter of urine, and that’s spread onto the garden / forest garden (diluted).
Or the urine goes into the dry paper and co. biochar to soak for a few days, then the liquid (black urine) is watered into the garden, and the saturated biochar is forked into the garden soil.

i should run some simple field tests.
[RWL:  Looks like you are doing everything right.  I look forward to hearing what happens as you compare different amounts vs a control. 

as well, I read somewhere about a characterisation project? Aiming to link feedstock, pyrolysis method and resulted biochar?
I had not managed to find the database, is this in existence? Common knowledge to this list? How would one get access to the information?
[RWL:   There is a H-P Schmidt paper on this I’ll try to find.  Also compares good (seasoned) and bad (raw) char.

And has anyone seen some info on the structural characteristics of paper/cardboard biochar?
[RWL:  I’ll try to look tomorrow   I don’t recall any.


hope I clarified a few points.. :-)
[RWL:  Yup.   You’re really on to something new I think.  New and likely important.

Re the BLDD idea - I will try to send more - but the basic idea is to use your existing 200 liter barrel exactly as is - but light at the bottom.  Open (cold top).  The needed downdraft supplied by the existing tall (small diameter) chimney a few feet away.  Flames to travel horizontally those few feet in a trench in the ground - covered by a piece of steel (on which you could cook/boil something (sort of like a Plancha).  I’m claiming not much new equipment needed except the flat horizontal steel plate.

The probable main new problem is getting a fire stated at the base.  Second need is for a way to regulate the needed secondary air.

A proposed advantage over TLUD operation is early being able to start with small height of fuel (better draft) and keep adding fuel until the barrel is totally full rather than half(?) full.

I don’t know of this ever being tried.  For most of us a major difficulty - but you have most of the gear already.

Again - thanks for doing what you are doing.  

Ron. (Not Rob)


happy celebrations
which ever you carry


Thomas Vincent
 

Hello,

I would not worry too much about toxicity. As others have noted, modern inks are usually soy based. Paint and preservatives in wood are another matter entirely.

If you are happy with the char you get, that’s great. Speaking for myself the few times I have tried to make biochar from paper and cardboard I have been very disappointed. At normal biochar temperatures paper and cardboard seem to result in both high levels of ash and lots of unburnt material. When quenched, the resulting mixtures that I get from paper are usually a wet gooey, sloppy mess.

That being said, I LOVE cardboard as a sheet mulch and weed barrier. My compost worms love soggy cardboard too. 😄


Norm Baker
 

I agree totally with Tom's assessment for cardboard in a TLUD. I tried it once a few years back and it was a dismal failure - way too much ash and no structure to what little char I created. Used as a weed preventative and sheet mulch it is great - composts in place, slows the growth of weeds enough to prevent a lot of problems and I have never seen a problem except when I did not get enough mulch on top and had the wind come up and blow it all over the yard. Great use for something that is a pain to recycle.

Norm