Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:36 PM
i like the idea of starting gasification at this level, recovering the waste heat
for heating home, shop, greenhouse and work on using woodgas for ICE later.
A couple of questions, does the wood need to be chipped or can i bypass
the top auger feed for bigger chucks or sticks? If so will it auger out the
bottom after made into char if not chipped first. Or is it worth it to take
the step to chip everything? Would be nice to not have to.
How about best ways to recover waste heat? i was thinking of keeping it
all outside and heating water and send it inside to a tank and hydronic
heating, but don't know much about heat exchangers, do you have ideas
on best type of heat exchanger for grabbing the heat from the BEK?
Also would the biochar be an appropriate charcoal for a charcoal gasifier?
It looks like you will be introducing reactors for charcoal at some point,
I really appreciate the work you folks are doing.
I am in Southern Maine are there any GEK owners in the area?
Posted 22 September 2009 - 05:48 AM
The BEK will allow you to be able to experiment with different sizes of biomass up to the diameter of the unit in theory. The larger the chunk of fuel will take longer for pyrolysis. Although it would take less energy to chip it after pyrolysis. Also to the extent that you could recover heat from the unit, it would have to maintain about 400C for the pyrolysis reaction but energy can be recovered from the flare. Charcoal that has been completely pyrolyzed can be used to start the GEK.
I encourage this type of interesting project! Do you have a biochar unit that you can play with?
We do have a GEK in southern Maine near Nobleboro.
Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:23 PM
Thanks for your informative response.
i do not have a Biochar unit, can you suggest something simple to build.
i am interested in the BEK but need to get the money together first.
i would like to see the unit in Nobleboro, Me.[not far for me] if you can tell me who to contact.
i would also like to see you guys at some point. Do you have any
workshops on the horizon?
I have done web searches on Biochar units, but mostly just find simple
2 barrel retorts. Would a FEMA unit work for making biochar.
Is there a lot of heat from the flare on the BEK? Do you have ideas about
how to recover this heat for heating water or...
My thoughts at this point are to do it outside and just send hot water to the house for safety reasons, but don't really know.
I have been reading on the net for about a year, and feel ready to get my
hands dirty. It has been a while since i felt this interested in something.
i really appreciate the good work you people are doing.
Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:49 AM
While the FEMA gasifier will give you some char after gasification, it is worthwhile to test the pH of the char. Some char that has been oxidized and elevated to higher temperatures it seems that some researchers have found a more basic char to form. This makes since in the way that there is higher percentage of ash per mass of char, and ash is basic. Adding basic char to your soil could change your soil chemistry in unpredictable ways with different crops. Being able to control these specifically to making biochar and their results to crops is something that we find important that people like your self can being to experiment with. You can test pH of the soil by adding some isopropyl alcohol (neutral) to some soil or char while monitoring with a pH meter.
The BEK has a control option to be able to recycle the hot gas through a retort along with air coming in to control the temperature. The flare could be set up with a heat exchanger to heat water. Also the feeding auger and the char-out auger would allow you to be able to control the time that the wood chips are subjected to a given temperature inside the reactor. This is helpful in characterizing biochar. When you are able to educate others about biochar, maybe you could sell it to your neighbors to help fund your project?
I would recommend doing this outside and routing the hot water inside the house. The hot gasses and flare should be away from the house.
I think it would be more appropriate for us to send your contact information to our customers in Maine for them to contact you. You can send me your contact info at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you tried any of the other designs?
Posted 24 September 2009 - 04:03 AM
That all makes a lot of sense and makes it clearer. Maine soil tend to
be acidic but i can see that biochar is a deep topic worthy of study.
I have yet to build a single gasifier, but i was a welder for 10 years before
becoming a photographer. I find the science of gasification a bit overwhelming
but am enthused by the possibilities and i like to build stuff.
But i have no desire to reinvent the wheel when others have worked so
hard. There is still plenty of room for creativity in the implementation.
Do you guys have a ballpark price for the kit unwelded.
Also will you be posting the plans?
Posted 13 November 2009 - 05:37 PM
I do have some numbers over on that other thread, but they're kind of general.
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