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Bioenergy in Agriculture 1929. not just hot air Co-production of Biochar and Heat 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Bioenergy in Agriculture 1929. not just hot air Co-production of Biochar and Heat 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bioenergy in Agriculture 1929

2 not just hot air Co-production of Biochar and Heat 2008

3 Brian Burt and Ruth Hayward Growers and Retailers of Annuals, Perennials and Shrubs 50,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses 40,000 sq. ft. of outdoor coverable heated beds 6 retail garden centers from Belleville to Kingston Right handed hired man: Alex English Programmer : Colin Beckingham

4 ing

5 Capabilities We are also Early adopters of technology from computer systems to biological controls Developers of new technologies (hardware and software) The builders or improvers of many of the components which now make up our heating system not graphic artists

6 Were Curious about Biochar, Pyrolysis and Soil Fertility We aim to: Produce char to support research in agriculture and environment Prove viability of co-generation of biochar and heat Develop a new marketable product

7 Lessons from the World of Top Lit Up Draft Stoves (T-LUD) or Low Tech Char Making Stoves After Years of Working with Stoves and Combustion Analyzers

8 Air starved pyrolysis can be easy


10 1. Minimize under fuel air for Gas Quality and an option for Char 2. Foster a flame ceiling for Low Emissions

11 What changes going from Stoves to Boilers Batch to Continuous Vertical to Horizontal

12 Now Scale it Up with a Blue Flame Stoker : The chain grate is a 150 year old concept. Start animationanimation Start empty stoker filmempty stoker film

13 Char Production Added air lock and better valves to our existing chain grate stoker to gain control of all combustion air Allows for air starved pyrolysis of fuel Low velocity and particulate entrainment Reduced Particulate Emissions ? Start combustion moviemovie

14 Chain Grate Pyrolysis front, Gas fog, Flame curtain, Flaming ceiling

15 Process Considerations Under fuel air or hot gas recirculation Grate speed X 3-9, Transit Time Char Temperature (800C +/- 100C) Steady state operation and heat storage Modulation and thermal flywheels Control inputs? Automated Oxygen trim for over fuel air control and clean gas combustion (O2 8-12% in stack sample) (CO as low as 0%) Very low fuel moisture, auto pyrolysis?

16 Process Monitoring

17 Combustion Monitoring

18 Fuel or Feed stock

19 ok




23 Biochar Feed Stock Moisture content <20% Particle size, fines and pile dynamics? Contaminants, heavy metals and hardware Dirty demolition waste Clean construction waste? Green Buildings and Green (Black)Roof Crop Residues, Straw and Stover (clinker solution?) Switchgrass and Miscanthus (self quenching ?) Pellets, Cubes, Chopped (<4cm) Rotary dryer

24 Char handling Play movie 1movie 1 Particle size (ultra light fines) Air lock (water or mechanical) Cooling (water or time) < 100C at pipe end Wetting, Ageing, Composting Automation (barn conveyor, sludge pump, magnets)

25 Char acteristics Lehmann J 2007 Bio-energy in the black. Frontiers in Ecology and the EnvironmentFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment

26 Char Quality (PAHs)

27 Char Yield and Thermal Loss 0-23% Char 0~45% Thermal loss 2X fuel cost rule for minimum char production cost Chips at $50 tonne =char at ~$100 tonne @20% yield char valued @ 5X the fuel cost covers the total fuel cost.

28 BioChar Sales wholesale or retail Bagged garden soils $2-$5 25 litre bag Bulk $200-$600 tonne Horticultural peat mixes ~ $400 Tonne Calcined Clay? Stalite (kiln expanded slate)?

29 Collaborators Dr. Paul Voroney of Guelph University Dr. Pascale Champagne of Queens University Scott Environmental Group, Norterra Organics Kingston, Ontario Local enthusiastic farmers and gardeners, both large and small

30 The path to achieving sustainable agriculture involves moving from an acceptance of the status quo to a redesign of the whole agricultural system. Stuart Hill Ecological Agriculture Project McGill University MacDonald College Thank You

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