[Stoves] Fwd: Stoves Digest, Vol 12, Issue 30

Nat of WorldStove nataniele at aim.com
Sat Aug 13 22:44:17 PDT 2011


Dear All,
Forgive me for not cutting off the thread (as per well established and wise list rules) but the thread is fairly important here.


I'll make this short and promise to have a more detailed answer by the end of the week when I am back at my home base and have time to provide you all with a well documented reply.


Charcoal making IS a problem here in Rwanda, as it is in much of this continent, and there ARE advantages to not using all the fuel in a stove.  Crispin is right about Rwanda, it is a very difference country in many remarkable ways which would seem to make a biochar program more applicable here, as we have seen this month and over the two years of set up that Inyenyeri has done to establish a nationwide luciastove program here. That said, we have had many successful programs, including Uganda, so I do not think it is the case that there are places biochar would not work. 


I am a firm believer that the value of the remaining energy present in char energetically, economically  and environmentally far out way the advantage that an extra 10-18 minutes of cooking would provide. This view seems to be recognized by both the governments and the indigenous groups we have the fortune of working for/with.


Much more at the end of the week


cheers form Nat of WorldStove (in Giseny) who considers himself fortunate to be able to call both Crispin and Ron dear and respected friends and who is a great admirer of Alex






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Sent: Sun, Aug 14, 2011 3:16 am
Subject: Stoves Digest, Vol 12, Issue 30


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Today's Topics:

   1. Replies re illegalities and benefits of char.
      (rongretlarson at comcast.net)
   2. Re: re Charcoal in Gambia/ WorldStove char in Rwanda
      (Alex English)
   3. Re: re Charcoal in Gambia/ WorldStove char in Rwanda
      (Fireside Hearth)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 20:47:08 +0000 (UTC)
From: rongretlarson at comcast.net
To: Discussion of biomass <stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org>,    Crispin
    Pemberton-Pigott <crispinpigott at gmail.com>
Subject: [Stoves] Replies re illegalities and benefits of char.
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    <373992346.108333.1313268428847.JavaMail.root at sz0133a.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net>
    
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Stove list: 

In advance - apologies. I am combining answers to 3 different messages from 
yesterday - all pretty much directed to me. Sorry for the length but glad I have 
generated this much discussion on an important stove topic. 

1. From George (Gambia) on the 12th, quoting me (and he responding in blue) 

a. "Partly this can be done locally, but also these same unemployed can plant 
and manage trees. They can also prepare wood of the proper type for shipment to 
cities for use in pyrokyzing stoves (and thosecity people save in the process). 
The same tree used as wood can probably cook for 4 to 5 times as many people (I 
have seen the number 7). And the properly managed tree (and its roots) will not 
be savaged - but rather coppiced. 
Well yes I can say that sitting here to - let's start with Texas. I heard they 
seem to have alot of spare land available now and because they too have been 
mismanaging their resources they just have discovered that water actually can be 
recycled. Not really sure where you got these figures from but i'd be interested 
to get hold of one of these stoves that increases efficiency of ANY fuel by 700 
%! 
[RWL1a: Please re-read my sentence, I did not say what you are saying I said. 
Crispin (below) has it right. We are talking about the whole process of getting 
energy out of an input biomass. Many of us believe that a pyrolyzing stove can 
be twice as efficient as a charcoal-burning jiko. Many of us believe that the 
(illegal) production of char out in the bush is getting at best about 1/3 of the 
available wood energy into the char. Put these together and you have a factor of 
6 - and there are cases that are worse. And the illegal charcoal-maker is not 
planting trees, whereas someone making char legally might well be. 

There is a good reason for most laws and I hate to see the subject of illegal 
charcoal making going undiscussed. 
I thought this is a stove discussen forum? [RWL1b: I was the first stoves list 
coordinator fifteen years ago - and can guarantee that we have talked a lot on 
this list about the horrors of what illegal char-making out in the bush can do. 
I saw it from a year in Sudan and the errors behind charcoal-using stoves is the 
main reason I started talking about this - before there was a stoves list. I 
write now from a climate perspective, but deforestation and desertification is 
just as important (and reversing these are the best way to solve our climate 
problems.) We don't have much discussion here on jikos - but this is all about 
replacing them.] 


2. From Ngwasiri P Ndasi (Cameroon), who wrote yesterday: 

"rongretlarson; in response to your question 

Does anyone know of any African country where char production is considered a 
plus for the economy? 

In cameroon where i live, biochar is really not known but charcool production 
actually is a plus to the economy and soical life of the people. This is due to 
the wide application of charcoal in house hold revenue generating activities. 
For exaple, about 20% of household depend on roasting fish at night by the road 
sides which they sell to take care of their families and more than 66% of the 
population consume roasted fish in the evening. semilar senarios are seen in the 
roasting of corn or miaze and plums 

[RWL2: You answered the question only from the perspective of char users and 
char makers. That is fair and your answer might be partially right - as I was 
not sufficiently explicit. I meant Government (example Cameroon) lawmakers, 
administrators, planners - folks who are looking down the road a decade or two. 
Please let me know if you think those who are looking out for the general, not a 
few individual, Cameroon welfare would agree with your response. 
My point is that those folk will be a lot better off if they can be given an 
alternative - and that alternative is Biochar. They will spend less for cooking 
the fish and they will leave (via a more porductive soil) a better future for 
their children. 
I searched around quite a while for more on the illegality of char-making in the 
Cameroon - but didn't find a definitive answer. I found plenty of mention that 
50% of the country's logging is illegal. There are probably plenty who say that 
income is needed by needy rural folk also. 
The key word here is sustainabililty - and I ask you whether you personally feel 
that Cameroon is on a sustainable path as regards cooking energy and biomass 
resources? 
Take a look at this document, which summarizes what I am trying to get across - 
and has a little on Cameroon. Dan Kammen has since moved to a very senior 
position at the World Bank: 

http://rael.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/very-old-site/Kammen.charcoal.pdf 


3. Yesterday, Crispin wrote the following: 




Dear Stovers with a Sense of Duty 



As Ron (as usual) and Paal (as usual) have both taken time out of their busy 
days to make derogatory comments about me mixed together with partially informed 
(as we all are) and incomplete proposals to interfere with the natural, economic 
and social environments of whole nations, I will take the time to make an 
extended comment on the subject of charcoal, its production and use. 




RWL: I was a little surprised to see that I had made a derogatory comment. In 
the following I don't see any, but if so I apologize - that was not my intent. I 
consider Crispin to be very bright on many stove topics - just not all, and 
least on the value of charcoal in being a key part of our serious climate 
problems. I am not going to comment much on anything related to Paal, but think 
Crispin has not responded adequately to what I consider correct and pretty mild 
remarks from Paal. I don't think Paal is guilty of what he was accused of. My 
main concern in this part of the message is that we are talking past each other. 
Paal and are are talking climate issues. These are basically not of concern to 
Crispin. The word "climate" is rarely in a Crispin message to the list (I get a 
lot). The word "soil" is acknowledged a little - but not in the sense of my 
message last night to this list showing big dollar earnings and savings (roughly 
equal) through the use of a pyrolyzing stove (
 I have received one off-list message saying I may change that some). I look 
forward to Crispin's explaining where my last night's example calculation was in 
error (it was only an example - it won't be true everywhere). The beauty of the 
pyrolyzing stoves that makes and uses the char in the ground is that the value 
is cumulatively growing - faster than linearly. A char-making stove user is 
making more from the stove in the fifth year than the first. My example never 
used the concept of a carbon credit. 


I believe the gist of Crispin's following arguments to Paal are that the energy 
content of the char from a char-making stove is more valuable than the value 
if/when the char is put into the ground. This is probably true in most places, 
because we (the world)have not agreed that global warming is a huge problem. I 
am responding in part to make that case, but mostly to say that pyrolyzing 
(char-making) stoves are the nearest thing we have to a cost-effective carbon 
negative solution. A lot can be learned through this list as the rest of the 
world catches up. I believe my economic argument last night can be extended from 
$ to energy (joules) as well. If one is getting doubled soil productivity with 
garden plants, we can likely do the same with Jatropha hedges, anything that can 
go into a pellet, and managed forests. To not burn a piece of char does not mean 
that life cycle energy has been reduced - any more than in my example for 
dollars. Repeating - in a positive sentence - pla
 cing char in the ground can ease both future energy problems and future cash 
flow problems. Biochar use is an investment, not an expense. 





The next page or so is Crispin responding to Paal's ">": 





> Biochar has come to be, no doubt about that, and what happen in Cambia is what 
will happen allover as long as you have charcoal fans like Crispin and others. 



Paal, you are (again) quite out of line to blame me for what happened to the 
forest in the Gambia. It is not helping your argument to turn erect a straw man 
of your choosing to knock down. You should listen more carefully to what I 
write, not just fling words at me and others who do not agree with your sweeping 
partial arguments made in support of your stove product. Your enthusiasm to 
assist the people on the ground is overcoming the social restraint needed to 
discuss the implications for societies of the grand schemes thought up on their 
behalf. 



> People are desperate for money. 



Yes, but are they more desperate for money than we are to promote our favourite 
solutions to their problems? Perhaps not. Can?t be sure. So also the people in 
also the financial district in London where they burn (your) money to implement 
their favourite schemes. 



> The low prices of charcoal will lead to more use of forest, probably short 
time cheaper household energy, but also competition about the resources for 
production of charcoal. 



The first question to ask is why the price is still so low if there is no forest 
to cut down. Two reason stand out: it is not from Gambia, and people can?t 
afford to pay more (though there are 1/3 higher prices in the richer parts of 
Banjul). So that is a supply-side argument, and an absolute poverty argument. As 
it tends to, the market sorted out what the price should be. The charcoal market 
exists because it is financially viable and the resources are there. 



> The women of Richards will loose their material for making briquettes with the 
enormous quantities char needed for soil improvement. 



Let me rephrase that: the briquette makers are now using a variety of materials 
and processing them into briquettes. Char dust is one ingredient. At the moment 
there is nearly no competition for this resource ? it is lying on the ground at 
the markets. The amount of char needed to achieve a meaningful amount of soil 
improvement is large. 



If the special conditions needed to turn cooking char into soil amendment exist, 
it may be in Rwanda. Nat is implementing an experiment there on a large enough 
scale that it can be viewed as a test bed, an experiment. If it succeeds or 
fails does not mean it is automatically possible to do it somewhere else. There 
are many factors at play in something that complex. I hope it works because in 
theory it is a great plan. I also hope that it is not dependent on ?carbon 
trading? (CO 2 offset selling) to be economically viable because there are many 
unintended consequences that emerge from subsidised behaviours. 



> Taken into consideration the fact, the losses of combustible gases lost by 
production of charcoal, could nearby cover the need of household energy for 
people using charcoal for cooking. 



This has always been true. Let?s stick with tree charcoal for a moment. The 
difficulty has been to deal with the reality of where the wood is, where the 
charcoal use is, and to overcome the huge logistical problems of moving the tree 
logs from where they are to where the cooking is done (mostly cities), chopping 
and drying them into a size suited to the stoves and to producing stoves on a 
meaningful scale that can cook acceptably using the available material. We are 
not talking yet about making char, we are talking about the energy ?lost? 
turning wood into charcoal and cooking with the result. 



Paal, you have several times stated that the losses are huge and, in effect, 
proposed that if the wood were instead put into a stove to make charcoal, and 
perhaps burn that too, there would be a gain in energy available. You have 
offered numbers that suggest the very low charcoal conversion efficiency and 
cooking efficiency indicate that charcoal as a fuel should be banned completely. 
I have countered with an alternative solution and alternative analysis. I 
suggest that the conversion efficiency of charcoal can easily and inexpensively 
be increased a great deal ? approximately tripled. The solutions already exist. 
Next, the waste from the present production process should not be left I the 
forests and fields but sent to town as well to go into briquette production. 
That would increase the net efficiency. Then I proposed that the stoves be 
increased in cooking efficiency by approximately 100% - solutions exist here 
too. 



I have also described in detail the calculated energy flow showing that even at 
present, there is not much difference between cooking with an inefficient wood 
fire and charcoal, taking the original tree into consideration as the raw 
material. The reason is simple: crummy charcoal stoves are much more efficient 
than crummy wood stoves. When one contemplates (fantasizes) that the charcoal 
production and cooking are done using much better technologies and skill, the 
charcoal fire again comes out looking very good compared with wood. Why? Because 
high quality, consistent, high carbon fuels are more efficient than inconsistent 
wooden branches. Because cities do not (yet) produce enough domestic energy 
fuels, ?energy carriers? are imported from outside. Charcoal has more energy 
density (29.7 MJ/kg) so it is cheaper to transport. It is also much easier to 
load and unload, and easier to transport by bicycle. It is more profitable to 
move on any scale and thus the impact of providing 
 the energy can be spread over a larger geographical region. It can involve more 
people in the energy business as a part-time occupation spreading the money 
farther. Everything that works against these benefits will have negative 
consequences for people and the environment so be careful what you propose as 
sweeping changes to whole communities. 



> By changing to charcoal-producing TLUD stoves, whatever Crispin will try to 
tell us, you will utilize this gases for cooking and in addition have about 20% 
char left, which could go back to soil improvement. 



This of course has nothing to do with the argument that the energy ?lost? 
producing charcoal (outside town) could be used for cooking. It is a separate 
argument. Let us examine it. 



A TLUD stove uses wood or other biomass to cook. A top-lit up-draft stove does 
not necessarily produce charcoal so we have to be clear: some TLUD?s produce 
cooking heat and ash, some produce cooking heat and if operated correctly at the 
end of the burn, leave unburned charcoal in various amounts. Top-lighting is an 
ignition technique and has been used for centuries to make low-smoke fires. Boy 
Scouts used it when I was young. It produces a smoke burning fire. Now that the 
stove body encloses the fire, it has become controllable to the point that the 
flame is primarily a non-carbon burning one which turns out to be very easy to 
make clean and hot. About ? the carbon in the fuel is burned, the other half is 
not ? but only with some stoves. It is not inherent in a TLUD. IT is inherent in 
certain designs. The initial attraction was not to the char, it was to the very 
low smoke level that was measured. ?TLUD?s burn clean!? was the cry from the 
lab. Well, yeah, they usually do. Now
 , how about burning all the fuel? After all, the main energy content of biomass 
fuel is in the carbon. 



Not all the TLUD?s are good at burning the carbon (we are still talking about 
air-dried wood as a fuel). They had a lot of totally dry char left over which 
contained a significant percentage of the original heat content. If 20% of the 
original mass of the fuel is left, it will be about 0.5% ash and 85-90% Carbon 
with an energy content of about 30 MJ/kg which is about 40% of the original heat 
content. The proposal is that the TLUD stove cook with the same raw fuel (wood 
that use to be charcoaled) and that 40% of the heat will be lost, but charcoal 
will remain. I have pointed out that if you do not increase the thermal 
efficiency of the stove by more than enough to compensate for this loss, more 
fuel will have to be gathered to put into the stove to finish cooking. You can?t 
take energy out without a compensating increase in efficiency. 



To recap: you have delivered wood to the city and it has about 16 MJ/kg. You can 
burn it directly in a fire at a certain efficiency. Or you can turn it into 
chunks suitable for TLUD stoves and use about 10 MJ of the heat, leaving 6 MJ in 
the form of charcoal. That is the alternative offer. Well, to cook with the same 
amount of fuel the TLUD stove will have to be 1.6 times more efficient than the 
wood stove. If someone offers an improved wood stove, say 35% efficient, the 
TLUD will have to be 56% efficient to compete on an energy basis. That is a 
steep challenge but, possible I would say. I just haven?t seen it yet. 



To get out 25% or 30% charcoal only makes the challenge more?.challenging! 



Then comes the argument (confessing that the efficiency challenge is impossible) 
that switching to other forms of biomass will fill in the missing raw fuel 
requirement. The proposal is that non-woody biomass can be used instead of wood 
so the efficiency challenge is avoided. Paal, this is your main argument: don?t 
burn wood at all, burn something else. But as you also pointed out, this creates 
demand for the raw materials people making briquettes from non-woody biomass 
also want. OK, for the moment let?s suppose those biomass resources exist in 
some communities for at least part of the year. 



There are two proposals: burn the fuel completely, or burn it and extract the 
charcoal. The same argument above applies: show that you have enough fuel (we 
agree there is for the moment) to overcome the ?inefficiency? of subtracting 40% 
of the energy in the form of char. Arguments resting on PM and smoke do not 
apply because we have all sorts of clean burning stoves around these days. This 
is purely an energy question. Assuming the biomass exists, there is a net gain 
in the available energy supply. No doubt about it. Whether or not it is char 
burning or producing only changes the amount of input material needed. 



> You would have a win/win situation. By changing from charcoal to TLUD, you 
will have more energy, better health, higher agriculture yields, forest 
conservation , more jobs, better household economy. What more do you ned? 



We would have a win-win. It is not necessary to ?change to a TLUD? we need to 
make char producing stoves. I do not want to limit inventers to one type of 
stove layout. Any non-woody biomass burning stove can deliver the win-win. The 
TLUD is one way of doing that, assuming the biomass is available. We could even 
produce char, we could collect it (additional energy), we could sent it to the 
fields (additional energy), we could still cook. Great. 



When proposing this great idea we have NO IDEA what the unintended consequences 
of the proposed transformation will be, only the fantasized intended 
consequences. That is why they are called ?unintended consequences?. As we move 
into the field, our fantasies may be turned into realities, and at the same time 
the unintended consequences will also emerge to be dealt with, if possible. 



The first reality is that the biomass energy does not exist in some places. It 
is sometimes already being burned whole (Harare), turned into briquettes 
(Nairobi?), or recycled into the gardens and fields (everywhere). That problem 
could be overcome by importing it from rural areas but the cost per unit of 
benefit is much higher than with wood of charcoal because of volume and the low 
energy density. The viable radius is small(er). From an energy audit point of 
view it would be far better for rural folk to turn their biomass into charcoal 
pellets and ship them efficiently to the city. But that promotes charcoal! Oh 
dear! And we have been told charcoal is bad. And what about the wasted energy in 
the grass-charring process? Well, I said above that we are assuming the biomass 
exists for this so let?s char it as an alternative. 



Stop charcoaling trees, and charcoal non-woody biomass. How does that look? 
Looks pretty good! No trees cut, charcoal pellets produced (a-la-AD Karve) and 
can be done on a small scale. Still involves charcoal trade to the cities, but 
this time no tree cutting involved. The work can be spread over a larger area 
than with raw biomass (more transport efficient). It basically comes down to a 
choice of moving large amounts of raw biomass, or processed high-carbon fuels. 
Obviously the processed fuels are going to be more efficient. Given that all 
good high carbon fuel stoves are inherently more efficient than all good raw 
biomass fuel stoves (for chemical and combustion reasons) it makes the most 
sense for the most people to use charcoal processed in a rural area using 
non-woody biomass. 



Quite separately, it people want to put char into the ground (the biomass 
existing to supply both cooking and biochar) they can avoid the complexities and 
costs of bring it from the cities by creating char in the rural area and 
applying it directly to the soil. That is far more efficient. 



Next, let?s assume the needed biomass does not exist to supply the city?s 
cooking needs and a growing biochar demand. In short, the city dwellers will 
burn anything they can to completion, and never send char out of the city as it 
is fuel. The rural folk will only send into the city enough energy to provide 
income for their needs or only spare fuel. It might be processed charcoal, it 
might be whole biomass, but it will be what is left over. 



Whether or not one uses a TLUD or advanced stove or raw wood or processed 
pellets, it is pointless to be against charcoal . It is like being ?against 
energy?. Everyone is against wasteful energy use, wasteful charcoal production, 
wasteful wood burning, wasteful transport models, wasteful cooking methods. 



RWL: Time limitations preclude my answering the above individually. I repeat 
only that Crispin's views on climate seem to preclude his appreciating charcoal 
as the main future means of taking carbon out of the atmosphere. I hope someone 
can suggest a better means than biochar - with a small (but first) part of the 
future atmospheric carbon removal coming from pyrolyzing stoves. The last part 
of Crispin's message was about my comments: 





Ron asks: 



>If charcoal making is so great for the economy - why is production illegal? 



I think the real answer is pressure from people who see the disappearance of the 
forests. The forests (or savannah forests) are disappearing because the creation 
of managed woodlots turns out not to be a very high priority. This is a 
long-standing problem. The trees could easily be replaced but they are not. Some 
countries have addressed this. Niger is one. Canada is another, so has 
Swaziland. 



Everyone complains about the disappearance of trees and no one does much 
practical to replace them even though it has been known for quite a while that 
trees can be replanted. The story of community managed forestry is not very 
encouraging though I remain convinced that it is the long term solution, as the 
Brits found out in the 1500?s. 



[RWL3a: I agree that Crispin has stated the problem correctly - not enough 
forests. But I think he has not answered my question. I think the correct answer 
is that charcoal-making as presently practiced is NOT great for the economy - 
and plenty of reason to outlaw illegal production. Loss of biodiversity leads to 
loss of tourism dollars. More money expended for (climate-harming) fossil fuels, 
etc. More below on this topic. 





>Second the cost we should be talking about should involve externalities - not 
just its availability because people have no other employment. 



Rural people are ?an externality? in terms of food pricing, dumping practices, 
unfair global trade rules and pro-urban political pressures. City people are not 
automatically better or more deserving people. Why are they there? They have 
been driven off the land because it is hopelessly uneconomic to remain there in 
miserable rural poverty. Many political parties encourage this because they see 
the future of humanity as urban. The more cynical say they do it because they 
are easier to control in the cities. The urban poor (our target market) are ?an 
externality? of the failure to address the needs of the rural masses. Promoting 
the further diminution of the rural economy is not going to help anyone. 

[RWL: Rural people (nor urban) are not an externality by any economic definition 
I have seen. I am saying that $150/ton of charcoal does not take account of the 
same factors that cause some countries to add a punitive tax on fossil fuels. 
Someone in Gambia and Cameroon is going to eventually go back and plant 
replaements for the illegally harvested trees. Someone is going to have to pay 
the hospital bills for patients using stoves that may cause as much monetary 
harm as water-borne disease. Someone is going to have to pay for emeergency food 
supplies because the land has been ruined (Haiti being a good example). And 
there are trillions of damage control coming later as ocean rise occurs, more 
tornados, etc. These externality factors are considered by many to be an 
important part in deciding whether $150/ton for illegal char is a good deal. 
Maybe one solution is for Gambia to put a tax on - doubling the !50 probably is 
not enough, but would probably swing a lot of users to pyr
 olyzing stoves. 





>I still maintain that Gambia is probably being ruined from people breaking the 
law. 



A friend of mine (not Cecil) said he saw charcoal production 150 metres from the 
office (in Banjul) responsible for preventing charcoal production in the Gambia. 
Banning something usually means the price goes up, not that it is actually 
banned. It is banned because of pressure from outsiders who believe that making 
something illegal will produce a different outcome for the forest without having 
to address the need to change people?s attitude to the law. There are PV solar 
electric feed-in tariffs in Germany but not in Italy for the same reason. 

[RWL: Re the 1st sentence - I know I can find a stolen new tape recorder in 
Denver for a lower price than one from an honest store. The second sentence 
doesn't follow from anything - of course laws have to be enforced AND we have to 
change peoples attitudes. But the main thing we have to do is provide a better 
honest means of livelihood. Biochar can do that - and the payment needs to come 
from developed countries - to developing countries. I doubt there are many 
developing countries opposed to me paying for their help in removing excess 
atmospheric carbon - whil improving soils and lifelihoods (oops - that was my 
next sentence). 




And Biochar production in pyrolysis stoves by these same unemployed folk can be 
accomplished by people like me paying for taking atmospheric carbon out of their 
(and my atmosphere. 



Those are two quite different issues. A rural family that collects biomass now 
and that changes to a pyrolysing stove will have to collect more biomass, unless 
the stove is more efficient (see above). The management of funds (subsidies) is 
fraught with problems in an environment where the office in charge of preventing 
charcoal making has a charcoal production business 150 metres from its own head 
office. Think. 



[RWL: Re first issue, yes they can collect less - because of the higher 
efficiency of char-making stoves (as you agree to below). Also they can collect 
different (residues). 


Re second - I gather this means you think the problem is insolvable. I disagree. 
About what should we "Think"? 








>Partly this can be done locally, but also these same unemployed can plant and 
manage trees. 



Those places which tried managed forestry have a spotty record, and I think 
there is a big future in it. It would be more efficient to turn some of the 
forest into char for local agriculture and to ship whole or processed fuel to 
the cities. 




[RWL: Case closed. I don't know what we have been arguing about. (Except I want 
to be paying for this through a fund you don't believe is needed.)] 




>The same tree used as wood can probably cook for 4 to 5 times as many people (I 
have seen the number 7). And the properly managed tree (and its roots) will not 
be savaged - but rather coppiced. 



I would like to see those numbers in a detailed form. I am suspicious that the 
stoves efficiency, good stove efficiency, has not been factored properly into 
the equation. People tend to pick the worst case with which to compare their 
best case scenarios. Stoves and fuels are hugely complex and huge in scale. 
Making sweeping technology changes without first hearing from the social 
scientists is plainly foolish. The number of urban people a rural tree can cook 
for might well be 4-7 times more in some cases, but that is not the whole energy 
equation ? and the argument has been made on a whole equation basis. I don?t 
think there is any denying that. The proposal has big differences showing 
partial equations tacked onto holistic arguments. 

[RWL: I think you have just agreed to what I said above to George of Gambia. I 
suggested a loss of 2/3 the energy when char is made in a pit (a loss factor of 
3) - what is your estimate? Same question for stove efficiency comparison 
(factor of 2?). 


I don't understand any part of the last "partial equations - holistic" 
sentence.] 




>There is a good reason for most laws and I hate to see the subject of illegal 
charcoal making going undiscussed. 



What would you like to say about it? It is like banning bread and saying, ?Let 
them, rather, eat cake.? 

[RWL: Re 1st question, I think this entire email is what I want to see 
discussed. I hope I have exhausted the topic. I hope some found it informative. 
I hope some stop promoting charcoal-using jikos and instead start using 
charcoal-producing stoves/ 


Sorry, the "bread-cake" comment doesn't compute.] 




>Thanks for the report below that Bakari has used the phrase "very big 
improvement" from Biochar I hope he can give us more detail. 



Cecil might be able to provide details. I see that George of the Disappearing 
Jungle also knows my e-buddy. Cecil visited his garden to get a firsthand 
report. 



>I don't know whether that is 20% (very big in this country) or 200%.(which I am 
hearing a lot in Africa). The difference can start with the rural stove. 

I take it then you are not against charcoal in general? Would you make trade in 
TLUD-stove char legal? That would be like legalizing elephant ivory if the 
elephant died of natural causes. When caught with tusks, people will claim the 
elephant died of ?natural causes?, to wit, ?lead poisoning?. It was a mistake to 
ban charcoal production, when they really wanted to ban tree cutting. There is a 
big difference. Perhaps we should lobby for the lifting of the charcoal making 
ban and ban tree cutting. No? Wouldn?t work? People would cut trees anyway? 
Quell surprise . The solution is planting and managing, not banning. It is a 
supply-side production problem, not an energy shortage problem. Running out of 
energy does not change the nature of the cause of the problem. It is secondarily 
an energy efficiency problem. By that I mean there is a demand-side partial 
solution to supply-side problem. 

[RWL: I hope list members realize the first part are not serious questions for 
me. Yes I would make trade in char headed for the ground legal (not limited to 
TLUDs), but it would have to have had a productive use of the pyrolysis gases, 
and certainly woul have to have demonstrated that the resource was legal. And 
yes, we can control that trade - because my tax dollars are going to be 
insisting on it - and because we can track where it went (Char is highly 
recalcitrant). The (tiny) Biochar industry is all over thiscertification topic - 
there must be accountability. 


After "Quell surprise" some agreement. But I see it as not just both energy 
supply and demand, but also issues/reasons favoring char in the ground - both 
climate and soil issues/reasons. The beauty of Biochar is different from every 
other carbon sequestration approach - it provides out-year benefits, including 
increasing (not decreasing) energy benefits. Putting CO2 underground CCS and 
BECS) is failing - for cost and legal reasons - but it provides only costs, no 
benefits. Biochar is a totally unique "animal" - and charcoal-making stoves are 
key to getting started down these terribly important (for energy, climate, and 
soil) reasons 





Joyfully, the stoves that burn most efficiently also produce the least PM and 
CO! I see all the elements of a win-win-win-win solution: faster, cleaner 
cooking, renewable energy self-sufficiency, rural employment and improving 
agriculture. Proposals dealing with these complex issues should include the 
whole energy equation. 



[RWL: I agree (with surprise) with this closing - with two additions. Stove and 
all energy proposals should deal with more than energy (meaning also climate and 
soils). I also think you are saying that a char-making stove beats other stoves 
in being faster, cleaner, employment, etc . Thanks to Paul Anderson for 
emphasizing these additional benefits - much of which is due to your own 
comments. Tell us if I am reading that wrong. Ron] 





Regards 

Crispin 
<snip> 
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Message: 2
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:01:22 -0400
From: Alex English <english at kingston.net>
To: Discussion of biomass cooking stoves
    <stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org>
Subject: Re: [Stoves] re Charcoal in Gambia/ WorldStove char in Rwanda
Message-ID: <4E46F432.8030504 at kingston.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

Hi Fireside (name?)

No its not a sign.

Aside from the inappropriate preposition/typo/brain burp in my question, 
the intention is benign curiosity. Perhaps it should be addressed to Nat 
at WorldStove.

I once lived in Uganda and traveled to Rwanda. I understand that what 
works in one place may not in another.

Rwanda has its own special political, cultural, agricultural, climate 
characteristics and I am wondering why Crispin thinks the stove-char for 
soil proposal might work there.

Is it the high rural population density and land scarcity?
Has their shocking history of mass violence made them more open to 
trying new ideas?
Are the soils acidic?
Is it the lack of woody biomass fuels?
Other reasons?

I like measuring things too :), but this is more of a qualitative query.

Regards

Alex (a friend of Crispin)





On 8/12/2011 7:37 PM, Fireside Hearth wrote:
> Ok.....the dumb guy again, with the same question. Is this a sign of
> dissension among the troops? or are things getting accomplished that I
> can not see? Sorry but as a business owner not relying on public
> funding, I just fear that maybe my wife was right about the measuring thing.
>
> Were all in this together, lets keep it clean!
>
>  > Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 19:10:58 -0400
>  > From: english at kingston.net
>  > To: stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org
>  > Subject: Re: [Stoves] re Charcoal in Ganbia
>  >
>  > Hi Crispin,
>  > In the context of your statement below, what of "special" about Rwanda?
>  >
>  > Alex
>  >
>  > On 8/12/2011 11:47 AM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott wrote:
>  >
>  >
>  > >
>  > > If the special conditions needed to turn cooking char into soil
>  > > amendment exist, it may be in Rwanda. Nat is implementing an experiment
>  > > there on a large enough scale that it can be viewed as a test bed, an
>  > > experiment. If it succeeds or fails does /not/ mean it is automatically
>  > > possible to do it somewhere else. There are many factors at play in
>  > > something that complex. I hope it works because in theory it is a great
>  > > plan. I also hope that it is not dependent on ?carbon trading? (CO_2
>  > > offset selling) to be economically viable because there are many
>  > > unintended consequences that emerge from subsidised behaviours.
>  >
>  > _______________________________________________
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>  >
>  > for more Biomass Cooking Stoves, News and Information see our web site:
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>  >
>
>
>
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------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:20:23 -0700
From: Fireside Hearth <firesidehearthvashon at hotmail.com>
To: <stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org>
Subject: Re: [Stoves] re Charcoal in Gambia/ WorldStove char in Rwanda
Message-ID: <BLU125-W39B7E4501FB12541764BBC3270 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"




> Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 18:01:22 -0400
> From: english at kingston.net
> To: stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org
> Subject: Re: [Stoves] re Charcoal in Gambia/ WorldStove char in Rwanda
> 
> Hi Fireside (name?)> Roger and Bridget Lehet.....Kimberly stoves Vashon 
Washington
> No its not a sign.
> 
> Aside from the inappropriate preposition/typo/brain burp in my question, 
> the intention is benign curiosity. Perhaps it should be addressed to Nat 
> at WorldStove.
> 
> I once lived in Uganda and traveled to Rwanda. I understand that what 
> works in one place may not in another.
> 
>My/our view
> people here seem to "micro managing" to the point where even Crispin felt he 
needed to take all the time it took to respond (it was a caring but time 
consuming reply to what he must have felt was an attack)away from his more 
important work. In other words, whats seems to be measured is not the reduction 
of consumption I still vehemently argue is the issue. I would like to be 
supported in my desire to see an effective use of secondary combustion become 
available at costs which can be subsidized and afforded by the end user. I 
believe that the reduction of fuel used is the only key in a bigger picture 
which makes much of the time arguing a silly waste of public funds. Maybe since 
I am not funded by any other source than my own pocket, I am very sensitive to 
what I view as poor use of funds. When I drive by a county road works project 
and see 12 guys watching 1 guy work....I get fried! Lets dig in and band 
together with productive wording which is supportive and opens the door
  to better and more friendly communication. We as intelligent humans get lost 
in the debate process and accomplish little. Over thinking is a disease in my 
mind. keep it simple stovers and lets get it done.
Maybe even there should be a new list for the arguing of bio char.....and let 
the stove list be for stoves which create less controversy, I don't know. Let me 
finish by saying that we are glad to have found this group of seriously 
passionate and resourceful folks who I am sure want to find a cure for many 
Ill's on a global scale. However time is short, and the task is 
great..............were all in this together....lets keep it clean!
Thank you....R&B





 
                      
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