[Stoves] Fuel production, biochar, and feeding the stove in 2040

Anand Karve adkarve at gmail.com
Wed Aug 24 10:16:56 PDT 2011

Dear Crispin,
no I did not measure the CO2 content in the topless greenhouse. The
nights are generally calm. It is the days that are windy, because
during the day, updrafts of hot air creat local low pressure areas and
air from neighbouring relatively high pressure areas flows into these
low pressure areas. A woman scientist from a university in north of
Maharashtra is advocating the same system, but she claims that the
higher yield was due to static electricity generated in the plastic
film surrounding the plants. Whatever may be the cause , the fact
remains that the crops raised in a topless greenhouse give higher

On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 9:54 PM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
<crispinpigott at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear AD
> I remember you telling us about this a few years ago. Very interesting, to
> say the least!
> I presume you have measured the CO2 concentration in the morning. What is it
> on an average day?
> I am wondering if the limitation on evaporation of water produced by
> limiting the wind makes a difference as well. Is this practised in a low
> wind environment? It seems the mixing by wind wouldn't leave much CO2
> behind.
> There was a time (early 80's) when tobacco was grown in the US in
> greenhouses that were heated by natural gas burners that vented into the
> greenhouse. It was found that highly carcinogenic compounds were formed at a
> higher rate although it was not the higher CO2 that did it, it was an
> incomplete  combustion product. It was quickly banned as a fertilisation
> practise about the mid-80's.
> I had hoped to use the emissions from stoves to fertilise things but so far
> I am unconvinced there would be a reliable and clean exhaust stream. If it
> doesn't work with something as clean as natural gas it is going to be more
> difficult with wood.
> Regards
> Your agro-fan Crispin
> ++++++
> Dear Crispin,
> that plants grow faster with supply of air containing higher amounts of
> carbon dioxide is a well known phenomenon. In fact, it is one of the factors
> contributing to higher yield in greenhouses. In peninsular India we grow
> crops throughout the year. They need neither artificial heating nor cooling.
> Our Institute therefore developed the concept of a topless greenhouse, which
> consists of just a skirting of plastic film around plots of 10m X 10m size.
> Carbon dioxide is about 1.5 times as heavy as ordinary air. Therefore when
> plants breath out carbon dioxide in the night, the field plots surrounded by
> the plastic skirting act as tanks which store the carbon dioxide. In the
> morning, when the sun rises, the plants utilize this carbon dioxide in the
> process of photosynthesis. Because of the higher concentration of carbon
> dioxide in the air, the rate of photosynthesis is higher.
> Although this concept has not yet been accepted by the science
> establishment, a lot of farmers have started using it to raise high value
> crops like coloured capsicum and flowers. We have not patented this
> technology. Anybody can use it.
> Yours
> A.D.Karve
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Dr. A.D. Karve
President, Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)

*Please change my email address in your records to: adkarve at gmail.com *

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