[Stoves] re The Ccharcoal project

rongretlarson at comcast.net rongretlarson at comcast.net
Sun Aug 28 21:40:30 PDT 2011





Richard (cc list) 

A few questions below. 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Stanley" <rstanley at legacyfound.org> 
To: "Discussion of biomass cooking stoves" <stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org> 
Sent: Sunday, August 28, 2011 8:07:56 PM 
Subject: Re: [Stoves] re The Ccharcoal project 

Paal/ Crispin, 


May I suggest charcoal blended briquettes as an alternative? 
[RWL: It seems below that this is a subsidiary suggestion. Hope you can clarify, after reading the rest. 

But also I'd like your thoughts on (charcoal-free or not) pellets vs briquettes as an alternative. Easier or harder to produce pellets?] 



A 25% blend using the fines /crumbs otherwise unused at the sellers stall, makes this product look and perform very much like charcoal. And of course it is favored and therfore more easily marketed as a result. 
Hundreds of different local producers are doing it already . If you want to learn about it, go to Lushoto Tanzania (up a bit into the Usambara Mountains) where you can meet Mama Zaugia Hiza or Marieth Kusaga.. 
These women are some of the best trainers in Tanzania ....and they do not have a decent email address. 


Here is what a 25% blend looks like. It will compete directly performance wise and typically costs about half to two-thirds as much for a 100% lump of the original charcoal of same weight, same source. That doubles the sellers market or nearly halves the demand for same market.. 
[RWL: When we first met in Boulder long ago (late 1990's??), I think your briquettes were either without holes or just beginning (for a time there were multiple holes?). Are you now only recommending briquettes with a single hole? 
I ask because I don't recall seeing charcoal lumps or charcoal briquettes with holes - and believe holes help a great deal with pyrolysis (maybe also gassification and combustion). Can you clarify whether there are holey charcoal briquettes (as I think there are for the Chinese coal briquettes). Of course with charcoal briquettes, you already have gone through a pyrolysis phase and there is no value/sense in adding char to start if you hope to use the char for soil augmentation. 


I guess I have difficulty understanding the charcoal problem and the need to make more of it. 
viz., 
>From Chad, normal carbonisation during the burn . No charcoal added at all: 
[RWL: This seems to contrdict your first suggestion above. Can you clarify? I like your "difficulty". Is this photo "22" or the photo identified next. 

I received three photos, one showing before use. Are the other two photos of the same briquettes - but one during pyrolysis and the other later? In the flaming photo, how many briquettes? I only received one photo in the message, so the following became confusing] 



[image/png:Screen shot 2011-08-28 at 6.50.42 PM.png] 




RWL: This showed 4 (?) pyrolyzed briquettes - still glowing. Earlier a strong flame? Are these pure "char" all the way through? 

Later you talk about removing briquettes for use in soils. Could these be ready for removal? Drop in a pail of water? 





Uganda 25% charcoal fines added to garden variety agro residue bq on left ; 

[RWL: This reference is clear after thinking about it. This must be the photo of the two unfired briquettes. 


Does the word "this" below refer to the different photo labeled 22? 





this is from Nepal fan assist gassifer stove, 25% charcoal 

[RWL: Nice looking certainly. How many briquettes in this photo? Could you have, after a while, the same pyroyzed shapes as in the above photo showing the 4 pyrolyzed briquettes? 





...These folks are all selling their product to the local market to survive...If it was not good they, would not have been able to carry on their business for the past several years. I have hundreds of more examples in about 45 countries now. 
[RWL: You have done a remarkable job in promoting hand-made briquettes using waste materials? The stove world owes you a big vote of thanks for getting this now into 45 countries. 

The Biochar list is full of the same basic approach but using pellets (only??). What I like about this set of photos and your comments is that you are showing (your next sentence) one can get char in a basic simple one combined air-flow approach. If you think of a stove as a batch unit, you can get thermal control through the number of briquettes. If you go for continuous operation, you pretty much lose the advantage of charcoal making - (as I just said to AD Karve in a similar vein). I presume that (as with TLUDs) the character of the flame changes a lot when you have gone through the phyrolysis phase and have to rely on combusting the char rather than the pyrolysis gases. Any comments on this change in heat output over time would be of interest. Overcome by changing fan speed? 

I wonder if you have any studies on the quality of char when produced as you next suggest (pH level, apparent temperature of the production, value in soil,etc) . Any place where removel of char has been tried? 

Thanks again for the interesting photos and chance to get more understanding . Ron 




It really does work. No new charcoal needed. And you can pull off the remaining ash covered coal for soil remediation if you like... 


Richard Stanley 


NW Obamaland 








On Aug 28, 2011, at 12:06 PM, Paal wendelbo wrote: 





Crispin 
Pity for the forest in Tanzania as you did not get my point. And I understand your results of your calculations when you compare leisure energy in Canada with household energy in Africa. 
Regards Paal W 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Crispin Pemberton-Pigott 
To: 'Discussion of biomass cooking stoves' 
Sent: Sunday, August 28, 2011 11:42 AM 
Subject: Re: [Stoves] re The Ccharcoal project 



Dear Paal 

Regarding the transport of charcoal, I am sure you have seen 10 tons of charcoal on a 7 ton truck. Nothing unusual about that sight. I am not sure of the relevance of that you your other points about end user opinion and charcoal production. 

What would be helpful is if you would engage the topic of sustainable charcoal production. People want to use it as a fuel because it is nice, simple as that. Lots of people in Canada who can afford any fuel they want choose to cook meat with charcoal. It is a market that is going to last as long as there is cooking, as far as I can see. 


No one wants to waste the heat produced during the production of charcoal. It would be great of people in rural areas could generate power form the gases and use it, and sell the charcoal to people in cities. The maximum economic benefit would be spread over the largest number of people that way. It would also spread sustainable power generation and charcoal production over a large enough area of land to make a sustainable living for the maximum number of people. 

My point is that your position ‘against charcoal’ is too extreme. You can’t be ‘against’ something that has a niche in the energy equation. Some are proposing to send wood into the cities, make char there and ship the char back. Think of the energy inefficiency that entails. There are (not yet anyway) wood powered road vehicles that can operate on the sustainable energy originating on the farms. 

Char production can supply high quantities of ‘process heat’ for powering all sorts of things on the farms. Farmers should be allowing nothing to leave their land unless it is as processed as possible in that region. That takes energy. Turning local produce into exportable products (which includes processed fuels) is the opportunity that we should not kill because we don’t like someone’s current wasteful methods. 

Regards 
Crispin 





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