[Gasification] Gasification & Biochar workshop next weekend -- BEK in Brazil -- New Kubota engine for Power Pallet

jim mason jim at allpowerlabs.org
Mon Oct 4 19:43:11 CDT 2010

(full version with photos is here:

Gasification and Biochar Workshop at ALL Power Labs in Bezerkely,
California--  October 8-11

The next quarterly workshop at ALL Power Labs is coming up next
weekend.   We hope you will join us for what is always a very
enjoyable descent into (and back out of) the deep recesses of biomass
thermal conversion.

The workshop offers education, research reports and hands-on
experience to bring more people to successful operation of small scale
gasification and pyrolysis units. The event is open everyone, not just
GEK or BEK users/owners. So come and join us while we progressively
make small-scale gasification and pyrolysis a reasonable proposition,
adequately advanced for everyday use.

This fall we're running the workshop in an extended format so we can
take on some long-anticipated projects requiring more than the usual
weekend to finish. The main event will be four days this time (Friday
through Monday) but with one of the projects continuing until the
following weekend. (yes, we'll have a live webcam so you can watch the
whole process, even if you're not here).

There are 4 tracks/projects during the workshop.  Everyone can
participate in all of them.

1. GEK Power Pallet 7 day around-the-clock endurance test
2. Syngas-to-Liquid experiments via Fischer Tropsch
3. Lister spark conversion
4. Biochar database samples generation with the BEK

Jay has started a journal in the forum to track progress on the
Gas-to-Liquids test rig.  See here:

The Lister diesel spark conversion discussion is mostly in the yahoo
woodgas forum, but with the highlights copied over to the gek forum
here: http://www.gekgasifier.com/forums/showthread.php?t=312

The Power Pallet and Biochar disccussions are less localized.
However, one recent page of interest is the recent grate shaking tests
Bear has started to compare and characterize the performance of
various grate shaking modes and perf hole sizes.  See here:

Workshop Details:

Opening Intro/ Lecture: Friday, October 8, 7:30-9:30PM
Weekend Build, Run and Test: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, October
9-11, 11am - 7pm

Location: ALL Power Labs, 1010 Murray Street. Berkeley, CA
Contact: jim ^at^ allpowerlabs dot org
Cost: Free if you are a GEK or BEK owner, either through self build or
purchase. Otherwise, $100 for weekend. Pay via paypal here.

For more information and RSVP instructions for the workshop, see:


APL and BEK at International Biochar Conference in Brazil.

Jay and Rachael just returned from Brazil where they held court for
several days in the APL booth with the new BEK biochar maker.  Jay has
written up a short report on the proceedings as well as posted a very
interesting gallery of photos.

The report and photos include the post conference trip up the Amazon
with a boatload of biochar enthusiasts to survey some real Terra Preta
sites.  This sounded highly enjoyable, and i'm very sad I didn't get
to go.

The full report is here:

The gallery of conference and trip photos is here:

General info the BEK biochar unit is here:


New Kubota spark fired 3cyl 962cc engine for Power Pallet

Recently we learned Kubota has launched some spark fired versions of
its legendary compact diesel engines. Fabulous news!  Thus we're now
offering a Kubota engine upgrade for the GEK Power Pallet, paired with
a Mecc alte genhead.

Kubota diesels are generally considered to be the best small diesel
engines available today. The refinement of their engineering, high
power density, smooth operation and extreme longevity are long
established and universally acknowledged.  The new Kubota spark fired
line is built on these same diesel blocks, with most parts
interchangeable between the spark and diesel versions.

The spark line has already become a favorite of natural gas field
pumping operations. Our local distributor tells stories of the
prototype engines to date running non-stop for three years in a
Montana gas field (over 20,000 hours).

While we very much like the Kohler engines, the Kubotas are clearly a
superior offering (though also more expensive). With the Kubota, we
can reasonably expect a 10,000 hour service life, and see
justification for this in the maintenance schedules Kubota offers for
their nameplate gensets. Of course your actual mileage will vary
depending on your service, but at least we have a baseline reference
with some support for the claim.

More information and photos of the Kubota engine are here in the forum:

General info on the GEK Power Pallet is here:

Jim Mason
Website: http://www.whatiamupto.com
Current Projects:
   - Gasifier Experimenters Kit (the GEK): http://www.gekgasifier.com
   - Escape from Berkeley alt fuels vehicle race: www.escapefromberkeley.com
   - ALL Power Labs on Twitter: http://twitter.com/allpowerlabs
   - Shipyard Announce list:

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