[Gasification] Small steam systems plus gasifiers for electricity

Jeff Davis jeffdavis0124 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 7 14:15:07 CST 2013


I never had any luck carbonizing grass/weeds with the grass-a-fire. One 
would rat hole and the other needed denser charcoal bed. But Roger 
Sampson rice husk method showed hope.

Working full time makes it unreliable to harvest dry grass/weeds late in 
the season at least for this bag of old achy bones. In other words it's 
not an easy fuel for a peasant. The baler went to the sale a bit ago and 
the mower and rake goes this spring. But I now have an old and almost 
functioning flail harvester that should work for compost production.

I hope to start phasing out grasses with Staghorn Sumac a much more 
usable fuel.


On 12/02/2013 11:39 PM, Tom Miles wrote:
> Jeff,
> We find that biochar from a downdraft gasifier composted 15% v/v with 
> alfalfa and wood chips makes a very nice compost. We have used it as a 
> substitute for a vermiculite-peat-bark blend. Tree seedling response 
> is generally good. Some species are pH sensitive and the alfalfa 
> pushes the compost pH up so adjustments need to be made. In Japan Dr. 
> Ogawa rinses high pH grass (bamboo) chars to reduce soluble alkali 
> before application to the tree root zone.
> Biochar-peat and biochar--coco peat blends work well.
> So if you have a gasifier in a location where there is no market for 
> power you can make heat for greenhouses and a char byproduct that you 
> can compost for use in the greenhouse. We estimate that the combined 
> savings from the heat (propane) and soil amendments for a 10 MMBtuh (3 
> MW) system are about $350,000 per year.
> David Yarrow likes chars from grasses. You can make char in your 
> grass-a-fire.
> Tom

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