Disclaimer: As much as I love apptech, the technology itself shouldn't be that which takes over our lives. What's more important is that plenty of biochar is produced and integrated into the economies of the world so that over time we can eventually and safely drawdown Carbon out of the atmosphere and prevent or even reverse global climate heating and restore a safe climate. It's a climate emergency! The change to the environment that biochar could bring is partly known and partly unknown but the possibilities are endless and continually fascinate me!
I've summarised the above kilns and stoves according to biomass feedstock size. Note that my preference for biochar apptech is completely biased since I designed most of what I'm about to recommend (with a lot of help from my friends):
*Small feedstock eg. Pellets/sticks/coconut shell/corn cob/rice husk etc. - Try the '1G Toucan TLUD' or 'The 'Permastove V3' (beta - still need to prototype it) for cooking and biochar making
*Small to medium feedstock eg. large sticks, bamboo, small cut logs etc. - Try the 'Pyramid BBQ Classic' (3 in 1 BBQ, firepit, biochar making)
*Medium to large feedstock eg. Bamboo, brush, agroforestry waste, rice straw, small branches etc. - Try the Flat-Tiki 'Carbon' V3 (beta) or Kon-Tiki 1.2m production model - biomass 'waste' removal, biochar making, heat on a cold day
*Large feedstock eg. cut and split logs etc. - slow combustion stove/wood-fired Aga (I don't think I can improve/redesign these - quite refined tech) - produces small amounts of biochar but mostly ash (a good source of minerals and alkaline pH adjustment for acidic soils). Also good for space heating, heating water eg. wetbacking cogen for a solar hot water system, water pastuerisation, making a hot drink; slow cooking
Fenugreek (front) and Dill (back) seedlings using biochar in a fancy potting mix with sphagnum moss and peat. Note that biochar has a higher water holding capacity (WHC) than the original potting mix. Adding it increases the overall WHC. I also add a low concentration of Seasol and GoGo Juice to the irrigation water from my 15L weed sprayer backpack in order enhance root growth and potting mix microbial activity.
Can use microwave tech from Kiwis on biomass eg. agricultural waste, and produce a Graphene-like substance to replace expensive and less sustainable Graphene.
Closed loop for traditional farmers in SE Asia
Harvest bamboo/rice straw/rice husk-->chop up bamboo/dry bamboo/rice straw/rice husk feedstock-->cook taro on TLUD gasifier/cogeneration via biochar kiln->add the biochar to the animal feed (+ use biochar for water filtration)-->feed to water buffaloe/cow/pig-->livestock shits->take the manure/biochar complex and add to biodigester (biochar also reduces smell)-->collect the gas for cooking/electricity-->take the biodigester effluent/byproduct and add to soil-->grow the taro/rice/bamboo-->harvest (back to the start)
In the above flowchart, the barrels/IBCs just need basic plumbing connectors (similar to those used by Aqueous Solutions in their water filtration system). The first stage of the filter will have the highest concentration of salt and will need to be emptied once the output water reaches greater than 600 mg/Litre of salt (300-600 mg/Litre is the desirable salt concentration in potable water). Once position 1/stage 1 is emptied fresh biochar is added to the barrel/IBC and is rotated to position 3/third stage. Position 2/second stage becomes position 1/first stage and position 3/third stage becomes position 2/second stage. A 'TDS meter' can be used to measure the salt concentration. These are available for AUD$6.45 on eBay. Note that the unpowered measured irrigation controller (UMIC) can provide efficient irrigation according to evaporation and rainfall.
Competing water filtration technologies:
requires energy and doesn’t remove salts, pathogens and heavy metals
requires less energy than boiling and doesn’t remove salts, pathogens and heavy metals
requires less energy than boiling and pasteurisation and doesn’t remove salts, pathogens and heavy metals
-nanomembranes eg. the SolarBag
breaks down after 200 litres..more plastic in the environment
focused on salt removal
different membranes eg. plastic, graphene
focused on salt removal
need a large area and sunlight
-capacative deionisation (CDI)
expensive to commercialise
needs to be low-powered off car batteries in series to be affordable
-Aqueous Solutions barrel system
suitable for many places at the village level
-Permachar barrel system
doesn’t remove all pathogens
*A new system...the multi-stage barrel/bucket/container system to remove:
-persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
-herbicides eg. glyphosate
Could hemp grow in the desert?
The idea I am proposing involves growing acacias, coppicing them, making biochar, creating a biochar fertiliser called Permafert (inc. Response), digging swales slightly off contour (to avoid 'wet feet'), adding the Permafert to the bottom of the swales, placing tek line along the top using the 'Unpowered Measured Irrigation Controller' (UMIC), growing hemp (using an appropriate cultivar) then using the hemp for more biochar, housing (using hempcrete and replacing a fraction of the lime with biochar: 'hempcharcrete'), food (hemp seed, hemp protein, hemp oil), biodiesel (as a last resort) and many other uses. I would also like to trial biochar filtration for groundwater from a bore and investigate water quality as a result of the filtration - used for 'Measured Irrigation' of the hemp plants. Irrigate when the swales have a below optimal moisture content determined by swale cores and evaporation levels. Start with a 1 hectare trial. Anyone interested?
If you found this information useful, please share some money for further Permachar R & D. A recommended amount is AUD$10 - more if you feel really generous. Thanks!! Please use the link below...