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hydrothermal carbonization

nancy sutton
volunteer

Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Posts: 327
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
    
    9
As long as folks are experimenting with potentially explosive rocket stove water heaters,  someone might want to fiddle with 'hydrothermal carbonization' on the 'home' level?  A possible way to make char, heat, etc.  See the article links in the discussion - starting with the Max Planck Institute

http://scienceforums.com/topic/11884-hydrothermal-carbonization-htc/


It's time to get positive about negative thinking    -Art Donnelly
ronie dee


Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 588
Location: Cosby MO
    
    2
That is amazing. I have been saying that the oil in the ground was a renewable resource but I never could figure out how the yeasts could be kept alive under pressure.. It turns out that they don't even need yeast nor do they have to add sugar..

Thanks for that link. It explains the future of energy production. If they are correct, and I think they are, it will help with the carbon problem, make composting much more efficient and productive, and answer part of our fuel problem. (We wasteful users of energy are also part of the problem/solution.)


Sometimes the answer is not to cross an old bridge, nor to burn it, but to build a better bridge.
nancy sutton
volunteer

Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Posts: 327
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
    
    9
Might be a more efficient large-scale way to make biochar for carbon negative effect - once buried, no carbon is released, so that much has been removed from today's carbon cycle.  Even compost will eventually return it's carbon to the atmosphere.  I LUV this

Now.... to the backyard model
ronie dee


Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 588
Location: Cosby MO
    
    2
There's a lot of missing information right now. Experimenting will be dangerous. Extreme care is needed before putting biomass and water under heat and pressure.

Even the scientists had explosions when they underestimated the energy that they had on their hands.
Paul Miller


Joined: Nov 18, 2011
Posts: 5
ronie McCoy wrote:There's a lot of missing information right now. Experimenting will be dangerous. Extreme care is needed before putting biomass and water under heat and pressure.

Even the scientists had explosions when they underestimated the energy that they had on their hands.

Hi, I am new here but thought I would chime in as I have been reviewing some 'hydrothermal carbonization' references on the web lately.

There are some patents pending on Dr. Antonietti's work to convert biomass to the equivalent of German brown coal. From what I have learned this process originated with German chemist Freidrich Bergius who won the Nobel prize in chemistry in the early '30s for the discovery. Much of the reason Germany was able to go to war was the ability to convert coal to higher order fuels like gasoline and diesel. After WWII the US confiscated the technology and developed it further for energy in Louisiana in a secret project. Under the Eisenhower administration the project was supposedly shelved under pressure from the oil and gas industries and all information has mysteriously disappeared from the archives.

The food and ag industry have used some of the technology to 'hydrogenate' various things.

There seems to be a fair amount of university study about this process as applied to biomass particularly in Germany, Sweden and China. A token amount in the US.

Germany has some industrial scale units working. http://www.ava-co2.com/web/pages/en/home.php?lang=EN
Chris Whalley


Joined: Feb 20, 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Seattle
There's more and more information being available about biochar from pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC).

In 2011 the USDA commissioned a really comprehensive report on the current state of pyrolysis and HTC research. http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/47781/1/IND44489931.pdf

Youtube has some good videos I threw together into a biochar playlist, http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL854DE82D788D5E2E
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
I've been having biochar depression all week, first I was mad because I couldn't make enogh "not enough stuff to cook" then I got really mad at the idea of wasting the heat in a larger scale Tlud that I couldn't place anything on top of. Then i started to get frustrated at not being able to find a clear breakdown of how to make a retort biomas kiln without having to build a pizza oven enclosure for it. Then I got really really mad that at how inefficient everything looked in comparison to the hornito "rocket stove/pyrolysis/creosote collecting/wood vinegar distilling/controllable temperature/excess heat reusing/ better than everything else stove with absolutely zero documentation on how to build one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZD6hrVhZGc&list=PL854DE82D788D5E2E&index=3&feature=plpp_video

Now this the Max Planck Institute which Bill Mollison references allot comes out of nowhere on a friday night and wipes everything biochar off the map. Catalyst mystery known or not I'm in.... this makes sense. Yes it's not exactly a back yard affair unless your a mythbuster but that merely has to do with the tank.
It's pretty straight forward. A proper pressure value that can handle liquid/gas/steam will do 3 to 250 psig -60° to 406°F
the carbonization temperature is 180c or 356f. I dont have a converter but let's just assume water heated to 406f is at 250 psi. 356f is 87% of 406f so carbonization is happening at about 219 lets say 220psi. Pretty scary stuff....
So all that's left to figure out is what industry has tanks that go to 300psi with a steering wheel style lid for loading and unloading. That's what I've been looking up but I don't know much about military salvage or anything pressure vesselish. Sure your average cng tank goes way beyond that in psi but you but theres no lid. Can anyone think of a name or style of tank that goes that high in psi but has a submarine style latch lid? I just want to know how many penny's I need to put in a jar for this to happen for me and I've had no luck with my searches for pressure vessels or pressure tanks. I'm hoping somebody knows what there called or where they exist?
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
I'm probably going to be up all night but the good news so far is waters boiling point in relation to psi is not linear.
the 180 c required for hdc is 150 so i'm at least now looking for a pressure vessel with a lid with a safety of 200psi rather than 300. Still no luck finding such a device an autoclave only goes to 130C
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/boiling-point-water-d_926.html
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
OK now I'm confused about psi vs tempurature, I went back through the literature of tanks I did find like this one
http://www.labx.com/v2/spiderdealer2/vistasearchdetails.cfm?LVid=10819696
Rated at 14psi at 400f which I don't understand, is that because that rating is based on a gas rather than a liquid? or is it that it operates under some magic which stop the psi from going up by virtue of it's construction. Permaculture really get's me into some heavy design theorectics in which it would be nice to have a buddy whos an expert for every avenue of life.
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1406
Location: Chihuahua Desert
Saybian Morgan wrote:I've been having biochar depression all week, first I was mad because I couldn't make enogh "not enough stuff to cook" then I got really mad at the idea of wasting the heat in a larger scale Tlud that I couldn't place anything on top of. Then i started to get frustrated at not being able to find a clear breakdown of how to make a retort biomas kiln without having to build a pizza oven enclosure for it. Then I got really really mad that at how inefficient everything looked in comparison to the hornito "rocket stove/pyrolysis/creosote collecting/wood vinegar distilling/controllable temperature/excess heat reusing/ better than everything else stove with absolutely zero documentation on how to build one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZD6hrVhZGc

I've seen retorts like that. They are not very complicated at all. Basically, they have all the wood in a barrel above a rocket stove. The barrel has a pipe that goes down to the rocket stove. You start up on wood, and once it gets hots enough, the gasses from the retort keep the fire going in the rocket stove. The problem is, there is more gas produced than can be burned. So, you put a T in your pipe, and take the extra gas over to the next retort setup right next to it. On this one, you don't need wood to start the reaction, just burn the extra gas.

As you can see this process could keep going, using extra gas to start the next setup, over and over again. If you set them up in a circle, and figured out the lag time between units, you could actually build a system that could burn all the time. Just keep loading wood in the barrels.


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Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
Again the pipe part is what I can see, the drum inside a drum inside a drum part and a component breakdown seems to be what nobody is illustrating. How is the pipe connected to the drum, are there any recommendations for fittings. I don't get what all these videos do if there for the few who already know.

In regards to the hydrothermal carbonization I beleive a canning retort seems to be the device that is loadable and unloadable in a large scale but I can't find anyone in north america who's selling one or has any spec's on it's tollerance since again canning only requires 120 - 130 c which is not the 180c of carbonization.
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1406
Location: Chihuahua Desert
one barrel has the wood, and you heat that with a rocket stove. The other barrel is just a housing.

The pipe comes from the barrel with the wood. As you heat this barrel, flammable gasses are released. These gasses are used to fuel the process.

For fittings, you can probably use the bung on the barrel.

on the topic of HTC, I wouldn't try it. You need to get something up to 200psi. Let's just say that your lid is one square foot in area. That means it will have 28,800 lbs of pressure on it (200psi times 144 square inches). If that flies off and hits you, you're dead. That is a lot of pressure to contain in a backyard.
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
I dont have a problem with 200psi, any car that runs on natrual gas is way beyond that. Yes a lid that fly's off is cause for death, but so is getting into a car.
What I'm trying to find is a price or a name for a pressure vessel that's appropriate so I can get a price. The articles keep saying there using an autoclave but that just isn't true, I can't find a single autoclave that goes up to 180c or up to 200psi.
I know that companies who can baked beans and stuff usualy test that there can's are over 130C But I can't find a price on a single commercial canning retort nor any spec's all links lead to india or china with no real details.
I don't care if the vessel is 5 thousand dollars, id go as far as 10 if I could pyrolize at 100% efficiency and make humus in 5 hours out of wet biomass. I could go into the organic potting soil business on a small scale selling high quality compost and worm casting. I dont want to go on about the posibilities i'm just going to get upset again that I can't find a vessel to at least hope and dream for. I don't understand carbon sequestering or really care at all I'm not on a save the world scheme, but creating soil for the love of life that I do and that behavior is sufficient for me to never worry about turning the world into a non possible utopia.
J.D. Ray


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 44
Well, here you go.

http://www.phxequip.com/equipment.4350/5040.aspx

Two tons of carbon steel to contain 500 gallon batches of carbonization cookery. Is 180 p.s.i. at 400 degrees F enough? Dunno what it costs, but it's probably not more than a couple thousand dollars for the tank. The price to implement, of course, would be quite a bit more, but with 500 gallon batches, it could be part of a commercially viable process.

Cheers.

JD
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1406
Location: Chihuahua Desert
here's some info on those rocket stove retort designs: http://www.carbon-negative.us/burners/JWelch.htm

and some more on using those extra gasses: http://www.carbon-negative.us/burners/backtap.htm

ad another one: http://biocharlog.blogspot.com/2010/05/rocket-retort-rocks.html
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
oh man I can't fit that in the back of my f250, all I want is 55 gallons at a time that should make a tank that's about 500 pounds. I can drag 500 pounds into my yard, that pheonix site is the site I keep coming up on but they never talk prices then again you don't have to on the internet when your talking 500 gallon of steel. Is it just the camera angle or does 500 gallons look rediculously huge, 500 gallons to me should look like 2 icb totes stacked on each other man oh man I had my hopes up it was going to be the link of the decade.
I keep seeing this one and that's the perfect size, I'm wondering if theres some strange limit on how small a tank can be at 400f
http://www.phxequip.com/equipment.1096/120-gal-letco-stainless-steel-tank.aspx

If I could do a 120 gallon batch per day I would be laughing. bake that super char with duck shit and bones mix the result down with worm castings fed on rabbit manure and then blend it all down in the mortar mixer with a few minor ingredient like kelp and I got something worth sending to a lab for a rating.
15 liters/7.5 kg of organic castings alone is running 35-40 bux online I can't image what it cost in a shop cuzz I dont buy things like that. 120 gallons batches is 454 liters of the char alone divide that by 15 liters a bag let's call it 30 bags and that not including castings or any of the other stuffins to push the credentials of the product in the mouth of everything else. 30 bags times 20 bux is 600 dollars a day. Granted the product would probably sell for 40 bux 20 is my wholesale, woodchips are free and I'd have an excuse to up the size of my flock for their poo alone. Now I don't really want to sell soil I want it all for my purposes id rather sell what that kind of amendment grows and when that's something worth buying I can fall off to hustling soil when every inch of the property is covered in it. I've earned 600 dollars a day a few times in my career and it was a good life of spending all my money on permaculture type gear, those were the days I could afford that 1000L compost brewer and the pellet mill without sweating it. To earn that kind of money i spent 95% of my waking hours chained to a computer so really if there was such a tank for 5 grand even 10k i'd probably max out my credit card to get it.

Thanks for those links I've seen them all, I'm not into that style of backyard shinanagans I've got that going plenty and Im sick of things like that. Baja Robs was the best and I keep looking at his site but I can find a reasonable breakdown of his kiln so I can access the viability of such a large scale contraption. Like I said his is the most serious it looks like it will still be standing in 3 years, I'm not into anymore hacks I've got a tlud for when im doing nasty pressure cooker experiments like todays pressure cooker woodchip urine fiasco and right next to it is a galvanized chicken feeder tlud for bigger stuff than 1g. I've got the rocket stove dehydrating room already and I really don't want anymore 55 gallon barrels in the yard unless there permanent and WORK like how the hornito guys works and he can caka on other inferior methods. After I saw his video I couldn't consider another barrel hack job, I'm afraid of the energy audit police coming for me in the night I can't go down with crowd when the green technology miasma collapses. I can't stop thinking about this max planck affair those guys are so serious if I can just stick to stepping off their train at phase one "humas" they can keep there world saving fuel refining phase 2 and 3 stuff I don't have the intellect for that.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://permies.com/battery
 
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