FatBoy Gasifier plans for making Biochar at home

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by bazman, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Hi All

    I have just finished putting all my plans and photos online of my latest Biochar making system. I have called the unit FatBoy because it sort of looks like one :D

    https://www.biochar.net/fatboy-gasifier/

    The system was built for about $20 or so and with some mild engineering know how, you should be able to knock one up over a weekend.

    I have put some focus into areas of common gasifier design which can be a real pain to deal with. it's dead easy to light and get going without using toxic flammable fuel, it does not produce smoke after less than 30 seconds of lighting. It's a fast process making a batch in about 15 minutes. It has a simple indicator for when the unit is ready to quench. The size of the flue and a secondary air inlet have been designed to greatly reduce emissions. It's still a work in progress and I'm starting to design a larger 150 litre unit.

    If you have any questions or ideas please feel free to ask :)

    View attachment 1274
     

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  2. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Thanks bazman.
     
  3. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    Thanks Baz
    I cant get the measurements image to load is it just me?
     
  4. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Just fixed that image. =)
     
  5. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Baz, I am working on a small biochar stove, here, for cooking pig food. Glad to see you are still evangelizing on behalf of biochar!
     
  6. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    So Baz, I know you are a champion about inoculation of biochar to be done properly, what would YOU do after you made a batch in your Fatboy?
     
  7. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Hi Guys

    Glad to see you are still surviving in the jungle Chris, one issue you may have is the gasifier design runs pretty fast, two ways to increase the processing length. 1. increase the depth of the inner chamber so the unit has more biomass to convert. 2. Once the process has started and the unit goes from lighting/burning the top material into gasification you could try reducing the inner chambers air inlet to slow the amount of air travelling up the inner chamber which in turn reduces the volume of wood gas(fuel). no need to reduce the outer air as the unit will just take what it needs. The collar below the secondary air is the hottest part of the unit. I'm getting a surface heat of about 500Degrees C. Interfering with the logo flue will increase smoke and emissions. What might be better solution is a rocket stove, I was talking to a friend of mine about them and how you could make some minor changes to them and they would allow the collection of char, you can keep rocket stoves going for hours by feeding them sticks and once they are up to heat you can even mix in damp or green wood, so I have been told. If I have any luck at making a rocket stove that collects char I will post the plans let you know. :)

    What do I do with all my home made Biochar. I have 6 compost bins going at any one time so I just sit the bucket of Biochar next to the bin and when I add green kitchen waste or animal manures I add a thin layer of Biochar. I also have a plastic 200 litre drum which I make bio-teas/sludge in, these brew for many months and contain everything from weeds/weedseeds to dead canetoads. I end up with half a drum of Biochar in the bottom which I apply around the garden, when I add compost or other organic matter.

    I have also added Biochar to one of my worm farms which I take castings from but this is just a test to see how that goes (so far so good). The reason you apply Biochar to your garden via compost is the wood based Biochar I make is highly porous and when applied directly to soils can have a negative effect like mulch nitrogen draw down effects, think of it as you are applying an empty sponge which soaks up all the moisture and nutrients taking those away from you plants and other soil biota until it is full which can take years depending on your soil type. If it's added to compost it will get charged up with nutrients and the masses of micro bugs that develop in composts. Another benefit is Biochar will reduce the amount of nitrogen lost in making compost and increase the starting heat and overall process time. Biochar does not rot or break down in compost.
    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?8883-Biochar-Compost-Research

    The Biochar my company makes is different, the process we use retains many of the manure nutrients and the process produces a very low ash yield making it suitable for direct application to soils, but I also suggest adding a liquid nutrient directly to the bucket a few days before using it to increase the performance of the product.
     
  8. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Baz, Thank you! I am doing well, lots of work on the farm, and the last two years I have been thinking about biochar. I admit, when you firs talked about it, I didn't "get it". I have been working with Albert Bates, and he did a very excellent presentation on biochar during the last two PDCs. He wrote "The Biochar Solution", which is a great read.

    I have been looking at your blog and will e looking at your sites in the next few days. I realy need to come up with something. I do put my charcoal from my fires and pizza oven into water, and have been mixing it with manure.

    Thanks for continuing on this, Baz. Its important work!
     
  9. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Here is the system Councils should use
    https://www.garnautreview.org.au/CA25734E0016A131/WebObj/D0820706ResponsetoIssuePaper1-BESTEnergies/$File/D08%2020706%20%20Response%20to%20Issue%20Paper%201%20-%20BEST%20Energies.pdf
     
  10. Woz

    Woz Junior Member

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    URL is broke, can you post again please M.
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  12. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Hi Guys

    Thanks to a stainless steel pool pump housing and flue donation from permasculptor. I now have a much larger batch gasifier in the works, I was able to do a test fire it today and I was surprised by the heat it produced. It's 75 litre volume should produce a heap more Biochar than my current 14 litre version. I was able to use some of the parts from the older system so I could test flow rates. I will post some more pics as the system is refined. Thanks again permasculptor =)

    View attachment 1294

    The smoke you can see is from the paint in the inner chamber and outer drum burning off. I didn't get any smoke from the top flue.
     

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  13. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I have just brought a 1500mm x 450 dia pressure tank which will be my next biochar project, not sure if I will make a side draught hay/weed chaff bale gasifier, a 200 litre fatboy gasifier or two 100 litre fatboy units. my current version 2 fatboy unit is 75 litres. The tank cost $40. I will have to put my thinking cap on with regards to what I'm going to make with it.

    I will also have to add some detailed photos of my fatboy v2 unit too.

    I would also like to develop a small scale thermal oxidizer for the new system which will really improve emission quality too. For those who have seen my Fatboy run, you already know that low emissions are an important step in the development process for me. Wiki - Thermal_oxidizer
    [​IMG]
     
  14. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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  15. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

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    Well Kristofer I just wanted to say that would be good to use all the thermal energy, but there is lunch! :) Good one..
     
  16. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I have just posted to my Blog a series of photo's from my Fatboy V2 Gasifier project. This unit has now gone to a better home and I have bigger things to focus on.

    Link to my blog >>>>
     

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