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Biochar aquaponics medium and power harnessing

 
frank larue
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My buddy and I are planning to experiment with an aquaponics system this summer. I am also working on a solar energizer system for chicken mobile fencing.

I don't know much at all about electricity but can I power pumps and aerators off the same solar unit I am getting for the fencing?

We've built a TLUD kiln that we use to produce biochar. We wanted to use this great material as a growing medium for the aquaponics medium. Anybody tried this before?

thanks!

frank
 
Dolph Cooke
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Hello Frank

If you make your solar system well then you can run pumps and aerators of it as well as the electric fence energizers.
When I say well you need to take into account the draw from the different things attached to it and make sure you have
sufficient batteries to handle that load for at least 24 hours.

Because fish die fast without air I would be inclined to have a different or backup battery on the aerator.
so make sure the panels you get can charge all the batteries you have especially if no sun for a while.

On the biochar side of things we do a lot with biochar and here is a interesting experiment we did with biochar as a hydroponic medium
Biochar project Australia

The hotter you can get your gasifier the better your aquaponic medium will be we are going for large holes in the biochar about 800 degrees
you don't want low temp char as the organic compounds can leach into the fish water and cause problems. The bigger the holes the better the flow through
what we do is remove the char at the end of the salad cycle and put that in the forest and start again with new char as it gets clogged up quick.

also the biochar does something else to the water unexplainable i guess it makes it soft check on your fish health daily or experiment with a handful
of fingerlings first before you go full boar.

Experiment the cracker out of it and send me some photos and a blurb I will add it to my body of knowledge for the grass roots biochar.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke
 
frank larue
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Our unit had the whole drum glowing red but we didn't monitor the heat. What sort of device could do this for us? I know the location is extremely dangerous, but we have been limited in Brooklyn, big plans, tiny space..

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TLUD burn
 
frank larue
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"
If you make your solar system well then you can run pumps and aerators of it as well as the electric fence energizers.
When I say well you need to take into account the draw from the different things attached to it and make sure you have
sufficient batteries to handle that load for at least 24 hours.

"


I liked the idea from the other thread (http://www.permies.com/t/22159/chickens/Electric-movable-fencing) it would be possible to hook up a solar charger to two batteries at once. One of the fencing companies has a ready-made unit that charges two 12v batteries, while only one is necessary for (4) 40'x40' paddocks for a couple weeks. It will also charge a car battery I'm told. Perhaps I can use this system to top off a back-up car battery for the pumps and aerators and switch out one of the 12v that come with the system in the mean time. Thanks again for your time Dolph!

 
Dolph Cooke
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frank larue wrote:Our unit had the whole drum glowing red but we didn't monitor the heat. What sort of device could do this for us? I know the location is extremely dangerous, but we have been limited in Brooklyn, big plans, tiny space..



AWESOME This picture makes me sing. You have so many neighbors that is so many people to introduce to biochar. Almost makes me want to move to a city the potential you have right there. My nearest neighbor is 5 klm away : )

Well with devices to monitor the heat you really only need to do that if your trying to make a scientific claim (otherwise waste of money)
But the two cheaper ones are an Infra red Laser temp gauge (Cost me $200 AUD) this is fully manual you need to record heat in time.
or
A Temp logger with several channels and a bunch of K TYPE thermo couples (Cost me $600 4 channel 8 ktypes)

The best tools for this job is your eyes ears nose mouth and brain. GOD TOOLS yes
Eyes = see tthe barrel glow red
Brain = Recalls memories that when metals glow colors they are in deed at

  • 480 °C (896 °F) faint red glow
  • 580 °C (1,076 °F) dark red
  • 730 °C (1,350 °F) bright red, slightly orange
  • 930 °C (1,710 °F) bright orange
  • 1,100 °C (2,010 °F) pale yellowish orange


  • Ears = the roar of the flames (music to your soul)
    Nose = smell of smoke (Not going so good)
    Mouth = taste of the finished cold char (If you can taste acid then its not good)

    Now you need to make sure you surround your Biochar Nights with fun atmosphere how about
    a home made pizza and lemonade Night where everyone brings a plate of thier favorite toppings
    and you set about having fun and watching the fire.

    Awesome stuff mate

    Charmaster Dolph Cooke
     
    Chris Kott
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    Location: Toronto, Ontario
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    Hey Frank. I was just wondering if you could post some info on your kiln. Looks awesome, and I'd love to build one myself. I work at a print shop and bindery that goes through a fair bit of scrap wood that I could easily convert to biochar.

    -CK
     
    Dolph Cooke
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    Hey Chris

    Google Jro Ovens or Jolly roger retort or John Rogers biochar
    here is a link for a video www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg95KYrH8PI

    Get into it bro everyyone on earth should help out the planet with biochar for microbe homes.

    Charmaster Dolph Cooke
    Biochar
     
    frank larue
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    I'll keep using the God Tools then, and thanks for the color indicators.

    I was thinking of figuring out a way to build a pizza oven off the side as you mentioned Dolph!!

    We were hoping to integrate a kiln and retort in one unit. We have access to 80 lb bags organic cacao hulls (roasted and dry!) but the material is too dense to allow air flow. We were considering running the afterburner through an additional barrel filled with the hulls. Perhaps putting holes into the afterburner would allow the material to off-gas straight into the flames. Any chance you've heard of such a machination?

    We also wanted to find a way to use the chimney effect to harness a tiny amount of power with a heat-tolerant fan of some sort, again, heard of anything like this Dolph?


    Chris, the design was acquired from this video, to add to Dolph's recommendation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqkWYM7rYpU

    Here are a couple images showing the process of building and the early part of the burn. Apologies for the size of the images, it's a bit obnoxious but I'm not savvy enough to reduce the size.

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    frank larue
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    continued
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    IMG_6703.JPG
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    IMG_6737.JPG
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    Chris Kott
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    Has anyone tried feeding the hot exhaust back into the combustion stream? Or tried applying some of the rocketmass or rocket J-tube approaches to complete combustion of exhaust products?

    Also, with materials that don't have sufficient airflow properties, is there a reason why you don't use an anoxic pyrolysis (I think that's the word) chamber? I was thinking that it might be possible to use steel piping, capped at each end with hot water heater-style pressure release valves, and a sleeve of perforated sheet metal providing an air space between the organic matter and the pipe wall. I was thinking that the volatile gasses exiting the chamber could be piped down into the combustion stream and used as fuel.

    I obviously have some technical reading to do, those were just the thoughts I had when I encountered the problem, so it might not be properly thought-out as presented.

    I was also considering a solar sealed-chamber design after I saw a large solar cooker on www.appropedia.org made from some highly-reflective material and a reclaimed old satellite dish, and recorded a cooking temperature of 400C. I figure it would be possible to work with the design to increase that figure. It also occurred to me, just now, actually, that the above-mentioned pipe chamber design might work with a trough-style solar collector. Is anyone doing biochar with solar power?

    -CK
     
    Chris Kott
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    Sorry, I forgot to say. Don't worry about reducing the size, the pics are gorgeous. I see how this works now. Thanks very much.

    -CK
     
    Dolph Cooke
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    THATS IT LADS and LASSES

    USE your whole mind and get to building the most Permacultured biochar device in History.
    Or Even better lets all hold hands and Draw from the Universal mind for the Supreme Being" : )

    Her is a list from Important to not as important please feel free to add to it.

    1. Biochar (This is the Holy Grail) The homes for microbes + Time will equal = TERRA PRETTA (SO far a Mythical Legend) Have you actually seen it Grow ?
    2. Emmision controls (Water Scrub, Reticulation, Reinvesting the unburnt, My Favorite Conditioning a barrel of biochar as a condensor, Exhaust damper, Heat exchange for energy )
    3. Harnessing Site heat (Flue pipe chip dryer, Flue pipe Adobe people warmer, Flue pipe induction to copper pipe or water jacket= Hot showers, Making pizza or cooking food,)
    4. Alternative energy (Dissimilar metals concept, Heat absorbstion, Boiling water for steam power, Using flue gasses turbines, using risers and secondary air to pressurise special flues)
    5. GIve to the World (Make it simple so poor people can make it and if you can go to poor area and show em how to make it.) This is my favorite after Biochar.
    6. Wake up World (Make it modular and show the world that your ideas are worth spreading Thanks TeD : )

    Here is a pic of my Combo Tlud Rocket called the Tlud Stumpy



    I designed it for Safety, Efficiency on fuel and fumes and to reengage the old men of the menshed oh and to make Biochar note the modular design its plug and play.

    You guys are exciting me lets make something awesome and cheap

    Charmaster Dolph Cooke
    Biochar Australia
     
    Chris Kott
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    Awesome! That looks like a J-tube right there! I was wondering, though, if there's a book or something that covers common mistakes and general no-no's about using biochar. I know that if you get the temperature high enough (500C+) you burn off any volatiles that might otherwise contaminate the water, but I like learning from the mistakes of others so I don't have to kill a lot of fish making the same ones myself; I will be able to, at least, make entirely new ones

    Thanks again.

    -CK
     
    Chris Kott
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    Charmaster Dolph, I just checked out your site. Amazing. I'm building a kiln in by backyard here in Toronto to deal with wood and paper waste from my workplace (a printshop/bindery). I have two questions:

    1) Do you know of any issues using biochar in a temperate climate (I live in Toronto, as I said, and while I haven't heard anything negative about it, I have heard that terra preta works well in sub-tropical/tropical environments because of the increased and year-round microbial activity which tends to break down organic matter in a hurry and depletes the soil)?

    2) Are there issues trying to use printers' mix (paper waste that includes binding glue, lamination, aqueous and uv coatings, packing tape, and inks and toners from printed material)? I have been thinking of using an anoxic chamber to hold wood that would be charred by the heating of that chamber exclusively, and powered by the high-temperature combustion of that paper (rocket stove-style complete combustion by feeding the exhaust stream back into the combustion chamber). Have you heard of anyone else doing this sort of thing?

    Thanks.

    -CK
     
    Dolph Cooke
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    Dear Chris

    Answer to your 1st question. "Do you know of any issues using biochar in a temperate climate"
    Firstly you need to know that there is no issue that can not be overcome.

    Biochar is such a young industry and it is broken into a many parts by anally retentive prostitute scientists hell bent on getting their next paycheck and who cares what the outcome is.

    Step back and see the truth. Quiet simply the ancient amazon Indians created Terra pretta a soil that was fertile. Today no scientist has come anywhere close.
    Simple answer is todays scientists are missing one variable and that is TIME. In their lust for the Dollar they are making shit up that simply did not exist in the amazon.

    Cases in point Temperature and Stainless steal retorts that make energy, Gas and Biochar. Wake up world anything scientist touch turns to shit. They can't even agree on simple things like how the earth was made or how old it is or who made the pyramids and with what.

    So take back your power as an inquisitive mind and go out an experiment. Just because terra pretta was found in the amazon does not make it the perfect thing for the entire world it is.

    As a caretaker of the world your charged with trying to help nature clean up after mans greedy raping of the planet seas and atmosphere. Let me tell you of Terra Pretta Australis Yes black earth found in Australia as a legacy of aboriginals to our continent Australia. Google it mate.

    So short answer is not enough good trials have been performed by people wise enough to see all realms to make a statement saying biochar does no work in temperate zones.

    So now that you can totally disregard science and commercial greed propaganda for the thorn in humanities side they are. You are free to experiment to a child a visual demonstration is far better than data sets required by scientists. Teach the children in a fun and wholesome way and they will be able to carry on the work as they grow.

    here is an exerpt -- Adriana Downie, Asia Pacific Biochar Conference 2009. Discovering Terra Preta Australis: Rethinking temperate soils capacity to sequester carbon. Adriana ...



    Second Question "Are there issues trying to use printers' mix (paper waste that includes binding glue, lamination, aqueous and uv coatings, packing tape, and inks and toners from printed material)?

    Again a perspective view is needed let me punch one out for you.

    You and your Mind/heart/body + Biochar Idea + waste left over from your company is probably less damaging to the environment than 2 feedlot cows.

    Hows that for perspective ? Your demonstrating in your writing that you care about the environment and that your willing to enquire into a better way to reuse your waste this my brother is millenniums ahead of most of the people on earth. Sure you will want to be careful inhaling those nasties as they could have sudden effects like Death. The biochar you will create will offset the pollution you cause and in the scheme of things this is not much.

    Scientist LIE they CHEAT they steal and they can be seen in time as the true terrorists to Nature. They put out such bullshit peer reviewed by gutless ball less sycophants who want to stay in the in-crowd so they will review this mindless shit and pass it with flying colors the whole system is corrupt. Keeping people like us not wanting to heal the earth with such a technology because we care about what people think of us.

    Fire will reduce most things to its base elements and on this planet that is carbon. With a little thinking for ones self you can come up with ways of dealing directly with the pollution.
    I am not aware of a system that could remove all the pollution from an exhaust of a retort that does not cost a lot of money. for now as a grass roots biochar maker you have to be content with offset.

    Off set = Pollution you cause is one total and the environmentally good things you do is another total you want your Good to out weigh your bad by a factor of 10* 10* is my feeling rule you should leave the planet better than you found it by 10. Goodness that lasts 10 generations and teach 10 people to feel the same way. This is true offset.

    Put your char in gardens and country where little care is being taken like a school yard or medium strips or even ninja your charcoal to the Dump that will help a lot.
    Then grow trees and plants that last a long time filtering the air with their mechanisms.
    Put some money you saved from waste disposal into education programs in local schools
    lobby your local governments to change their ways with pollution
    drop teabags of biochar into the polluted waterways to extract the toxins then put the char in the forest.
    give away all your ideas you have created to everyone for free this will help others create better units from your start point.
    Eat better foods full of nutrition so you have the brain capacity to really evolve and spread the truth.
    most of all think for yourself and remember you are not a slave and no one can get in-between you and mother nature so do not let them.

    If you want to send me a private email I can share with you some things that will help you.

    Charmaster Dolph Cooke
    Biochar Project




     
    Boris Leonov
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    Dolph Cooke wrote:

    The hotter you can get your gasifier the better your aquaponic medium will be we are going for large holes in the biochar about 800 degrees
    you don't want low temp char as the organic compounds can leach into the fish water and cause problems.


    Hello Dolph!
    I am also interested in using biochar in aquaponics.
    You mention later in this forum the various temperatures at which metal glows, but you state them in both C and F. Are you saying 800 degrees in C or F would be best for aquaponics-grade biochar?
    Thanks a lot and happy permaculturing!
    Boris
     
    Jeremiah Robinson
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    Location: Madison, WI
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    Biochar in aquaponics is a hassle because it floats. I can be a good filter or biofilter material though.
     
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