Mr. Wheaton, I understand that you are not a fan of biochar...why not? I get it if you are just liberating CO2 to make fertilizer, but if you are also getting heat for your space and your food and a thermal mass bench all at once, it starts to make sense to me.
I have asked about these before.
The design does not burn the wood as efficiently as a conventional rocket. This is true of any rocket stove made of metal. When properly insulated, the temperatures inside a rocket is high enough to destroy even stainless steel in short order. These temperatures are a result of the complete burning of combustion gas, which is the key to the cleanliness and efficiency of the design.
A technology that could work for both heating and char production is a T.l.u.d. charcoal retort, vented into a Rmh style bench or bell.
One feature/bug of such a system would be the way a Tlud burns. Once lit it needs little tending till it is winding down.
This means less attention needed but also less control.
All of this is coming from an armchair rocketeer, I have built one core but never fired it....
Jeremy Watts : Welcome to Permies.com, our sister site Richsoil.com, and a Big welcome to Our Energy Forums!
So lets start off with giving you thanks for finding and posting this information ! This is definitely a new wrinkle on making Bio-
While I did not care for the way the gentleman has written up The Working Hypothesis of his ideas, a little muddled at 1st reading
He was presented in a manner that allowed him to be much clearer in person in the videos!
This could just be me, I am not used to a Welshman waxing scientifically poetic while channeling Robin Williams machine-gun verbal
style, this could very well explain the disconnect of his written style !
As near as I can tell, and I will want to re-read and view the whole thing a couple more times His modifications to Rocket stoves
is/are brilliant and his understanding of mainstream uses of bio-char are well received most places!
It is important to let him speak for himself, so as not to allow our biases to creep into our studies !
It is also a god good idea to let Paul Wheaton speak for himself, as he is well capable, some would say gifted
in that area!
While Finding Soils in So. America which were treated with bio-char centuries ago, and are still rich with retained carbon and bio-
activity has seemingly proven its effectiveness in Tropical locations, there have been carefully devised and scrutinized research
done at the University level that has given up a mixed review of its effectiveness in soil building, and Crop health/yields in more
A commonly accepted tenant and practice today is the belief that the soils bio-mass is damaged with tilling, How then are
you going to introduce your bio-char into the soil?
There are other questions of the correct time and temperatures for Bio-char production, it is possible to trap many of the Wood
gas products as they bubble out of our pyro-lysed charcoal creating a slightly more porous and more nutrient dense bio-char -not
unlike the way Marine coral appears under a microscope!
A recent report from Rice University seems to report that while the introduction of Bio-char to clay type soils reduces those soils
density and adds drainage ( and root penetration?) When bio-char is added to sandy type soils it also reduces the soils
density and has a positive effect on water retention due to its porousness (and micro nutrient storage abilities?!)
Finally, there is everywhere a tendency to mouth the words of ''Bio-char is potentially valuable if we use our resources wisely'',
meaning ''don't waste the heat energy and products off combustion to the environment'', and then for the sake of expedience ,
doing that very thing - ''Do as I say not as I do !''
With that in mind how would you proceed to export this technology to a 3rd world country ? Color it Chaos !
When a few of these questions have been studied and intelligent answers offered- there is still much good research in this field
needed ! I guess the best catch phrase for this is ''If you are not part of the solution - You may be the problem'', here at Permies
we say'' The problem IS the solution !'' For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
Late note ; As you did not specifically mention having your own copy of Rocket Mass Heaters This is where I suggest that
you consider going to Rocketstoves.com to download a PDF Copy of "The Book", It will be very important to you to clearly
understand the differences in Exactly what a Rocket stove and a Rocket Mass Heater RMH is so that in NOT muddying up the terms
you can communicate clearly in the future with this another Bio-char communities and blogs ! Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
LOOK AT THE " SIMILAR THREADS " BELOW !
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
There is a little confusion in the craft(!), and 'Ed' the speaker in the videos from the U.K. Further mucked up things with a further loose-y goose-y use
of the words Rocket Stove !
A correct definition for a Rocket Stove is as an outdoor only Cooking Appliance this was created to improve the lives of nearly 4 billion people who are
still cooking with 3-rock fires at outdoor kitchens or next to connecting breezeways in bad weather !
The original models were often a large tin can with a Horizontal feed tube in the side of the can, and a elbow and a vertical chimney made from cans,
small stove pipe or drainage pipe and common dry earth for cheap fill, stability, and insulation !
Efforts to make a more durable Rocket 'cook' stove out of clay pipe and tile produced long lasting heavier units, but not as fuel efficient as the tin can
Rocket 'Cook' Stove.
Efforts with Cob and cob and perlite or Volcanic rock were close but were non portable !
Today the Rocket 'cook' stove comes all these ways, the tin can model being very popular with Preppers/ Zombie hunters and survivalists !
The next development was the pocket rocket. For use out of doors this light weight unit offered no heat storage, as soon as the fire goes out you are cold!
This heater is used on picket lines, ice fishing and is an early craft project for cub scouts for use a day camps
The Rocket Mass Heater with a vertical feed, J-Bend was next! The work of the Heat Riser and the Thermal Mass has been Described ! However everyone
sooner or later slips and calls the Rocket Mass Heater a Rocket Stove, after all you can cook on the top of the barrel !
One of the major differences in the operation of a Rocket stove is that if carefully tended and perhaps insulated with all Perlite they will burn very cleanly,
certainly the running temperatures are well above the ignition point of Wood gases ~ 600dF ~ and the tin can model soon fails, easy come easy go !
The Wrinkle shown here fails into a middle grown, and ''ED " is mostly careful to call them Rocket-hybrids when asked ! You can clearly see the structural
damage to the metal- a form of hydrogen embrittlement
If "Ed'' is using a wood chip storage process to insulate the combustion zone and expose those chips to high temperatures in the 'general' absence of Oxygen
for the introduction of bio-char as an amendment to his manure, We are left to guess is he spreading the manure bio-char combo on top of the soil or tilling
The units we were exposed to certainly could not be duplicated or scaled up and expect longevity from the parts, however a Rocket Mass Heater could
certainly be built with todays materials and perform to a higher standard and last longer!
Again the production of bio-char without a way to use or store the heat degrades the whole population to using a (Big) playboy for personal vanity, another
but simpler problem would be a wood chip fuel source ! For the Craft ! Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
I've tried something similar, a gas bottle with a flue pipe up the middle. I was thinking of using it as a stove for outdoor cooking. I had it catching heat from below as well but reckon it would need to be well insulated which was detracting too much from my intended use so project suspended.
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