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Pollution of rocket mass heater of batch rockets.  RSS feed

 
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Hi there all.



I have a conventional woodstove, metal with afterburn chamber, do well, however in the Netherlands there is a big discussion going on about woodstoves, more and more people who do not like them
like mine nabure, while here there are a lot of woodstoves, I am supporting clean energy, I feel better when this is the case.

I ask myself, what is the cleanest way to burn wood, the rocket, the batch rocket? or maybe a version you people now and I don't.

I am busy with some things like a electrical draft ventilator and a electrostatic filter for the fine particles, I think with a rocket mass heater I can take away almost al fine particles with this high voltage
filter, The netherlands is quite tense populated and for example Amsterdam there is burning wood a problem with polution, I have to say almost nobody do now what a rocket mass heater is, and use
a open fire or a very old woodstove without any afterburn, and this is asking for disaster what concerns polution, who we do not want, technology can give a solution, the less wood we need for a
Kw the better the fire burns, and cleaner, and this is what a rocket mass heater can do.

I have not outcomes from measurements about rocket heaters, and also not how much fine particles she have in the excaust. Maybe here somewhere is a reading from such a stove.

Here is the burning metal stove I have, and a test setup of a rocket. you see no smoke, it is quite clean.






Thanks.

kees

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pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I think that a properly functioning rocket mass heater design of any kind takes care of most of it's own pollution.

Also, it is speculated that the lack of particulates from wildfires and wood burning is responsible for a negative effect on the production of rain clouds in the atmosphere. So while it is necessary to minimise the amount of localised wood smoke particulates in populated environments, putting tiny carbon particulates into the atmosphere could improve precipitation patterns downwind of you, should they be suffering drought.

Additionally, increasing cloud cover increases the cloud albeido (the amount of solar energy reflected off of the cloud tops). Tiny carbon particulates from wood fires could, in fact, reduce global warming.

As to a design of rocket mass heater that would minimise carbon pollution, I was thinking about those top-burning charcoal retorts some people use for the making of biochar. If the batch box was designed in such a way that the fuel pile burned from the top, then dropped through a grate into an oxygen-free drawer below as it broke down, most of the carbon would be captured as charcoal. This could be sequestered in the soil as biochar (whether or not it was inoculated, it would eventually come to host soil bacteria), or packed up and put to another use that didn't involve combusting it the rest of the way (it could be sold and used as charcoal, but that would defeat the purpose of sequestering the carbon in the first place), or could even be dropped into the ocean, for lack of more imaginative uses.

I would love to hear other opinions on this issue. Good question.

Not to thread-jack, but I would also love to hear any ideas on rocket mass heater designs that could produce biochar as a by-product. It seems a natural extension of the subject material, and one that might result in cleaner RMH systems by removing some of the carbon from the combustion cycle. Yes, if the point of the system is to use the least wood to produce the most heating, this is a non-starter. But I think the interest in RMHs is widespread enough that interests and usage will differ.

-CK
 
pollinator
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A Top Lit Up Draft (TLUD)charcoal making stove is easy to make.
I built mine from a cheap stock pot and a tin can.
I wonder if building with refractory materials would make sense.

With a laid of pellets  my 4 gallon tlud burned for about an hour  I think.
I find the processing of the fuel to be the daunting bit.
A uniform fuel bed helps it work, easy with pellets, harder with sticks.
I haven't tried wood chips,but I've seen them used to good effect ,even when moist.
Most people use an accelerent  to get the entire top of the fuel to light at the same time.
I would want to get away from that.


One post on this forum suggested exhausting a tlud into a bell or mass.
They went on to suggest that the tlud could be one of 4 or 6, or however many,each plugged into the system like a cartridge,and removed when spent.


I like the idea.
Char is tangible carbon sequestration,and useful even if you can't sell it trade it.


Filtering exhaust presents a problem,how to dispose of the captured waste.
No matter what it is, if it's not good in the air  it needs to be sequestered.
 
gardener
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Kees, i think, the best rocket regarding emissions, is the batch rocket, coupled with a bell. A smidge dirtier at startup, than the J tube iirc. But, cleaner overall, than the J tube. Because there is less excess air. That is if i have understood Peter well.

A double bell grabs most of the fine particules. Obviously not all.  But it would be interesting to see a real life test on one of those.

I have been burning mine three winters. And the chimney top has barely changed color.
 
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If you want to learn about building a clean wood burner, read up on thermal oxidizers. Also, the 3 T's of combustion efficiency - Time, Temperature and Turbulence. Metal wood stoves are at the lower end of the spectrum on temperature and time so they are not the best option.

The US EPA regulated wood stove emissions. They do not regulated masonry heaters because they burn so clean.

 
pollinator
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Just to throw a wrench in the works....

If you only burn dead wood (fallen branches, trees that died from natural causes, etc.) then all you are doing is releasing the carbon embodied in that wood, carbon that would likely have re-entered the atmosphere anyway.

However, if you cut down a live tree for firewood, not only are you releasing the CO2 sooner than it would have been released, but you have stopped that tree from sequestering all of the CO2 it would have captured from that day on.  Even if you plant a replacement tree, it might be a hundred years before we get back to were we were before the original tree was cut down.

I'm not against burning wood, just pointing out that everything humans do has consequences and often we don't even think about those consequences.  On the other hand, trying to consider all the consequences can drive you nuts and possibly lead to worse consequences as we try to avoid acting due to indecision.   After all, failure to decide/act is itself a decision and an action.
 
Satamax Antone
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Yes Peter. But, forests tend to grow in europe. And they're worse for biodiversity than grassland. Or at least scientists say that. You're also forgetting a fact, that is, if you scatter cut threes ib a forest, it gives chance to the other ones to grow bigger. That means that a well managed forest has better yield than a primary forest. Cut the brush, for firewood, then the bad trees, then the carpentry trees, and re plant as the cycle repeats. Which is better, primary forest, or well managed forest, i don't know. But i think they're not that far off, from each other.
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
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Then, of course, there's the fact of artificial senescence. In forested areas where the natural succession has been stopped by humans wanting to keep forests "natural" by halting natural processes like forest fires, trees get old enough that they effectively stop sequestering carbon.

Removing trees that are older than their prime results in a renewal of succession patterns, even if in a form the forest didn't do itself.

Let's be clear: stopping forest fires is good for people, not forest systems. Humans stopping forest fires is interference in natural processes.

I think it's also important to keep in mind the limited good focusing on the harms done by rocket mass heater pollution can actually yield. There aren't many heating systems as efficient as an RMH. There are many more common highly-polluting ways of heating ourselves. electric heat of any kind, if generated with natural gas or coal, for instance, will pollute much more than a well-designed RMH, whatever the efficiency and cleanliness of the electric appliance.

There really are bigger issues to tackle.

-CK
 
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