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Aug 12, 2009

In our first 'Afterhours' Edition of Two Beers With Steve we let the recorder run while we finished out our six packs before heading off to bed at night. Usually, after we wrap up the show we all stick around because nobody wants to go home and we have some of our best discussions and unfortunately I haven't been taping them, but from now on I will (if there is alot of interest). Let us know what you think.

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almost five years ago

What if cans came with the hole pattern, and sizes, ptnried on them beneath the paper label? Just peel off the paper wrapper, punch out the holes with two or three nails of different sizes and, presto, you now have a stove. No written directions, no fancy tools, no measuring, just punch and cook. A little help with how to load and light the stove would need to be provided. So stove tutors could go from place to place cooking all along the way.Might have to pay for new printing technology that would allow cans to be ptnried on both tops, bottoms, and sides. But this cost would be diluted over millions of cans and many years.This could be tested by region and with the suppliers who were sending the greatest number of cans into the area of being tested for rates of adoption, diffusion and overall benefits delivered. [url=]hguifk[/url] [link=]ndcuwkedaf[/link]

almost five years ago

Great questions. We are coimtmted to organic principals as a standard of doing business. Testing for heavy metal is very important whenever there is suspicion of contamination. Our source of wood is from a nearby pallet mill. Lesser quality trees or trees with defects are what this mill uses in exclusitivity. They simply take freshly harvested trees and use them in fabrication of pallets. This is the only feasible way of getting affordable wood for them. We take their scrap wood that accumulates from the manufacture of the pallets. We do not test for heavy metals because we know that the source of wood is pure. Outside of that, we do occasionally mix in seasoned wood from our own woodlots.Our large retort (Adams retort) is a protected design. The design can be purchased from an outside source I can share with you if you would like to go down that road. Our small steel unit is going back into the shop today for modifications. We are having a lift added to the design so practically anyone can make biochar with it. After it gets back in, we will take pictures and do a write-up on our blog. We will contact you to share the design.We very much appreciate your kind words. Keep the questions coming. We are always eager to hear from our followers!

almost five years ago

Hello Jock,As a rule WS [WorldStove] does not do boiling tests. We tune the stevos to local cooking traditions. Not all countries use lids. In Haiti and Niger we used lids, in Sierra Leone and Ghana we did not, in Ethiopia we did not use pots.Rather than try to bid and test to a standard we adapt the stevos to have the lowest emissions possible while permitting people to continue their traditions. While the big groups and funders would like to have a way to compare stevos, our focus is not the big groups but the individuals perhaps that is why our stove seems to be doing so well. After all, a stove that is really good at boiling 5 liters of water in a flat bottomed stainless steel pot with out a lid, using fuel that is not available in the field, provides little or no indication of how effective it will be in the field. We're happy to let the big groups talk and bring attention to stevos, in the mean time last week we made 8000 more stevos.I find it helpful to focus on one country and make the best possible stove for them and then move on to another and another and so on. This way we get away from theory and experimentation and really start helping the people who need a better cleaner, more economical way to do their daily cooking.Hope this helps, and keep up the good workN[Nathaniel Mulcahy - posted with permission] [url=]vexrxlefbvx[/url] [link=]nfsywv[/link]

almost five years ago

Hi Frog I'm very glad to see you're still pushing this idea in srupopt of the little guy/gal that wants to produce char for his/her own use and sense of environmental responsibility, as opposed to the prevailing commercial argument that large-scale is the only way to go.It appears that the TDF concept is coming along nicely now with a definition in the making, particularly in terms of clarification about the sources of feedstocks over area, space and time.Another dimension that you could also include in here is slash-and-char amongst remote forest communities in order to use the available biomass much more responsibly, and to limit the frequency and range of the cycles? I'll be doing some stuff on this starting in January 2011, and will send you my thoughts and some updates once the links become more apparent.Please also post more updates about your work with the herders in Mongolia, to give readers more of an insight into how the TDF concept works on grasslands, and why it makes sense to promote it.Re. the carbon markets, it may be worth taking a careful look at the growing carbon farming / carbon ranching movements in the US, Oz and NZ to see where the concepts meet up and srupopt each other in ways that achieve more than they could ever do on their own.And finally, in terms of determining the amount of carbon (current and future potential), the Rodale Institute is doing some good stuff on developing methods and tools for small-scale farmers it may be possible to apply this over large grassland/pasture expanses too.Again, thanks for your hard work and see you again soon in Thailand!Cheers,Bryan

almost five years ago

1,500 degrees F from a small iCan Here is an empreixent you can do with two 11 cm tall x 23.3 cm circumference cans.Can #1: 7 holes plus one on the center of the bottom for the primary air supply just as before. For the secondary air, mark the center of a hole every centimeter. This will give 23 holes evenly spaced around the can, 1/3 of the height down from the top. These holes should be made carefully with a 7/32 inch bit. This will be your iCan.Can #2: cutout the center of the bottom of the can with some tin snips. Leave about 1.5 cm all around the the bottom of the can. The result will be a hole in the center that is about 4.5 cm in diameter. This is about 60% of the diameter of the can. This is your draft enhancer and concentrator.Note: When using tin snips on cans, please be VERY careful of razor sharp edges. Carefully smooth out any sharp bits and burnish the edges of the hole to reduce the chance of a student getting cut by a sharp fragment of metal.Load the iCan with the usual 85 grams of wood pellets.Start the pyrolysis.Now place can #2, the draft enhancer and concentrator, on top of the iCan. Try it with the partially open end immediately above the burning gases. Observe. Then invert the can such that the smaller opening is on top. Observe.What changes:Flame patterns? (Compare with flame pattern when the second can is NOT in place.)Pyrolysis time?Max. temperature at exit point of the top can;Dry weight of biochar captured?Hints for tuning:1. Try an aperture in the second can that is about 1/2 the area of the top of the iCan. Mark the circumference of the desired aperture on the bottom of the second can. Then put nail holes, quite close together, all around the circumference. This will make it much easier for the tin snips to create a neat aperture with relatively clean edges that take only modest cleanup and burnishing.2. Try less primary air via fewer and/or smaller holes;3. Try a multi-level secondary air hole pattern;With careful tuning, you can tame this two can system very nicely.I easily achieved a maximum temperature of over 1,500 degrees F. This amount of heat is DANGEROUS and requires very close supervision. Younger students should not be allowed to try this empreixent.

Alan Page
almost nine years ago

Biochar is much more important than your treatment of it would lead people to believe. First, charcoal production does not have to involve burning of the material - it should involve pyrolysis which is controlled heating in an oxygen free atmosphere. If the energy released by the gasification that is part of the pyrolysis is recovered it is carbon neutral but the charcoal (used as biochar) is carbon negative because the char is essentially non-reactive at soil temperatures. So that the portion of the carbon that remains in the biochar was withdrawn from the atmosphere by plants and has been \"fixed\" so that it will not return to the CO2 pool for milenia.

Equally important, the biochar has properties that allow it to enhance the properties of good soils and repair damage done by past abuse. There are several steps to making good biochar that need to be well understood before you go just bumping raw charcoal into your garden, fields or woods. But our culture needs to hear more about these special aspects of the very special carbon negative opportunity that biochar production offers.

Regarding other biofuels and pyrolysis as well, it is important to use residues from other productive uses of boilogical materials rather than taking fields or forests out of production of the basic commodities that would normally be grown there. We waste too much for us to fuel our excesses from diversions of productive crop land into energy.
Thanks for carrying on the discussion.