Wilson Biochar Associates is working on a number of Flame Carbonizer Designs. We focus mostly on the Flame Cap Kilns. Below are pictures and descriptions of current and future kiln designs.
THE OREGON KILN
This Flame Cap Kiln is designed to process small diameter fuel load removal material and brush. This is material that would normally be burned in small hand-constructed piles in the forest. These kilns are also suitable for homeowners who are doing brush removal or cleaning up fallen trees and branches. The ideal feedstock size is six inches or less in diameter and four to five feet long.
The Oregon Kiln weighs about 200 pounds and can be unloaded and moved by a hand crew.
Load the material in loosely and light on the top. There will be very little smoke with the flame on top.
The pile will burn down until it collapses into a pile of glowing coals.
Material up to 6 inches in diameter can be used.
Ideally, material will be 20% moisture or less. Up to 25% moisture is ok. This material was under cover and about 25% moisture. It worked fine, even in the rain.
Once the initial charge has burned down to coals, add more material, one layer at a time. The new material will prevent air from reaching the coals underneath so the char is preserved until you quench it.
Ready for quenching.
In the woods.
In a backyard in town.
SCALING UP - THE AIR BURNER
The air curtain burner has a blower to provide counterflow air. This is very useful with material that is wet and full of dirt. It can also process larger diameter material. In this picture the blower is off.
Scaling up allows us to use machinery for loading
The Air Burner produced very good biochar.
FUTURE DESIGNS - SCALING UP
We are working on several different approaches to scaling up. While the blower and refractory insulation used in the Air Burner are useful, they are not necessary. We will be testing different kinds of larger steel containers, earth pits and wind screen designs to cheaply and efficiently convert waste wood to biochar.