PCCI 14 – Wood Gasification & Biochar – Renewable Energy – Brian Shultz

thank you it’s interesting because I grad I graduated I retired from Grand Rapids Community College about a year and a half ago so I look at that as my later part of my career not my early part so we’re talking about my retirement as being my current part I don’t quite vision it that way yeah so today I’m going to talk a little bit about its wood gasification and I know that there’s been a lot of interest in this lately people seem to be somewhat confused about what it is and what it isn’t I’ve studied Wood gasification for quite a long time renewable energy in particular I was the Renewable Energy Manager at Grand Rapids Community College and I’m sort of a hands-on do-it-yourself sort of person and I’m going to show you that this is probably not for everybody but it might be let’s take a look at what what gasification is all about this presentation is my investigation into this and I’ve done a lot of research into wood gasification most of that in the European arena America has not done much with Wood gasification there are no really good scientific technical articles on Wood gasification in the u.s. the National Renewable Energy Lab probably has the best information out but if you want to research this I would say look at Norway Sweden Denmark Germany Europeans have done this for quite some time and really have the technical information about it my intent here is to give everybody some information about what this is what it isn’t clarify some of the terminology related to it and how this can be looked at as a renewable energy source if you want to do this you better be prepared to do a lot of tinkering build a lot of stuff this is not something that I think the average person can get directly involved with if you want renewable energy that you can just put and it just does its thing and gives you the feedback I would say go solar don’t do this alright so to talk about this I’m gonna have to talk a little bit about chemistry and I’m gonna have to throw some numbers out here and a little bit of physics and I’m trying to keep it to a minimum I expressed everything here in both Celsius and Fahrenheit and you’ll see that they’re differentiated by everything in Fahrenheit is in red numbers and everything in Celsius and black numbers but most this presentation is going to cover Wood gasification in general and then I’m going to describe a project that I’m intending to implement at my farm this year and hopefully have the system operational by Christmas that’s a goal and next year if I do this presentation I’ll have some real actual data to support when I’m going to show you here today so I want to take a little survey we’re not going to introduce ourselves with this number of people takes way too long how many people in here partially heat with wood ok how many people in here wholly heat with wood there’s a couple all right that’s many I thought how many people in here process their own wood you don’t buy it you actually cut it haul it stack it all that ok how many people in here have ever gasified a piece of wood well I Got News for you you all have and I’m going to show you how that happened ok so we’ve all used matches and doesn’t matter really whether you’ve used a wooden match or a paper match the principle is the same here and if it was a little darker in here and you could look at this you would see that that flame is not actually quite touching that piece of wood it is slightly off of that piece of wood okay and we have always left over this little black piece when we get done so what happened there when we struck this match so for a long time people didn’t have matches it was quite a lengthy invention actually took a hundred years

to come up with the chemical compound for the tip of that match that allows when you make that strike on that box enough friction to produce enough heat to ignite the phosphorus that’s on the head of that match and that phosphorus then ignites what’s called potassium chlorine heats it up and it releases oxygen because we’re just swamped why shy of the temperature at which wood ignites which is 451 degrees and I’m sure we all remember the book Fahrenheit 451 okay that’s what that came from that’s the temperature at which wood will spontaneously ignite so we strike this tip of this match we produce enough heat to get this wood to burn with oxygen but that is not enough actually to sustain this burning what is happening down is that the heat produced from the striking of that match heats this wood up enough that the gas that’s contained in that wood is being released into that flame the flame on that matches that was burning here is roughly in this range 600 800 degrees centigrade or 1,100 to about 1500 degrees Fahrenheit that wood will release gas starting at about 200 degrees centigrade all the way up to about 2,000 degrees centigrade so once we start the process the heat from the flame is forcing the gas in this wood to be released into the flame over that a little bit more detail another example of that that’s kind of interesting you may have seen this this is a common candle anybody know what the wick of that candle is made out of cotton okay gasification can occur with any biomass doesn’t have to be wood what happens to be one of the better one but cotton will also so we have paraffin wax surrounding clip surrounding that wick the flame is burning is that plane burning the cotton is that flame burning the paraffin sure okay coming up I know let’s try it again I think there’s too much breathing okay so I really needed that candle without touching that wick okay how’d that happen a gas same gas that was coming off that piece of wood is coming out of that piece of cotton in that wick when I extinguish that flame and that gas is flammable enough I’ve gotten it if you get in a real still condition I can get about two inches away and reignite these candles like that okay so we have gas coming here from both the paraffin and from the wick so what’s left over so we took that piece of wood we ignited it we baked it we got it hot enough to release gas and then what’s left over is this black char now depending on what you use that char for it’s got a couple of different names if you’re going to then burn the char which is flammable it’s called charcoal and we’ve all used charcoal charcoal briquettes if you’re going to use it in the ground as a soil amendment that’s called biochar they are exactly the same thing but you hear the word biochar now being used a lot but it is charcoal so the chemical process here is called pyrolysis and it is a thermal chemical process meaning it is a chemical processes driven by heat and we are decomposing that piece of wood rather quickly and an elevated temperature and the best way to do it is without oxygen now obviously that match is drawing oxygen from around the room the flame is actually keeping the oxygen away from the wood so we have a heat source we have a fuel source piece of wood we’d like to put that fuel source inside of a box an oven and we’d like to heat it up and bake it and as it gets hotter and hotter and hotter that

piece of wood starts transforming and when it transforms it releases several substances it releases some substances that are liquids we call those tars it releases some substances that are gases those are the ones we’re interested in right now and then it also has a byproduct of biochar most of the time not all the time we’ll cover that in a minute so here’s where it gets a little technical but I’m gonna refer back to this particular slide a lot so we need to spend a little time on it so at about 200 degrees centigrade or 392 degrees Fahrenheit paralysis starts happening this piece of wood that we’re baking starts transforming and in that temperature range it remains still basically a solid 75% of it and it starts producing tars liquids start coming out of it and these are the names we give those stars when we’re in this particular temperature range it also starts releasing gas but not very much of it so we turn up the heat a little bit we start baking it at a higher temperature the next phase is called slow pyrolysis 300 to 400 degrees centigrade roughly and at that temperature range we start producing a lot of charcoal 35% and by excuse me we start transforming it less into a solid piece of wood and more into tars and gases so this phase here it’s pretty equally split and these are the names of the gases we give here or the liquids I’m sorry that we give it here we probably recognize one of these Larry you you know what’s one you just talk to me about yesterday hurry us up okay so three Saul you the precursor to creosote the basic chemical substance of creosote so depending on what you want to achieve in your pyrolysis process you work at different temperature ranges so let’s go up one more look up a little bit higher which getting pretty hot now 400 to 600 degrees centigrade and we started producing a lot of bio oil a lot of creosote a lot of tar what temperature and most of your wood stoves burning out yeah 100 centigrade no no but most people are running their wood stoves in this range right here and then you run your wood stove at that range it distills a lot of tar out of the wood that tar collects on the inside of your stove the inside of your chimney as creosote but it’s composed of more than just creosote but these are the tars that are contained in there so the chemical industry pyrolysis is wood at different temperatures depending on what they want to get out of it if they want to extract oil out of wood they use these temperature ranges if they want to extract biochar or gas these different ranges we’re concerned with we want to gasify this piece of wood and use the gas but at the same time we’d like to probably minimize the amount of tar and the amount of charcoal that is left over we’ll hit on that in a minute so let’s go up one more step so we keep turning the heat up on this piece of wood and we get up in the 600 to 800 degrees centigrade range and at this range we start producing what are called secondary tars a secondary tar is a tar that you cannot detect if I gave you a piece of wood and you did a chemical analysis on it you would not find those tars in it those tires are created out of these tires going through a chemical transformation due to the heat but we start producing a lot of gas 75 percent well that piece of wood now is being converted to a gas we’ll look at that gas in a second let’s keep cranking it up here we crank it up a little bit more anybody know what the word tertiary means third okay so we’re producing now another level of tars that we’re not in that piece of wood you could not detect them the heat is creating them out of the existing

tires these are the guys down here called tertiary tars and you may have heard this phrase and we’re gonna cover it at the end called PAH anybody know what that means okay with it at the end but these are the bad guys these are the guys that everybody doesn’t want to create because of the amount of cancer-causing agents that are in them so there’s kind of a sweet spot in this whole process of taking a piece of wood and pyrolysis izing it into a gas and in my opinion that sweet spot is right here because what we’d like to do is to create the most amount of gas the least amount of tires and the least amount or some amount of charcoal biochar and not have an excessive amount of ash created in the process so I’m gonna refer back to this try and keep these in mind though the temperature ranges that we’re talking about here and what’s going to be achieved at each temperature range so let’s look first at we’re gonna I’m gonna focus on this spot right here the rest of this presentation will be on if we gasify at this temperature what do we get out of this okay it’s well let’s go to I’ll show you in a second let’s look at the gas first and then we’ll look at the time so would gas that’s one of the names for the gas let’s back up one sec so there’s a bunch of different names if you read all these studies everybody doesn’t use the same terminology that’s a big problem with this whole field is that the terminology is not used consistently so when they say we’re gonna make a gas out of this would some people call it pyrolysis gas wood gas sin gas or producer gas they are essentially all the same thing so what does what gas look like at that temperature range this is what it’s composed of we talked about hydrogen cars and the hydrogen economy and hydrogen renewable energy wood gas has a lot of hydrogen in it carbon monoxide is a flammable gas methane same thing you produce the natural gas bio digesters another major constituent some other gases that aren’t real prevalent that are very powerful is ethylene acetylene where do we use acetylene now welding right yeah same for what different tree species will produce different percentages of this this is based on a hardwood a dried hardwood and it’s another whole science what would you put into your gasifier and what kind of gases you get out of it and then there’s also ethane in here so those five gases combined are what caused the combustion in wood gas there’s also some non combustible gases that come out carbon dioxide about eighteen percent and nitrogen about six percent this came from NREL their studies on wood gasification and remember this is that this particular temperature range if you gasify at the other ranges the same gases come out but the proportions are changed okay so what is tar tar is the liquid that comes out and remember we’re doing these different temperature ranges starting down here 200 degrees centigrade and we’re going to stop here at about 600 degrees centigrade so if I take a piece of wood and I cook it at about 200 degrees centigrade the tar I get out of it is basically lighter than oil excuse me lighter than water it’s an oil that’s lighter than water and the main one that we’re all familiar with there’s a bunch of them it’s turpentine so that’s how the chemical industry gets turpentine out of a piece of wood they pyrolysis it at a low temperature and that turpentine comes out so what do we use turpentine for all kinds of things then a solvent for a long time a paint thinner a polish it’s mixed in with wax it’s been used as a fuel and lamps engines and it’s been used to flavor Jim in fact we’re a long time gin was made that way so let’s look at the one four engines for just second

just a little fun thing on the side when Honda made his first engine his own engine of his own design he ran it on turpentine when Henry Ford made his first engine anybody know what he ran and I alcohol okay when Rudolf diesel made his first engine what did he run it on vegetable oil peanut oil in particular okay all naturally derived substances when Ferdinand Porsche made his first Porsche what did he run it on electrons the very first car Ferdinand Porsche ever design was an electric car so if you look at the those four or like you know the leaders in the automotive world and you look at what they thought they were creating they all envisioned that they were creating an internal combustion engine that would run on a renewable fuel source produced by farmers but in particular their concept was never that they were gonna be running on fossil fuels so low temperature we get turpentine turn up the heat a little bit here and we start getting those oils coming out Cree saw creosote creosote it’s been more than just a bad thing going up our chimneys though it’s been used as a drug for a long time and in Japan is still marketed and sold as these drugs and it’s been used as a wood preservative and a meat preservative in fact you can buy bottles of creosote that you can put on meet the EPA if they had their way wood bar all of us from ever eating anything look like this because they say that all the bad stuff in eating a piece of meat you’ve all heard this about not eating the charred meat but the charring on the outside is the creosote it’s in the meat or been applied to the meat and so we turn it up a little bit higher and we’re still up here we’re just starting into the secondary phase of tire production and we started getting this thick gooey stuff come out commonly called pitch you used to be able to buy pitch in cans we’ll just use pitch in place of tar to fix our roofs things like that it’s used as a caulk waterproofing it’s soaked into cotton and uses torches hand perches so those are the tars industry likes to have tires the application I’m going to talk about here in a few minutes is application of would gas in a internal combustion engine internal combustion engines do not like this they do not want it going into them at all so if you are processing wood at this temperature range and producing these kinds of tires they will quickly destroy an internal combustion engine in fact to even begin to use them in a internal combustion engine you have to take those tires out so you have a gasifier and it’s going through a filtration system to remove those tires before it goes into the inlet of that engine we’re doing timelines so the other thing that comes out is the solid I broke it off the char on the end of the stick and people are using it as a soil amendment biochar is looked upon now as one of the best things you can add to the soil to improve its fertility it also stores carbon so if we back up to that chart I showed you at the temperature range that I’m talking about here how much char did we have left over yeah it was twenty percent twenty first time so if I put a hundred pounds of wood into my gasifier I’m gonna get about twenty pounds of charcoal or biochar out of it what can I do with it well I could burn it I could use it as a filter media we have all kinds of filters that use charcoal or I can put it into the ground in the ground it does some very interesting things so this is carbon pure carbon it’s carbon that didn’t go into the atmosphere carbon left over from the wood and we’re gonna put it back in the

ground when it goes into the ground it does few things one of the things it does is it immediately locks up nitrogen that’s in the ground and I’ve read several studies that say that one of the ways that we can improve our factory farming is to put more biochar into the soil to lock up more of the excess nitrogen that’s been applied and those running off it increases soil organic matter aeration and water your retention you know charcoal is basically like a sponge it has lots and lots of surface area in a very small space it locks up other compounds inside of itself and the soil microbes like that it’s all right there where they can get to it so biochar is a byproduct you gasified different temperatures if that your goal is to produce a biochar you’re gonna do it at a lower temperature you can produce more of it but you’re also producing more of the other things the tires and the gas or the tires oh how do we gasify well it can be as simple as take a can put a bunch of wood in it wood chips sawdust chunk of wood put a lid on that can make sure it’s metal and put it in a fire it will bake that piece of wood and it will release the gas out of that piece of wood and you get done you’ll have a black chunk leftover right now my son is experimenting with packing a steel tube but that long about that big around with sawdust as a steel lid on it puts it in a wood fire and you can see the flames come out the cracks of the lid and they’ll shoot out the side to lid that far leave it in there for an hour maybe two hours and it the wood that was packed in toward sawdust it was in there packed tight will have reduced down to about 60% and it’ll be fine black charcoal that’s its simplest way to do it there are other ways of doing it the problem with that is is that when you pack that container full and you put it in the fire it produces gas until the gas is gone from the wood that’s in there then you have to recharge it you have to take it out dump it down pack new scientists and put it back in that’s called a batch process we’re doing a batch at a time like baking a batch of cookies so the batch process is where we load it with the quantity of wood the output is variable because while we’re unloading it and reloading it no gas is being produced we put it in the oven gas production starts going up levels off and then we have to recharge it again so it drops down that’s called the batch process use mostly for mobile applications a stationary application has the advantage that you can use what’s called the continuous process you can feed these wood chips into the gasifier at a steady rate just like fuel oil flowing out of your shoe all tank into your fuel oil furnace at a steady rate the one we’re gonna look at today is this one well I’ll show you a few examples here lissa gasifiers being used for transportation purposes and if you read mother’s news or any technical magazines there’s all kinds of articles now about putting gasifiers on vehicles it was really prevalent reached its highlight at the end of World War two because we severed most of Germany from having any fuel supply and so people got very crafty and I’ve read that as many as 50 percent of the war vehicles at the end of World War two were being run on wood gasifiers because they had no other fuel to use so they put a tank on the back a tub packed it full of wood put some wood under it use that wood to heat the wood that’s in that canister ran a tube up to the front of the vehicle sucked it into the intake manifold and drove down the road and so some modern versions of that and it’s putting them in the back of pickup trucks but you’ll notice that by the time you load some wood in the back of that pickup truck it’s not much good for anything else it takes a lot of space on a mobile vehicle to do what gasification and drive down the road they’ve been done it on motorcycles

I would not want to lean back on that motorcycle this is kind of a modern version of this it’s all self-contained on a trailer with a tube running up that runs underneath the car up to the intake manifold so you can drive around I could possibly see it on a farm application where you’re not driving on the road you don’t have to worry a lot about having trunk space and you know how convenient it is and this is a garden tractor that has one of it one of the reasons they could do it back here it’s kind of interesting is that during World War two most car engines were of what’s called the flat head design not overhead valves the valves were in the block and remember all those nasty tars are selling about well they weren’t doing much to filter those out so they were sucking all these tars into the engines along with the gas and after a while the engines would quit turning because they were gummed up inside with this tar well to service a flathead engine you just take the bolts off the head pull the head off it’s right there all the vowels are clearly accessible the heads assessable and I’ve read that they were pulling the heads off of these cars once a month and cleaning the tires out of them to keep them running so think about that if you’re thinking about doing an engine application how many people have a EPA rated wood furnace not one person okay he may have read recently that the EPA is about two weeks ago the EPA has had rated gasification wood furnaces on the market since 1988 and they are now trying to make it so that no manufacturer can manufacture a wood stove or a wood furnace that does not meet these qualifications and they’re getting a lot of pushback I mean tremendous amount of pushback this was just two weeks ago they announced this so how does a EPA rated wood stove work essentially it’s a batch process you load a bunch of wood in here you get it to burn and you have these bottom part of it that’s kind of on fire and then you choke it off you cut it off from any air and you cut it off from being allowed to escape into the atmosphere and what happens is all those gases that we were just talking about come off of that wood and they accumulate inside that stove and then at a preset time period they turn on a fan that sucks those gases out of that chamber down across those glowing embers and they introduce oxygen into it at the same time from outside and they burn those gases and that goes out the smokestack an EPA rated gasification wood stove is far more less polluting than a common wood stove and it uses about 1/3 the amount of wood to produce the same amount of heat they also cost thousands of two thousand dollars more to buy new but they’d like to see everybody that burns a wood have that on their stoves so in this case we’re just taking the gas and sucking it back down across the fire most of these have coils in the back part here where the heat is it’s going out heats the water that’s inside those coils and circulate it back to the house that way so this is a stationary continuous application how can we make this thing run continuously for a long period of time okay well one way is we have a big hopper and in that hopper we fill it with woodchips and those wood chips have to be a fairly uniform size so somewhere between about a half inch square to about two and a half inches square that’s so we can feed those wood chips into a gasifier with a screw an auger that’s what this is right here so you got a hopper full woodchips we bring those wood chips down into the auger the auger brings that in this case to another auger that goes into the gasifier this gasifier you made it notice is just burning those gases and

creating steam and taking that steam and running a generator off of it in all probability that’s another option instead of running it through an internal combustion engine there’s a company in Grand Rapids excuse-me called heat transfer international and they have a huge gasification project like this up by Howard city at a turkey farm and what they’re burning instead of burning wood chips they’re burning turkey manure and taking the gas from it injecting it with hot air and using it to spin a turbine and generate electricity so just like with your wood stove at home these wood chips should be very low and moisture you should not be burning wood that is over 20% moisture in any wood stove under any circumstances that is what’s considered to be seasoned firewood at least six months preferably a year drying from the time it was cut from a live tree many people do that I’m good good all right so I’m gonna describe to you how I’m gonna apply this at my farm what my goals are what the system looks like and you’re all welcome to come over and help build it or look at it so I live about three miles from here on the corner of Piper Road and Cedar Creek Road I have a 43 acre farm and I have another farm that has about 80 acres and raising grass-fed beef that’s been my retirement plan I was in my bank the other day and I said you have a retirement plan when you walked up to the window and I said yeah I got one they said what I’m raising cows that kind of well that’s what I’m doing and I would like to have this farm be as profitable and as self-sufficient and as energy producing and as recycling as I can make it so I want to produce clean renewable energy through wood gasification I want to use this wood gasification to produce enough heat excuse me for the building it’s contained in which I’m calling the energy center greenhouse we’ll look at that in a second my home and my shop for six months out of the year I don’t want to run this process in the summertime so I’m going to produce all the electricity for those buildings I want to produce some biochar to recycle back onto my fields and improve the fertility of my hay fields there are some outputs from the gasification process that need to be recycled back into useful products there’s a little bit of a challenge that that we’ll talk about that in a second I want to grow human food year round so the building that it’s contained in is partially a greenhouse and the heat from this process is going to keep that greenhouse a greenhouse all winter long so I can grow food all went along for my own consumption and possibly for sale any of you went to my son’s presentation this morning that’s where his aquaponics program is going to be located I want to grow cattle feed anybody went to the bio digester presentation they talked about growing cattle feed fresh cattle feed in the wintertime in greenhouses I’m doing that or planned to do that growing barley sprouts and in the summertime when this thing isn’t providing electricity it’s a standby generator for my entire operation and we’ve had quite a few power outages of late so this is my farm this is the corner of Piper Road and Cedar Creek Road 43 acres this is fair Lake out here this kinda dark spot here fair lake has the distinction of having the southern most pair of nesting loans in Michigan there’s an aerial photograph of my farm the reason I wanted to show you this is that this is my house this is my shop looks a little different now but basically the same size and it was originally a barn right here and this is straight south so this barn is about halfway between my house and my shop the foundation of that barn and

it’s in a south-facing hill looking at that above my house my shop this is the original barn foundation this is the building I’m proposing to build around that existing foundation that’s what the foundation looks like still pretty structurally solid there’s a concrete floor under that and the building that’s gonna go there it’s gonna look like that like a horse barn kinda that building is 36 feet wide this way you know be 72 feet long in the other plane and half of its going to house a greenhouse that’s going to house an aquaponics program so there’s fish tank they’ll be located on the back wall girl beds up on the front where the windows are the water is circulated from the fish tanks through the aquaponics grow beds and back that water will be heated by this process the building itself will be heated by the waste heat from the engine of this process go a little faster so this is looking at it from the south the building will sit right here in this hill so it’ll be earth sheltered that’s an overhead view of what’s going inside this building I’m gonna skip through here so this is the gasification process so I’m putting a silo right next to this building here that’s going to contain woodchips I have a tractor with a chipper shredder on it the wood we harvest off the property will be fed into that chipper we get this wood from we have a sawmill so we end up with quarter rounds around the outside of the logs limbs off of trees small branches or what’s called coppicing anybody know that word what is it okay okay it’s chopping a tree down but it’s it’s also intentionally growing trees that grow very fast and when they get to the point they’re five six feet high and they’re about yea big around you cut them off and you use that wood for firewood and you can grow firewood your own firewood much faster and much more efficiently than coming down big trees so we’re in the process of planting trees for compa Seng okay so all that wood gets fed into the chipper shredder which blows it into the silo the xylem moves it out into a hopper that’s inside the building and I have pictures of all of this in a second that’s all done with augers moving these wood chips wood chips come up here there’s a gasifier which is they heat chamber that’s around that auger and the auger is inside a tube and there’s a heat chamber around that there’s an engine and a generator here that’s producing the heat and the electricity we’re gonna collect the biochar coming off of this and barrels we’re gonna clean that gas going through a centrifuge centrifuge just take that gas and spins it around the outs inside of a container the heavy particles fling out against the walls of the container and fall down the finer particles have to be filtered out through some kind of filter media that can be wood chips it can be charcoal it can be cloth so we’re gonna try and recycle all of the fine particulates we get out of this through the filtering system this is a heat exchanger the water going to that aquaponic system and the water going to my house and the water going to my shop all going to meet here and be heated by this process and I have a wood furnace for backup this doesn’t work like I thought it was buying this is a side view yeah two places one I don’t cut well if I’m cutting wood that I’m comping it has moisture in it most the time I’m cutting wood that is already dead in the woods it’s been dead for a year or two so it’s already got a very low moisture content it’s also being put into this wood chip silo at a very early time of the year so it dries inside the silo the silo is vented I’ve actually even thought of pumping heat through the cylon to help dry the wood okay so this aside you this is my son

not me pushing a piece of wood into a wood chipper the chipper chips it and blows it into the silo silo fills up this silo I’ll get into that a minute maybe this augur brings it in here drops it in this hopper the hopper is a grain wagon common farm piece of equipment another auger takes it out of that hopper the gasifier right here is being heated by the exhaust from the engine so remember the temperature range we’re talking about 600 to 800 degrees centigrade that is exactly the amount of heat that comes out of your exhaust out of an internal combustion engine so once you get this engine going and running it’ll run on the gas that’s being produced and it’ll provide the heat to make the gas it’s a self-perpetuating process what’s that hang on we’re getting there we’re getting there so the wood goes through here it’s in a screw number inside this tube it gets heated it’s turned into charcoal basically here comes up here falls through a hole on the bottom of the tube into a barrel and collected as biochar put in the nurse butter and spread on the fields that’s what you want to do with it okay so the gas there’s a centrifuge right there so the gas that’s collected off of this goes into a centrifuge then it goes into a filter and then it goes into a heat exchanger okay so that’s the gas coming off of the gasifier the exhaust gas also goes into that heat exchanger so after I run the exhaust from that engine through that gasifier chamber it’s then gonna go into that heat exchanger I’m gonna remove the rest of the heat I can get out of it there before it goes out into the atmosphere over here let’s look at this as pictures okay sawmill hunting quarter rounds off of it runs into a standard chipper anybody can buy instead of just piling the chips on the ground blowing them into a silo inside the silo is an auger wood chips are falling down into the auger the auger is augering it into the hopper that’s inside the building which is a grain wagon you can buy these dirt cheap they’re sitting all over the countryside they mostly most of them have an auger on them that’s what this is I couldn’t get a good picture of a gas fire this is the screw inside they’re round there’s a chamber that the exhaust is being pumped through that’s heating that chamber the gas comes out goes through a centrifuge goes through a filter comes into a tank that is the heat exchanger so the gas will be going through the copper tube tank is full of water it’s heating the water that’s where I’m exchanging hot water to my house to my shop to the aquaponics girl bed you look puzzled Larry and then it goes from there to this this is a generator that I bought came out of a AT&T service truck it has 200 hours on it these units are rated for about 15,000 hours before they need rebuilt so you can figure out how long you can run it a couple of years at least before you have to do any service or dining service been a major overhaul to it this is a one liter unit 67 cubic inches it puts out 69 thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight BTUs an hour and it runs a 10 kilowatt generator so let’s play with those numbers a little bit and see if I can do what I think I’m gonna do that this farm at this unit so you know average internal combustion engine where does all the energy go you go down and you buy let’s throw some numbers so you pay three bucks a gallon for fuel you put three dollars of fuel in your car how much of that energy that you just put in there is actually causing movement of your car down the road about 30 percent actually you’re doing really good if it’s thirty percent between 25 and 30 percent where’s all

the rest of that energy gone all went out the water jacket of that engine off all went out the exhaust pipe of that engine all your radiator and out your exhaust so when you’re driving down the road and you put that three bucks of fuel in your car you’re throwing two dollars of it out the window and a dollar of its making that car move down the road so we’d like to captures more of that it’s hard to capture it in a car though but when you got a stationary on and you can capture that heat pretty easily I can pump remember I’m pumping this heat from the exhaust and the heat from the gasifier into my heat exchanger so let’s play with some numbers on them how much heat is produced so my engine unit produces roughly 70,000 bt is an hour we’re throwing 2/3 of it away in a car so let’s multiply that by 2/3 roughly so now at about 49 thousand BTUs an hour worth of waste heat if I can capture even 50% of it that means I’m capturing roughly 25,000 BTUs an hour most of these systems in Europe are capturing 70 to 80 percent I’m being very conservative here I can capture 50% of it that’s how many BTUs an hour I can get average home in Michigan requires eleven thousand five hundred and twenty bt is an hour to heat my home I guarantee me takes far less than that same with my shop and the same with the building that this is housed in so I think I got enough heat to do all the things I want to do how about electricity anybody know how much electricity your house is using I have too much well ten kilowatt generator run your house yeah you better if it won’t you better be moving yeah four to five kilowatt generator will run most homes and that’s most homes that are fairly energy intensive so I think I got enough electrical capacity to run my home in this shop and the building to in some ways you can improve this efficiency turns out that wood gas likes to have a compression ratio that’s right in between a gas engine and a diesel engine to get the maximum power back out of that wood gas so one of my phase two operations is I used to build race engines I used to build a lot of engines I had this compression ratio so I think I can take my little generator and hot rod it and make it produce more power out of the same gas this is a flowchart of the whole process here I’m not gonna spend a moment on this I want to show you some other things here but this is just how it flows around here we’re gonna look for a minute one thing I haven’t talked about is what comes out here I’m recovering everything else here I can use the guitars as a fuel I can use them as a preservative I can use the biochar in the ground I can use it as a filter media I can burn it what’s coming out of the exhaust pipe ultimately back into the environment oh let’s skip this one but I I went through a calculation if I ran this generator continuously for six months at maximum output 10 kilowatts it would take 9.6 cords of wood the average home in Michigan right now to heat 78 cords it would just to provide Heat huh full cords bull cords so let’s coming out the exhaust pipe not too much one of the worst things that’s coming out is nitrogen oxide that’s what all the car manufacturers is so concerned about it’s why we have catalytic converters and all this stuff turns out that I could one go down the local junkyard and buy a catalytic converter off a small car and put it on there and I’d be fine but let’s can’t put this in perspective where does the nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere come from most of it comes from the nitrogen we apply to farmland the vast majority of it very little of it comes from agriculture from internal combustion engines of burning biomass I don’t think I’m too far off polluting the planet there co2 if you run an engine on natural gas which we’ve heard a lot about today an engine running on wood gas performs very similarly power-wise pollution wise everything it’s very similar to running

it on natural gas so we’re using wood gas here remember natural gas pollutes 50% less than coal so I’m comparing it to that plus I’m capturing 20% of that carbon and putting it back into the soil plus burning wood is considered to be a carbon neutral activity anyway so am I really contributing to the carbon pollution I’d say no that’s controversial with the general consensus is it does not add to the carbon cycle the last one of those bad guys as tell me about the very beginning polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons they’re the worst but we’re going to gasify at a temperature below where they’re created so that’s good that’s one good thing and the other is is that where do the bad guys come from most of the time anyway comes from coal burning coal and right now the EPA is gonna ban coal base driveway sealers that’ll happen this summer because the vast majority of PAHs that are being released into the atmosphere are being released off of pavement that’s being recoded with coal tar and not asphalt well some places now some states have already banned it and most places will sell you a driveway sealer that is not coaltarbased that’s coming down the road too so I’m one minute ahead of time Mike gasification process generator different things what about a storage meeting like a bladder or some way do you have any ideas for storing excess – yeah that’s a an interesting question it turns out to store it either have to have a gigantic container which is not safe to have a gigantic container full of this explosive gas or you’re going to take it and compress it which is also not a very safe activity to home compress the gas the other trick to this remember the auger that’s feeding the woodchips through the gasifier the engine requires a certain amount of gas to run at a certain rpm so this electric motor that’s turning this auger has a variable speed on it and that speed is what’s controlling how much gas is being produced and you want to produce just as much gas as what the engine is demanding well you can produce more but the pollution level in particular the nitrogen oxides start going way up if you feed more gas than what the engine is demanding so I’m going to try and coordinate those two with the variable speed of the auger yeah say that again I got a high enough temperature right right there’s a certain amount of heat that has to come out I haven’t calculated all the calculations I’ve done for this are based on again Europeans who have done this for a long time who have run small engines like this continuously on gasifiers no again going back to the variable-speed I’m just gonna slow down how fast or speed-up how fast those wood chips are going through that gasifier to produce X quantity of gas to feed into that engine but it’ll always be charred and it’ll all it’s just how much of it how quickly you do yeah not that I’m aware of again probably in Europe there are but I have never seen one here really a biomass boiler and what are they using for the biomass wood chips oh cool I’d like to see it yep deep well there’s a variety of them that you can grow and pens on how fast you want them to grow Josh some people actually burn willows because they grow so fast but the heat value willow is very very low that’s one and we’re also looking at black locust because we’re looking at

growing black locust to make to replace pressure-treated wood yeah so we’re gonna kompis some of that and grow some of it and it’s a it’s black locust is the densest hardwood you can buy yep it’s true and a lot of people have that concern if you look at Michigan as a whole so Michigan 100 years ago was just about completely denuded of trees you wouldn’t recognize what we see out here now until we see out here now a second growth forest in Michigan and it’s been estimated that we are reclaiming less than a third of the deadfall that falls in Michigan forests now so there’s a large supply of wood without actually going on harvesting whole forests that’s available for one for two you do have to have a wood supply I mean I’m looking at that myself you know if again if I were to run this thing continuously for six months it’s going to take ten cords of wood and I used to heat with wood 100% of time ten cords is a lot of damn wood the process it’s a lot easier to process when it’s this big around and you cut it off and you feed it into a chipper than to saw it up with a chainsaw split it stack it move it it’s much much easier so you go out into a forest and you take the branches and the deadfall and don’t even worry about the big stuff I have on my farm roughly seven acres of woodland it produces more wood than I could possibly harvest in a year way more 2:10 what’s up before you leave let’s give Brian great