Category Archives: Projects

Explaining the stumpy-800

Menshed Men take up the challenge of biochar.

Menshed men are the next big thing in the front line of spreading the word about Biochar.
Everyone remembers how I first got involved with the menshed right ? If not read here.

Well on the 6th of April 2014 I traveled up to Nunda in Queensland to bring the men of the menshed first hand appreciation of biochar and how it will be a big player in planetary repair and sustainable living. Below I have some photo’s taken by various parties at Nunda Menshed meeting that day.

 

 MENSHED Stumpy tlud / rocket stove can be purchased at Biocharindustries.com.

 

Menshed stumpy biochar and menshed-800

 

Menshed Stumpy parts list-800

 

 

 

I met with Dr Paul Wildman  for a quick breakfast and a debrief of what they expected from the visit. Then we headed to the  Nunda Activity Centre.

We were show around the facilities and then we were lead into a presentation area where I begun to weave my magic. I spoke about the problems of today and every problem had at least 2 or more Biochar solutions. The atmosphere built into a knowing that we can surmount any obstacle facing us today with Biochar as out tool.

Menshed Spick n span stumpy-800 Biochar

I explained how the Stumpy Tlud / Rocket stove works and its many benefits to the world who use wood to cook on. I reminded them that it was the kindness of Nunda Lions club and the comradeship of Labrador Menshed who gave birth to the stumpy Idea in the first place. The conversation was quickly becoming exciting. I then took it from the class room to the great outdoors and demonstrated the stumpy in the park. Gathering up all the old sticks that had fell on the park I had a loaded stumpy in no time.

Menshed biochar Loading the stumpy-800The demo was very cool and the stumpy preformed awesomely. No smoke high flame excitement oozed from the spectacle. Even some local Indian boys who had just alighted the train used their phones to video it and commented they could use this back home. This was the point where it came full circle for the men of Nunda Menshed.

The president was chuffed and was now speaking with tones of excitement as he waved over other management team member to gain an understanding. He also declared it their next project. We discussed the link with Zimbabwe that the Men had forged and started auctioning what to do next.

Menshed Explaining the stumpy to el presedente

Needless to say the day was a great success.

Here is some of the feedback I received from some of the participants.

Dear Dolph and Gillian,
 
Many thanks for one of the most informative and enjoyable mornings that I’ve had in a long time. Wonderful to meet you both. The retort is a real goer; and the Toyota (What can I say?) fantastic; brilliant. Just love the biodiesel. You’re (plural) among the most generous and interesting people that I’ve ever met. 
 
Very best wishes.,
 
P.”

And then I received this which is how I knew my job here was Done.

Dear Dolph,

We applied for a Grant to further the Biochar project and we are pleased to say we were successful. Thank you for your inspiration.

Paul.

Let us see the successful collaboration of Australians pave the way for Biochar Industries all over the world.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

P.s If you have a local group that wants to help spread the word Biochar I am available to come and Ignite the passion : )

 

 

 

Official biochar project 2014 common unity biochar

Official biochar project 2014

Official biochar project 2014. Thoughts are like flames

The Official biochar project 2014 is  (Drum Roll) ………. (Wait for it)……..

Official biochar project 2014 is code named “Franchise”.

I said in this biochar projects post last week that our projects are.

  • Support Erich J Knight.
  • Support Jimbo and his Australian Biochar company Black is Green (BiG).
  • Create Gasification systems to run our small engines and bring Biochar Industries carbon foot print down.
  • Find more Charmasters.
  • Build housing for everyone who comes to live.

However…..

During the period from when I wrote that page update until now. Some very coincidental things have happened that have made me question, the ” biochar projects “I have started since 2009 till now. I have noticed there are several projects that have laid dormant over this time.

Official biochar project 2014 thoughts from the char master

Hmmm Thoughts

Sitting there trying to get an understanding of why things have stalled and why other projects have become successful.

I began to think about why I got into Biochar in the first place.  How I found out about Biochar from my Mentor Geoff Moxham, Then his sudden death 2 weeks after I met him (Another coincidence) and how that forced me to light my first biochar Invention. I started to read through some of my earlier blog posts and suddenly realised.

Official biochar project 2014 is not a stand alone project. Infact it is a small piece of the big picture.

Now with that realisation in mind I started to go through all my ideas. I started to recall all my new moon intentions then I stumbled upon my first ever biochar master plan. It had 5 simple steps or goals you could call it.  Well I am please to say my seemingly mindless fray into Biochar was actually all planned. I charmaster Dolph Cooke have been following a super conscious plan unconsciously : ).

So it seems I am up to step 4 in this super conscious official biochar project. Leaving only 1 final step.

Back to the subject – Official biochar project 2014. FRANCHISE.

In short to further spread the word of biochar. (A job that I have been doing really well at.) I now have to shift into a higher gear to get more traction. This time I am eyeing off the commercial sector. Some of the most hard working people you will ever meet are small business people.

I have devised a project that is going to harness the passion these folks have and directly couple them to Biochar.

Its logical, It makes perfect sense. You hear a lot in the media about “Being Green” or ” Reducing your carbon footprint”. However very few people can make a successful transition from the consumer driven world to a heal the planet world. “I am going to fix that” says Charmaster Dolph Cooke. (Me)

So here is my Intention for 2014. I am going to motivate people to work in biochar by offering franchise’s of the “Biochar Industries” community biochar industry model.

Official biochar project 2014 common unity biochar 

Biochar Intentions.

This is my intention and I will reach my goal. I am not sure where to go next. I am always open to feedback. So if you have ever been a franchisee or sold a franchise and have lots of words of wisdom please send them along.

Oh don’t worry about the other biochar projects, I added to the Official biochar project 2014 page. They are more like what I am already doing so I will keep doing them. However project FRANCHISE is the culmination of what I have achieved so far.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

 

Organic grower chooses Biochar to run in his greenhouses

Organic grower chooses Biochar for his production Greenhouses.

Organic grower chooses Biochar for his production Greenhouses.

Organic grower chooses Biochar to run in his greenhouses

Organic growers everywhere are waking up to the fact that you need more than just luck in agriculture to break even these days.  One successful local organic grower, who uses high tech green houses to control just about every aspect of his produce has recently switched on to Biochar.

His needs were simple. “I just want to provide the best quality organic food to my customers”.

He was put onto Biocharproject.org by a good friend and local farming expert. Since we live in the same area it did not take me long to produce the 2 tonnes of needed biochar for this fabulous new project.

organic grower chooses biochar trials as part of production.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke with Organic grower

This is more than a trial this is a full blown make or break showdown for biochar.  Not only has the farmer decided to trial biochar he has decided to grow his next seasons crops with it in both of his greenhouses.

So I have spent considerable time making sure that everything is going to yield far in excess of anything he has done before.

The number one thing I call for whenever I start a new project is a Total soils analysis and a soluble nutrients test both of which I get from AEL Labs in Lismore . Until this is completed you really have no idea what to do or where to start.

Biochar Girl Organic Grower

Biochar is the medium upon which all my agricultural alchemy relies. Without a home for the beneficial bacteria and fungi to live safely in you can not achieve the perfection of nutrient uptake that mother nature so exactingly needs.

Once I believe I am on the right track I send my recommendations  further up the chain to have them expertly analyzed and on every occasion I learn something new without fail.

Hugh Lovel from Quantum Agriculture is by far the most holistic farmer the world has ever known and his knowledge of  organic chemistry and biodynamics is legendary. So when creating the best really counts I take no chances.

Here are some photos of our biochar being hand tended inside one of the greenhouses.

Organic grower chooses Biochar

This awesome do or die trial for biochar has just begun. Of course there will be tests and measures and once I get an update from yields for the season I will divulge exactly how I went about making it happen.

As always I get inspiration to write my projects up just as I finish quenching my biochar that I make from the Moxham Biochar unit. So for now its off to sleep.

Good Morning here is an update from last night’s post titled organic grower chooses biochar.

The size of the char was chosen as the organic grower wanted to cultivate with mechanical machines over several times a season. Also once he applies compost he will cultivate it again. So the char will be ground down over time and this simple selection saved a lot of dollars as apposed to the fine version being offered.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke
Biocharproject.org

Keywords – organic grower chooses biochar

 

 

 

holistic land management

Holistic land management the Biochar Project way

Holistic land management is another carbon tool that I have been sharpening lately.

Biochar / Soil Science / Quantum Agriculture / Organic methods / Biological farming / Biodynamic Farming / Bio Diesel production / Agroforestry / Holistic land management.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke accepting the advanced course certificate in Quantum agriculture from Hugh Lovell. Holistic land management approcah

My Nightcap forest utility tool belt is large. All the above, work flawlessly with Biochar to produce abundance for the lucky nightcap forest / biochar project inhabitants.

My story today begins with my 2013 goals and dreams. Since 2009 I have been at the forefront of Australian biochar industry development and local community biochar activism.

So there isn’t much I don’t know about biochar.

As each year closes I review my goals and plot how much I actually have achieved, then I dream up some more goals for the coming year to align closer to the direction I want to go in.

2013 is the year I start looking closer to nature for the answers.

 Holistic land management !!!

I have behind me an impressive collection of high achievements in many agricultural based concepts and of course I am the caretaker of this massive private forest, from which I also learn.

Because I work from a place of integrity and caring for the environment. I find the friends I meet yearn for so much more out of life than what is currently offered in schools or on traditional farms.

Three courses I did in 2012 all mentioned the importance of animals on the land.

Abundance from which I work gave me the opportunity to put into practice, for myself, holistic land management techniques.

A good friend and expert permaculturalist – Scotty. Secured me the chance to attend a holistic land management course being run locally in Bangalow, NSW. Unfortunately I could not attend as other courses I was doing overlapped. But Scotty like a true mate and champion said “I will go and we will work on it when we get together”.

YouTube Preview Image

Well Scotty emails me and says how awesome Holistic land management is and we need to get Cows. I as usual took it all in my stride and asked the universe to provide me with cows.

A lot of friends say I am very good at manifesting what it is I desire. Within three days of my wish for cows I received an email from a list that I am subscribed to saying that a lady had some cows that needed homes.

Go figure this was not a agricultural list I was subscribed to but a very local spiritual list that lets me know about every esoteric concept in the area.

Within days I became a very green behind the ears Cowboy, with my very own herd of five cows. Scotty was beside himself, trying to keep up with my emails about how does this work or what should I do now.

Probably half a dozen emails a week. Very soon I was learning about the pitfalls of electric fence and cell grazing. It seemed every time I turned around the cows were mooing for more food then promptly escaping my electric fences to eat off all the leaves on the mulberry tree.

I chased them around on the motorbike and they would run back to the cell. I would lock them in then go about my day as usual to find the cows waiting for me in the vegie garden. Talk about frustrating.

Finally some good luck an old cow cocky came by and admired my cows he said “what are you doing boy” in that drawled out Queensland accent.

I explained it all to him without taking a breath. He was instantly interested in doing the same on one of my paddocks but with 300 cows. We got talking then I took him around the forest on a tour and then he gave me the best advice on how to keep the cows respecting the electric fence.

From that day on I became a holistic land management convert. I knew how important cows were from a biodynamic point of view.

Heck I even knew how good cows are from a Spiritual point of view.

Now I know how good cows are from a Biochar project point of view.

Let me explain. I tend a huge forest with hundreds of hectares of both plantation trees and regrowth forests. I do it certifiably organic and manually. Once I mastered the electric fence and turned the wandering wilburys into super sonic dense forest mowing machines. I was surprised to see what a great job they do on everything.

Holistic land management preaches a balanced animal is part of a balanced farm and no where do you see that more clearly than in a grazing cell.

No where do you see it more than on a grazing cell holistic land management

I started putting the cows in a 50 meter square enclosure inside the forest. I would move them every four to  seven days when they started to moo for food. In the first couple of days in a new cell the cows would eat everything green insight.

The next few days they had no choice but to eat everything brown this is the way to balance a cows diet. The green is the carbs and the brown is the protein or something like that.

By forcing them to eat the browns gave them balance. A side effect of cell grazing is Trampling weeds and pooing out nutrients both of which are terrific for the areas I am care-taking.

By mowing everything insight I no longer have to use the bulldozer to slash the weeds that get out of control.

Another concept Scotty showed me is what goes in must come out eventually. So now I feed the cows with things I want deposited into my forest. You guessed it Biochar !!!.

Biochar mixed up with other goodies

There is lots of noise on the biochar lists about cows inoculating biochar and then automatically spreading it out. This takes out the hassle and I don’t have to use any fossil fuel.

Today two friends came over so I could selectively cut some wood for their new tractor shed that will be built soon to house their brand new tractor. These folks are A grade organic dairy farmers  with a passion for excellence from every aspect of cow/farm health.

I asked them about holistic land management and is there a way that I could get cows to spread seeds at the same time as they spread my biochar.

For yet another learning project.

Well talk about getting schooled these guys knew the names the genus and the common name and price of all the seeds that would work in my area and a special trick on how to get them to allow most other seeds to germinate once passed through the ringer.

So now I have a lawn mower that happily cleans the forest, Inoculates and spreads the biochar and plants next seasons food for themselves without blinking an eye. Talk about awesome.

Holistic land management the biochar way Fezza the ferral

 

Enjoy some before and after shots of cell grazing on the hill of abundance. Also a ferral cow came along and decided to join our herd and one day one of the lady cows had a baby so now our herd is 7 strong.

holistic land management

 

Holistic land management another tool I recommend in your help heal the planet strategy.   Yee Haaaw Charmaster Dolph Cooke

Level 7 of Biochar Industries Australia earthship drying facility

Biochar Industries Australia goes full carbon negative

Biochar industries Australia goes full carbon negative with another world first.

Earthship biochar biomass drying facility being constructed within a stone’s throw from the biochar pyrolysis equipment down at biochar launchpad number one at Kunghur NSW Australia.

Biochar Industries Australia earthship drying facility

After weeks of planning executives from Biochar Association of Australia, Biochar Project, Biochar Industries Australia, Tweed shire community exchange, Rainbow region Lets and The bush mechanics guild gave the go ahead for the worlds first Earthship drying facility.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke spokesmen for the newly formed alliance said ” Another key piece in our strategy is to lead by example. By showing the world we can reuse waste materials, fashion them into energy free tools, and live softly on our planet is awesome however we make it look good and we give away our ideas royalty free for the good of the world. You can’t buy this level of imagination with money.”

The concept behind the earthships are simple they are based on thermal masses to attract the heat by day and a system of tubes to allow drafts though the materials. During nightfall the heat moves to the coldest areas and keeps that warm effectively allowing 24 hour free solar heating.

No hard science is collated yet as the Earhtship biochar biomass drying facility is not complete. We are taking bets to see how fast we can dry wood. The winner will have the earthship named after themselves.

So far over four big monthly events, at biochar Industries Australia the general public have been invited in to help make and to learn how to create earthship structures. An earthship academy expert has moved up from Melbourne to oversee the construction and to establish Australia’s first earthship academy.

Earthships use old tyres to form the centre of the structure. These tyres are filled with soil and hammered hard turning a 10kg tyre into 130kg structural brick. These bricks are laid like regular bricks butting up to each other and finally having more stacked on top as the wall grows.

Our design is to have 8 tyres high, so even the very tallest worker here does not have to stoop down whilst working. This seems to be an optimal level to maintain the heat and to hold sufficient loads for for biochar sessions at a time.

The biochar Industries Australia earthship

walls are built up as layers and they have earth moved in behind them on the outside to serve as a massive thermal sink and a solid wall so the tyres can not move. Once the tyres are laid then the rendering can begin this is useful to create a further level of insulation by utilising used glass bottles and aluminum cans. The layout is simple and very functional we have always thought of growing the capacity so we design in a very modular way.

Stay tuned for more progress pictures as the big days draw closer to completion.

If you want to be notified of any field days of events we hold here at biochar industries Kunghur NSW Australia please click here and sign up for our news letter.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke
Biochar Industries Australia

Bush mechanics Wombat the carbon Dog

Bush mechanic. Seeing the new in the Old.

Bush mechanic project number 1 completed. Here is a run down on how it all panned out. I was approached by Dr Paul Wildman on behalf of the Nunda Lions club to use my bush mechanics skills to help the Men of Labrador’s MENSHED build a better stove for their aid project.

Bush mechanics Wombat the carbon Dog

Wombat the carbon Dog

So Wombat, Gillian (Photographer) and my self trekked out to the Labrador men’s shed where we were able to grasp their project much better.
Peter welcomed us and brought us up to speed on the entire project.

Which is a great bush mechanics project in its own right. The men at Labrador men shed have a link with the chief of a village in Vanuatu.
Peter and the boys introduced their first stoves because the women of the village would have to walk many kilometres to try and find wood to cook food on. So they invented a stove that would be more efficient and much more safer to the young ones that live in the village.
Now the stove the boys made was much safer than the pit fires and much more efficient, the stove was also made from reused BBQ gas canisters that are thrown out. The Biochar project’s job was to make it better. I added a cleaner burning concept and a by product concept to throw in the mix.

Bush Mechanics

Set the boys the new tasks and headed off back into the forest. It wasn’t long before the new prototype photos were emailed back to me for inspection.
I was delighted these expert bush mechanic / Craftsmen created such a good stove their was nothing I could add.
The best part of today’s visit was seeing all the men proud as punch showing off their handy work and having the ABC Interview us for Coast FM 91.7 ABC.
Big Thanks to.
Dr Paul Wildmam
Kalgrove KIDS and Adult Learning
Crafter-circle.com the journal of the bush mechanics
Nundah Lions Club
Labrador Men’s Shed
Biochar Industries
ABC Radio 91.7 Coast FM

 

Happy days are here again

Adam Retort Biochar Kiln Shed Just in time for summer.

Adam retort biochar kiln used to sit out in the weather and await its fate. Well it has been nine month’s since we started this project and at long last it is now complete.

Adam retort Biochar kiln

Happy to get started Again

I think the main reason why nothing happened for a long time is the shed itself had chosen the builder it wanted to build the roof so it new it would get quality workmanship.

Wow roof going on YEAHHH

So over the 9 months we have had many starts on it with many builders who said they knew what to do when they really did not. But this time over the weekend we saw the project completed in enough time for the rainy season.

Big thanks goes to Paul, Jim and Wombat for sticking to the job and making it such a handsome shed. I just need to fasten a pulley above the kiln door and a winch at the back of the shed to lift the moster 180kg kiln Lid. Then this project is complete.

Adam retort Biochar kiln

More action looking good

Adam retort biochar kiln

Face Book page

once wet could take a further 4 hours of burn time to dry out again so this has hampered our use of the kiln. We plan to do a big run this week and video the choice parts and record the data so Uncle Buck can enjoy the event from his arm chair.

I am really elated and full of happy energy to see this finished. I will create a vegie patch behind the kiln so that the water that runs off the new roof can feed my veggies for me.

Wow allo the panels all on

As usual the hill of abundance has provided everything we need for free and I wish to use this moment to thank the universe for such a great couple of days. Thank you Universe.

I have talked with Paul at length and he would like to help me build the sustainable biochar education centre hall when it is time for that project to start. So look out as we create a truly sustainable building for biochar education and advancement.

Happy days are here again

Big rustic and bold will be the order of the day.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

Best cookies ever you are a champ

Biochar Industries Permaculture Hugelkultur Aquaponics Sustainabillity

Biochar industries community collaboration hill of abundance project 2011.

Biochar Industries

Hill of Abundance update for the weekend of 15th and 16th October 2011.

For those of you just joining us I will try and give you a succinct but short introduction to what we are up to down here in Biochar Industries Kunghur.

A special place has been found where we can come and do what we know best in regards to making our planet a place of joy and of course practice , learn, develop and teach ways to live with nature as a friend not a foe.

We are at the beginning of our practice what we preach phase and are planning what we hope will be a sustainable lifestyle that can serve as an example of what can be done. Who are we? we are people who feel there must be more to life. We are not special this is not exclusive we are people who care enough to do something.

Yes that means you are welcome to come and be apart of this life changing project.

Many hands means access to more knowledge there are exemplary people right throughout history such as Rudolf Steiner, Bill Mollison, Anastasia, Viktor schauberger, Nikola Tesla, who all wanted the betterment of our planet and all its inhabitants without wanting payment.

We are the new wave of exemplary pioneers forging our way towards the light.
I like to collectively call us Bush Mechanics. People who want action, people who seek truth, people who care enough to make it happen, real champions.

Sorry I promised succinct and short… But delivered emotional response. in the words of the great guild leaders “Handle it”  : )

If you want to think outside the box or you would like to learn from outside the box our social innovation of a community collaborative space of love is one solution towards self growth.

Without further delay here are some choice pictures of some of the folks who came and shared with us this 1st special event of many. If your reading this and did attend and have pictures please send them on and I will update.

hugelkultur we learnt a bit about this and we are hoping to implement it in our next event. Basically HugelKultur means “Hill Beds” this is a great reuse plan for waste timber of which we have a lot. Follow the above link and learn all about it.

Permaculture. Another concept in which we try to rehabilitate land in a similar fashion to how nature might do it. By allowing our plants to take care of each other and at the same time live in perfect synergy with the environment providing potentials for vast advances in all aspects of agriculture and sustainability. Our expert Permaculture designers helped draw up our plan have a look here. —>

Expert planning for pemaculture sustainabillity

Our permaculture plan for overall sustainabillity Biochar Industries

Aquaponics. This is the art of using nature to provide abundance whilst sustainably keeping each others environments clean. A Technological breakthrough or did nature always work this way? As a lover of Gaia ,Anastasia and life I find myself extremely excited about this concept. These two kingdoms combined to make sure each kingdom reaches its full potential

Biochar. Although our concept is based around a biochar industries we did not much with creating biochar as the weather was wet. However I did manage to set 2 x 44 galllon drums of biochar into innoculation / conditioning mode with our stockpile of worm wee. Next time we are going to have a big biochar fest I promise.

Bush Mechanics. This is about using what is available and combining it with skill and innovation to provide the very best solution. It is more than head knowledge it is more than hand knowledge it is a complete way of life. When I think Bush Mechanic I think of a league of extraordinary people who can access whatever it is they need to know from past, present and future.

Here is a photo of my 3 little bush mechanic apprentices who passed my carefully crafted MAN TESTS to become fine students of the Bush Mechanics Institute.
They are having a much rewarding feast of Eggy Noodles.
Here’s a toast to the FUTURE.

Biochar Industries Bush mechanic apprentices

Anastasia space of love. The ringing cedars of Russia is a series of 10 Books which outline the way Anastasia sees the world. They touch you deeply and allow you to open up the potential that lays dormant in each and every one of us.
I borrowed these books from the Tweed Library and read them twice now I have my very own collection of books 1 through to 6 as part of my reward for attempting to leave the old paradigm. The hill of abundance is my gift to you.

The new paradigm is awaiting Fear is banished and replaced with Abundance. Love rules supreme and life is pure JOY.

 

Food Forest. This is part of the permaculture concept where you allow food trees to live together as if they are were forest trees. Phenomenally enough they do far better as a team than any and all forms of man made agriculture will ever do. The hill of abundance will become a food forest in time and so will the edges of this wonderful 3000+ acre forest.

MEN WOMEN CHILDREN and DOGS. Was the order of the weekend we had 9 dogs at one point who integrated fairly well.
We had 5 children who integrated even better but the surprise was how well the adults integrated this was pure magic.

We heard stories of how a whole community can live together blissfully in Japan by having a way that everyone has a say on how its run and everyone finishes the process 100% agreeing with the outcome Incredible.

Organic farming. We were visited by our Certified Organics Body Nasaa’s three top inspectors and we had a most enlightening chat and farm walk here is the photo of these great folks and note Janet’s Cookies gracing their hands and tummies:)

Great Folks from the Organic certifying board. Note the cookies : ) Thanks Janet

Where to from here? I think we are going to do another swale soon and incorporate Huglekulture for the ultimate in water conservation.

Thank you everyone who has had an influence on our project I hope you feel that the hill of abundance is yours because it is.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke
Biochar Industries Australia

DSC04191

Stainless Steel TLUD Lunchbox-Retort Project

Stainless Steel TLUD Lunchbox-Retort Project

In order to avoid the problems with burners and retorts rusting away quickly I want to build (or buy) a stainless steel biochar maker.

Here is a description of my first attempt at it: The Lunchbox-retort.

Stainless steel lunchboxes can be bought at camping stores for around AU$35.- and will allow immediate biochar making if added into an existing fireplace. The three compartments allow much experimenting.

Stainless Steel TLUD Lunchbox-Retort Project

Stainless Steel TLUD Lunchbox-Retort Project

Stainless Steel TLUD Lunchbox-Retort Project

 

Here is a video of SS Lunchbox retort in firplace

In order to use the SS-lunchbox without having to fire the fireplace, I built an insulated TLUD , to fit around the Lunchbox-Retort. It also fits to the tripod of the Champion TLUD. The bottom and top plates can be rotated to adjust primary and secondary air volumes.

Here is a video of the first burn in full swing

 

 

All the parts before firing:

The insulation is “Superwool 607”:

 

Before insertion of the “Superwool”: The SS tubes are flues from a BBQ and Fireplace shop  (5” for the flue, 9” for the inner wall and 11” for the outer wall). These come in 900mm length and that is enough to make three Lunchbox-TLUD’s.

 

Superwool installed:

 

The SS-Lunchbox-Retort fits upside-down into the TLUD:

Here the results of the first burn:

The whole burner and the retort got so hot that all tar deposits (from previous burns at lower temperature in the fireplace) were charred and flaking off the retort walls.

 

The “fuel” burned to a fine white ash:

 

The char in the retort that was at the top has some blue char in it – I wonder what that means. I guess it’s what happens at high temperature, but please let me know if you can explain this:

 

The retorts in the middle and on the bottom have only black char in them:

Thanks for looking!

Mr. Mik

biochar crush charcoal grind biochar project

How to crush charcoal into biochar is the question

How to crush charcoal into biochar? This is a question I get asked a lot and today I have another peice of the puzzle for you. How to crush charcoal into biochar in commercial quantities.

biochar crush discovery look what I found

biochar crush discovery look what I found

Lets start back in the days when I first learned about biochar. I will admit that this is not the first thing that you retain after a biochar demonstration. Usually it how to light the fire or how to make a simple retort.  I am guilty of having charcoal chuncks the size of a golf ball in my first biochar test plot. I did not learn until much later that size does matter.

One expert in biochar told me that 1 cm square of charcoal has the same surface area as a football field and it would take the precious microbe all its life to travel from one side to the other.

charcoal grinding wheels this baby is heavy

charcoal grinding wheels this baby is heavy

Another expert told me that biochar should be charcoal smaller than 2 mm so the worms can swallow it. Wow what to believe? So I purchased a microscope and spent a bit of time researching for myself.

The conclusion Size does matter the smaller the better. Most of my charcoal comes out big really big so this brings us back to the question once again.

biochar crush fliped over biochar project kunghur

biochar crush fliped over biochar project kunghur

How to crush charcoal into biochar?

Well I can tell you the ways that do not work so well and then introduce you to my newest project.

Mulchers / Chippers / Lawn mowers all have problems with uniformity. Grinders / mortar and pestle / smashing devices all have problems with quantities. Without spending too much cash there must be a way to do it easily.

Anyone out there with the answer please comment and let us know. Remember it has to be as cheap as possible.

My bush mechanic training has served me well and for this project I used these concepts. Repair / Rescue / Reuse / Refashion and Rebuild.

It all happened 2 days ago as I was taking a shortcut to the local shops on my postie bike through the property. As I began to break for the big hill I saw something out the corner of my eye and thought I better have a look. My brain said do not do it the shop will be closed in 30 mins.

So I went back and had a look and discovered what I thought was the perfect charcoal crushing device. I still made it to the shops on time.

Today I spent 2 hours resuing it from the clutches of the bush and depositing it out front of the biochar Industries Head Quarters.

biochar crush charcoal grind biochar project

biochar crush charcoal grind biochar project

New Project while the mercury retrograde is on? Says my Astrologist. Of course not I say you will just have to wait 10 days before i start a new project. Have a sneak preview and try and work out what i am about to do.

Charmaster Dolph

 

Update: Have a look at our newer posts on grinding char here.