Biofuels Projects

Here are some photos of current and past projects. I'm putting my engineering background to work in an effort to come up with some solutions to the problems of energy and food sustainability here in Hawaii. (Did you know that electricity costs $0.42/kwh here in the Big Island!!!)
dry run  instrumentation discharge end
Above is a screw-auger pyrolysis machine undergoing an early open test run. It is strictly a research project. The outside of the auger is fired with recycled gas to heat the wood chips or other biomass material inside the auger. The biomass is pyrolized and reduced to a mix of carbon ('biochar'), flammable gases and an oily liquid. The next step is to use the by-products to fuel an internal combustion engine in order to generate electricity.
drive end  discharge end  refractory
Some design details.
old blower heater  old blower heater
Above is a shot of the last biochar retort. It held about 9 cubic yards of wood per batch. On the right is the blower and heater box that took about a ton of wood that was burned to ash to supply the hot gas to char the wood in the retort section. It worked, but only - sort of. Thermal expansion differences between the very hot inside and the cool outside cause a lot of the welding to crack.
loading logs  loaded firebox
Loading the retort with logs and the firebox full of sacrificial wood.
grinding biochar  supersacks of biochar
Grinding biochar from big chunks to about 1/2 - inch down to powder. Large sacks of biochar ready for inter-island shipment by barge.
If you would like more information email me: bob[at]bigislandgrowers[dot]com