Fluidyne Gasification Archive

Modern Charcoal Manufacturing with Gasification

We don't normally report on other companies projects in this Archive, but beginning in 2007, Fluidyne's gasification technology has been called upon to provide jump starts to several companies wishing to pursue certain aspects of waste biomass processing for energy. This is achieved in association with a group of consultancies forming a collective pool of knowledge that can be applied across a wide range of problems that involve biomass in thermal processes.
This project at Alterna Energy Inc.   www.alternaenergy.ca  is located in McBride, BC in Canada, who are developing a continuous charcoal process that can produce the charcoal to specific specifications for differing end users.  Gone are the clouds of stinking blue smoke associated with traditional charcoal kilns, as this automated system recycles all the waste pyrolysis gases, back into the heating processes.
To facilitate the clean combustion of the high moisture pyrolisis gases, they are entrained into a large charcoal gasifier where thermal cracking of the moisture into H2, and tars into CO, ensure no hydrocarbons are wasted, and no toxic liquors need disposal from the process. The design of the gasifier called for substantial gas output (about 300nM3/hr) as required for various development phases of the main project, and allow for studied testing for future scale up applications.
With charcoal being produced on site, it is a natural progression of development to later include engine powered electrical generation to run the facility. This is not a priority for this project, but you can expect some very interesting future reports originating from Alterna Energy. Their first plant should be operational late this year, 2009.
The following photos are not of the charcoal making process, only gasifier related.
May 2009.

Shredding of waste wood is a commonly found process, but a wide range of chipping technologies can be used for this carbonizing process.

As can be seen, the shredded wood has become charcoal without changing it's original shape during the process.
This is another example of how controlled this process can carbonize a wide range of agricultural wastes. The apple is carbon to the core.
Set-up outside the workshop door for it's first trial firing, this specially designed updraft charcoal gasifier, will enable a wide range of char testing to be      conducted.  Eventually, the energy to run these carbonizing plants, both electrical and process heat can be supplied from these types of gasifiers.
This first flare, demonstrates a high level of hydrogen in the white glare from using damp char. No steam was added at this point of the trial.
With a dark backdrop, this was the flare slightly later in the same flare test after the char moisture had been depleted, so mostly CO is the combusting gas
This very intense bright colour looking into the char bed, is typical of the incandescent heat that air and charcoal can generate. much brighter than a wood gasifier.
Installed and connected to the primary heat generation test chamber standing in the background, The blued steel casing is only an indication of the slight heat leakage of the over 1,700C char bed temperatures, later controlled by steam addition, to prevent runaway reactions and reduce char consumption.
Burning inside the primary heat test chamber, the gas without steam addition is mainly CO, and as it is produced from a charcoal gasifier, does not display the red from combusting carbon blacks in this flare, from an unfiltered state.