Emissions and Char Quality of Flame-Curtain"Kon Tiki" Kilns for Farmer-Scale Charcoal/Biochar Production
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE 2016, 11(5) 10.1371/journal.pone.0154617
Pyrolysis of organic waste or woody materials yields charcoal, a stable carbonaceous product that can be used for cooking or mixed into soil, in the latter case often termed "biochar". Traditional kiln technologies for charcoal production are slow and without treatment of the pyrolysis gases, resulting in emissions of gases (mainly methane and carbon monoxide) and aerosols that are both toxic and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. In retort kilns pyrolysis gases are led back to a combustion chamber. This can reduce emissions substantially, but is costly and consumes a considerable amount of valuable ignition material such as wood during start-up. To overcome these problems, a novel type of technology, the Kon-Tiki flame curtain pyrolysis, is proposed. This technology combines the simplicity of the traditional kiln with the combustion of pyrolysis gases in the flame curtain (similar to retort kilns), also avoiding use of external fuel for start-up.