What is Biochar?
Harvest Flame is manufactured by manufacturing biochar. Biochar has a number of other uses, including soil remediation, carbon sequestration, organic fertiliser additive amongst others and is seen as a key weapon in fighting climate change.
We are working with a number of partners to develop the biochar market. This is an exciting development for the Arigna Fuels team and one which we are looking forward to exploring more into the future.
The Biochar Process
The Process #1
We take raw biomass and heat it to in excess of 300 degrees to dry the material, kick-starting a thermal reaction to break
down the hemicellulose contained within the plant structure.
The Process #2
This in turn produces an energy rich gas which is burned to sustain the reaction with no additional heat
input, known as an autothermal reaction.
Glossary of Terms
Biomass is all biological material derived from either living or recently dead plant or animal organisms. In the context of energy production, biomass is classed as a renewable resource and usually refers to plant material.
Torrefaction is the process of heating biomass in the absence of oxygen, similar to the way that coffee is roasted. This removes chemically bound oxygen and gives a fuel with higher energy content and improved combustion properties.
Hemicellulose is a natural polymer found in biomass along with cellulose and lignin and is the compound most readily degraded by torrefaction.
Pyrolysis is the process of heating material (in our case biomass) in the absence of oxygen to make char-type products. Mild pyrolysis conditions (200 – 300°C) are used for torrefaction and higher temperatures (400-500°C) used for producing charcoal.
The torrefaction reaction is exothermic, meaning it generates heat. This heat can then be re- used in the process to dry and sustain the reaction without any other external source.
When wood is burned incompletely in a fire (i.e. when it’s wet), tarry smoke or creosote is formed and condenses on the inside of chimney flues.
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