Posted by Curbie on October 25, 2009, 7:53 pm
You're totally right, my thought is mixing the OLD and inefficient
with the NEW for improved efficiency, instead of using fuel to produce
heat for carbon and steam, I'm thinking about solar concentration.
Carbonize the fuel in a solar oven, then gasify the carbon with steam
again produced with a concentrator.
Using solar to provide the heat should lead to a vast reduction in
bio-fuel requirements (just bio-mass for carbonization) and a pretty
large increase in efficiency. Any way, that what I'm thinking.
Posted by Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds on October 26, 2009, 5:31 am
I would suspect that even with solar,
you are going to have to spend time and
energy on "processing" your fuel.
I'm beginning to think it might be far
more economical to just make bio-gas via
anaerobic processing and either use the
methane or just process it to seperate
the hydrogen...hell just using clean
methane to run a small generator to
hydrolyze water sounds better, plus you
get nice sludge to improve your soil.
Posted by Curbie on October 26, 2009, 8:45 am
On Sun, 25 Oct 2009 22:31:36 -0700, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds"
You lost me here, could you please explain your thought on what I'm
Posted by Jim Wilkins on October 26, 2009, 10:23 am
The 200 year old Fourdrinier machine is still the efficient way to dry
out and form a wet muck of organic goop:
Examples I've seen in a paper mill and a treatment plant used metal
screens running over rollers to spread out and dewater the pulp or
sewage solids. I suspect a home-made version would need frequent
maintenance, or you could try a more laborious hand-spread batch
A watermark on paper, or US bills, is produced by embossing the
pattern in the screen to vary the quantity and thus the pressed
density of the pulp.
BTW, I've had good results from home-made stainless steel roller
bearings with the rollers cut from TIG welding rod. They have to be
considerably larger than commercial bearings of the same load rating
because the home-made version isn't hardened. The grease passage runs
through the axle to a cross-drilled hole in the middle so that fresh
boat trailer wheel bearing grease fills the space and pushes out any
mud or water that has gotten in. The end "seal" is simply a large flat
washer with excess grease oozing out around it.
I know they hold up to mud well, haven't tried algae.
Posted by Curbie on October 26, 2009, 12:02 pm
My thoughts on pre-processing algae have some consideration given to
1) Pumping water/algae from an algae pond to a centrifuge.
2) The centrifuge being of the type common in modern fruit and
vegetable juicers, with a DC motor driving a stainless steel cup the
sides being made from a fine filter mesh and the bottom being slightly
smaller in diameter than the top, giving the cup's sides a small
3) When the water/algae is pimped into the bottom of the
centrifuge cup, the water spins through the cup's mesh sides into the
water return chamber and the algae rolls over the top of the cup's
sides into a pulp chamber due to centrifugal force and outward bevel
(the same as modern juicers, less pulping).
4) The centrifuge would be at the top of pseudo-silo and the
algae would gravity feed into the holding bin, the algae should be
semi-dried (how much, I don't know) by the centrifuge.
5) From the holding bin the algae would be feed by gravity (maybe
auger assisted) to log press (like a log splitter) to press out most
of the remaining water and from a log for baking.
6) Next the algae logs would be feed (somehow?) to the solar oven
(I'm thinking roughly the same dimension as an algae log) to bake them
into carbon logs at the sun's discretion.
7) It seems possible the same solar oven might be used for the
gasification of the carbon log, after carbonization is complete,
although I think due to temperatures involved with gasification, there
will need to will need to be two concentrators one for the oven heat,
and a smaller one for steam.
This is just a "mind's eye" thought, and seems like a lot of effort
and energy with powering the pump, centrifuge, auger, and press, but
it seems to me that this notion should be compared to the effort and
energy of falling, logging, transporting, splitting, and cubing trees.