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TerraPreta

Continuous Pyrolysis Biochar Production
Reducing waste and returning nutrients to the soil

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Develop a prototype of Pyrolysis Chemical Reactor to generate the decomposition of Organic Waste through the application of heat into a Charcoal commonly named Biochar, what is a stable solid, rich in carbon, used to increase the soil fertility to increase the yield in agricultural production, and also allowing us to mitigate global warming by sequestering carbon and producing energy that can be used in the same process to reduce the energy requirements.

Since the raw material to be used in this project is organic waste, and it varies depending on the source, there are a vast number of conditions that we need to evaluate (feed source, temperature, pressure, among others), in order to be able to conclude what is the best performance to be used in the system. At the same time, the main objective is to produce Terra Preta to add it to Usual Soil to increase is yield of fertility, allowing us to mitigate carbon sequestering carbon, producing heat to reduce the energy requirements of the process being more efficient, and the last but not least, contributing to a better green environment.

Black Is The New Green Nature.pdf

Black Is The New Green

Adobe Portable Document Format - 1.58 MB - 04/29/2017 at 00:37

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Black Soil Green Rice.pdf

Black Soil Green Rice

Adobe Portable Document Format - 178.14 kB - 04/28/2017 at 23:07

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Handful of Carbon Nature.pdf

A handful of carbon

Adobe Portable Document Format - 1023.24 kB - 04/26/2017 at 23:12

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The Hannover Principles Design for Sustainability.pdf

The Hannover Principles Design for Sustainability

Adobe Portable Document Format - 236.76 kB - 04/18/2017 at 20:00

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County of Los Angeles Integrated Waste Management Plan 2015.pdf

County of Los Angeles Integrated Waste Management Plan 2015

Adobe Portable Document Format - 17.13 MB - 04/17/2017 at 00:00

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  • 1 × Feeder Stainless Steel Clamp-on Hand Grinder
  • 1 × Scrapper Auger
  • 1 × Vessel Thick-Wall Steel Seamless Pipe Nipple
  • 1 × Heating element Resistance Heating Ribbon Wire
  • 1 × Wiring High Temperature Furnace Heater Cable

View all 8 components

  • TerraPreta MK1 - The components started arriving

    Ricardo Martinez05/19/2017 at 17:18 0 comments

    The components of our prototype has started arriving to the Supplyframe Design Lab, and we already have the first pieces to start building it.

  • TerraPreta MK1 - Building the Insulating Material

    Ricardo Martinez05/18/2017 at 16:58 0 comments

    In the last days we have been looking for what are going to be our components, what are already able to be purchased in store or online, and what of them need to be built, and the Insulating Section is one of the parts that definitely needs to be built, and in the picture below we can see how this process is being processed:

    The inner tube is being completely covered by a wire, and as well a removable 6-millimeters-layer that is going to allow us to generate an empty space between the inner tube and the insulating material where the electrical resistances are going to be at to heat the pyrolysis reactor.

    As an intermediate result of the process, we show you in the picture below how the insulating material is already done:

  • TerraPreta MK1 - First advance

    Ricardo Martinez05/02/2017 at 17:49 0 comments

    In order to verify the desired best operations conditions and as well, to know how previous researches on similar Pyrolysis Reactors in batch, semi-batch and continuous processes has been designed, we have verified different articules about Biochar, allowing us to understand that the best Carbon yield would be achieved in a temperature range between 400 and 500 degrees celsius, a pressure higher than the atmospheric, feedstock with a maximum humidity level of 10-20%, crushed with a particle diameter about 2 millimeters or higher and better if exist alkalinity.

    Since one of our principles for this first prototype, named TerraPreta MK1, is to use components commonly found in the market, allowing us to have lower building costs, to make this first version, as much economicaly accessible to everybody as possible, and at the same time we haven’t selected an specific organic waste to use as feedstock, at the moment we present you different views with a general idea about how the All-In-One Pyrolysis Reactor should be as shown in the Figures 1 and 2:

    The TerraPreta MK1 has been designed to convert the organic waste previously crushed in the feedstock in a Double Tube Vertical Pyrolysis Reactor with an Endless Screw rotating in the middle of the inner tube allowing an slow transportation of the material from the top to the bottom while it is being heated. Between the inner and outter tube there is an insulated material that keeps the heat produced by the electrical resistances that are located externally in the inner tube. Finally, the outter tube is covered by an additional insulated protector to ensure that the the visible side of the reactor would have a temperature close to the one in the eviorment, making the heating process as efficient as possible.

    We are currently working on the list of components we are going to be using to build the TerraPreta MK1 Prototype to start processing the purchases orders, and once we’ll have received all of them, we will travelling to San Diego to assemble the reactor.

    Our objective is to develop the TerraPreta MK1 prototype to transform organic waste through the application of heat into Charcoal (commonly called Biochar) which is a stable, solid, innocuous material rich in carbon, in order to use it to enhance soil fertility and increase the yield in agricultural production, also allowing us to mitigate global warming by sequestering carbon and probably producing biogas that can be used in the same process to reduce the energy requirements, thus contributing to a better environment.

  • Collaboration from San Diego and Québec

    Leonardo Zuniga04/24/2017 at 05:59 0 comments

    Our teammates from other cities Jesse and Jean are prepping up to start designing and performing initial tests.

    Jesse did some initial tests in an environment with no pressure applied:

    Jean will focus on designing a working interface from a test toilet to the feeder of the system:

    We'll be coming together with Jesse for a full weekend to start building our prototype. Stay tuned!

  • Log 3: We started the 2050 class!

    Leonardo Zuniga04/07/2017 at 06:42 0 comments

    Thanks again to Professor Pabo to allow us into his class. We're now going to develop our work and documentation under his guidance and post them here as we go.

    We're also going to apply to the Supplyframe residency program. Hopefully you'll find us at the lab in the upcoming weeks!

    The BOM is coming up nicely, we're being extra careful to select the right materials thus minimizing our initial costs.

  • Log 2: One team member leaving...

    Leonardo Zuniga04/06/2017 at 02:00 0 comments

    Jean has proved to have an awesome PR personality! We have come in touch with the Professor Carl Pabo of Caltech giving the team a good opportunity to find talented people in the Academia that could help us move the project along. Ricardo will be assisting to the lectures from now on, they're really good (and open to those interested)

    We're hunting down the parts for Mk1 and aiming to start building it before month's end. Unfortunately, Jean is going back to Montreal, but he will continue helping the project while he's there.

    We hope to have you back in town soon, farewell good friend!

  • Log 1

    Leonardo Zuniga04/05/2017 at 05:28 0 comments

    Hi all, finally the team is coming together! Ricardo has just arrived and we're brainstorming ideas on how to complete our design and build an initial prototype that could make the idea more enticing, and easier to explain to people. We're going down the route of finding off-the-shelf parts and limiting the welding component to the minimum possible, we're also discussing what type of solid waste to use first. We'll keep on publishing details about the concepts of our project as we go through them. We'll also resort to this project log entries as a means of sharing our progress... so stay tuned!!

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