TerraPreta MK1 - First advance

A project log for TerraPreta

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

ricardo-martinezRicardo Martinez 05/02/2017 at 17:490 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.