There are gaps in the pyrolysis production systems needed for widespread adoption of biochar sequestration. Many continuous processes are too expensive, restricting their use, while some of the smaller kilns risk the pitfalls of unregulated charcoal production.
Filling in some of these gaps is a priority at the present time, particularly for early stage projects. Biochar Project Services (BPS) is developing a batch system 1.5-13.5 m3 that offers the prospect of low cost production. A priority is to make char production simple, safe and reliable without the requirement for an ‘expert’ understanding of the pyrolysis process.
A key part of this is to automate kiln sequences within the control system to reduce the supervision required for a biochar production. With the assistance of an Agritech Grant a 4G based system has been developed by Coolth to fill this gap :
The system uses a VPN link to connect the operator’s mobile phone to an EVCO plc using the HMI Droid App to display a virtual control panel. The plc supervises the kiln functions by controlling the kiln inverters, valves etc and provides the data logging for temperature monitoring and recording :
This system will be developed in 2021 and offered as a simple, robust control option for the BPS batch kilns and for other char production systems.