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Does This Make Sense? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Does This Make Sense?

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  • Does This Make Sense?

    The Potential of Green Charcoal

    Originally posted by Mother Earth News
    Carbonization of biomass is made in a continuous manner. It relates to a continuous carbonization of vegetable matter, followed by an agglomeration into briquettes or bars. This technology is based on the use of a retort heated to 550 degrees Celsius, in which the biomass flows continuously in the absence of oxygen. The temperature of the retort is maintained constant with the combustion of the pyrolysis gases that are recycled and burned in a second post-combustion chamber, thus avoiding the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    *Emphasis mine

    Seriously, I'm not sure. I thought retorts had to be closed systems (my knowledge of same being minuscule and largely from reading threads here). How can it be 'continuous feed'? Wouldn't oxygen get introduced with the biomass?

    The overall idea seems unwieldy to me - you can carbonize anything with carbon in it but that doesn't necessarily convert it into a useful form. Agricultural waste is likely to produce mostly dust and very friable chunks - to be of any practical use someone has to compress it using some serious pressure. Not sure that's workable in most Third World micro-economies - then there's the problem of the 'continuous feed retort' itself if it requires specialized machinery which will be incredibly difficult to maintain and get replacement parts for (this problem of mismatched technology is the bane of most such efforts).

    Coppicing, if possible (not all species of trees take it well), would seem to me to be a better long term solution - especially if that retort thing actually works the way they say. But even if it did have to be shut down between loads wood charcoal doesn't require as much post-production processing. Probably doesn't reduce as much as chafe, either.


    Okay, you engineering types can start laughing now...
    Last edited by Archena; 03-27-2010, 06:59 PM.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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