News

BioChar Products News
Nov 12
2009

Final Preparations are being made for Demonstration Plant

Posted by etwombly in news

We at Biochar Products have been getting the final elements in place to run the demonstration plant at the Halfway site.

I drove to Portland yesterday to pick up a trailer with a 30' flatbed that we will take to Canada on which the plant mounted. It is a gooseneck trailer that will be able to be moved from place to place to do demonstrations including some in California when there is too much snow in Oregon.

We also have been collecting plastic 55 gallon barrels that we can get from nearby farms and cleaning them up for storage of biooil produced since our contacts in Hawaii have not yet reached agreement with the Hawaii Electric Company on delivery of biooil. We then need to clean all the barrels since they have some residue in them. Since we will be running only 8 hours per day vs 24 hours per day we will produce far less oil and we need only about 40 barrels.

Nov 05
2009

Agreement With ABRI Complete working on About to Sign Contract with RMRS

Posted by etwombly in news

As of today Biochar Products has completed the agreement with ABRI and will be traveling to Ottawa, Canada to pick up the 1 Ton Per Day plant and get trained on run and maintain it. We tentatively plan to depart for Canada November, 18th with a 30' trailer on which the 1 Ton Plant will be mounted for transport to Halfway and other locations for demonstrations.

ABRI and Biochar Products are working together to design how the plant will be installed on the trailer and how we be able to work around it, maintain and repair it when installed on the trailer.

In addition we are working with the local interested parties to get feed stocks and other needed inputs.  The Ellingson Mill site is 90% ready to be utilized the last 10% can not be completed until we get the plant on site.

Nov 02
2009

Biochar Benefits on Farms May be in Support of Two Big Idaho Company Goals

Posted by etwombly in news

Interestingly in the last few months two important Idaho companies have come out with a variety of concepts relating to carbon and other benefits that can come from biochar but have not mentioned publicly the concept of biochar. 

J.R. Simplot Company

http://www.idahobusiness.net/archive.htm/2009/10/29/Simplot-Blue-Source-forge-alliance-to-serve-the-carbon-market-needs-of-American-farmers

Oct 29
2009

Great Biochar website "biocharfarms.org"

Posted by etwombly in news

I just wanted to kind of move off the subject of BioChar Products preparation for the RMRS demonstration this fall in Halfway.

Many times as we communicate with people we are working with to support biochar.  We prepare to market biochar and biooil we need to find research and articles that reference information about these subjects,  rather than just our own information. One of the best websites to start looking for such information on these subjects is:

http://biocharfarms.org/

Oct 23
2009

ABRI Agreement signed & sent to Canada

Posted by etwombly in news

 

BioChar products and ABRI have agreed on a mutual operating agreement and BioChar products has sighed and mailed the agreement to Canada to be signed by ABRI.

This agreement includes all needed stipulations for the two companies to work together to meet the requirements of the Rocky Mt. Research Station (RMRS) contract.

Oct 06
2009

Response from ABRI to get 1 Ton Plant Prepared for RMRS project.

Posted by etwombly in news

Today I got a response from ABRI on what it will take to get the 1 Ton Plant ready for use with the RMRS.

Biochar Products will now work with ABRI to prepare an agreement between the two companies to get some funding needed by ABRI to get the modifications done on the 1 DTPD plant and prepared to train Biochar Products employees. With any luck this agreement can be finalized in very short order.

The current estimate is that the work on modification will take approximately a month to get completed and then Biochar Products will travel to Canada for training and return the plant to Halfway to run for the RMRS study.

Oct 02
2009

Continued work on Ellingson shop

Posted by etwombly in news

Well it was quite a process but today we got approval to get the electricity turned on at the Ellingson shop in the picture on this website.

It turns out there are several steps that need to be done if the power has been turned off for more than a year. I actually had to get an inspection from the electrical inspector before it could be turned on. He inspected it today and the power will be turned on. It took me quite a number of calls and contacts to find this out.

So now we can continue to get our work steps done with the electrical power so we can do the carpentry and other projects to get the shop ready for the 1 DTPD ABRI biochar plant which we hope will be starting to be modified soon and we can get a final date of deliver set.

Sep 24
2009

Getting all the pieces together will be the next big chalange

Posted by etwombly in news

Now that we are approaching the time when the Forest Service can award us the Rocky Mt. Research Station study effort.

Biochar Products is getting our site ready for the operation of the 1 DTPD biochar plant here in Halfway. This is described in the previous post and is ongoing.

We have talked to ABRI about when the plant would be ready to ship and have discovered that it is undetermined at this point. This is due to the fact that ABRI has installed a 50 DTPD plant in Iowa and in working on getting that one running properly.  So Biochar Products demonstration effort is kind of sitting second that at this point.  There are several modifications to the 1 DTPD plant before it is sent to us that ABRI has planed. These have not started but should not take long.  We will work closely with ABRI and help where ever we can to get this work completed and the plant on its way. Unfortunately ABRI is a very small operation so  they can not remove much labor from the very big effort that is taking all their time right now.

Sep 21
2009

Actual Work on Mill Site to Prepare for Biochar Demonstation

Posted by etwombly in news

We have started to actually work on preparing the old shop at the Ellingson Lumber Company owned site. We need to prepare the building for running the 1 DTPD biochar plant for the RMRS demonstration as we have described in past news items.

Things needed to be completed before the plant arrives:

1. Get electric serviced started for the site.

Sep 14
2009

Biochar Products sole source contract possible for RMRS study.

Posted by etwombly in news

The Forest Service RMRS study will be funded under a contract.  Contracts are normally awarded by various competitors competing by what they can supply or price to be selected to do the work requested.  In this case they have looked around the US to see if they could send a request to do the work of supplying a 1 to 5 DTPD plant and run biomass through it. It turn out that biochar products is the only one they can find who can do this work.

Since we are the only company that can do this work they can reduce the work load to get the work done for the Forest Service. To make sure there is nobody who wants to compete there is an announcement on the internet telling anybody who is paying attention to government contracting that they intend to award this to Biochar Products.  If somebody can do this other than Biochar Products they can tell the contracting people and possibly compete for the contract.

Since there is not likely to be anybody who can compete, Biochar Products is continuing to finalize the permits and agreements needed to do this work.  In addition we are preparing the shop building at the old Ellingson mill site to put the 1 DTPD plant in this fall.

Sep 10
2009

1 DTPD Biochar Plant Demonstration Evolution

Posted by etwombly in news

I thought it would be useful update all the changes that have occurred in or plans.

We now will have a number of partners in this study:

BioChar Products

Sep 08
2009

Excelent Potential Market for BioOil

Posted by etwombly in news

I have been gone from the blog for the last couple of weeks trying to find a market for the Biooil that we would produce if we were to get an operational full scale biochar plant going here in Halfway, Oregon.

I met with the Chief Operating Officer of a company called Environmental IQ last Friday. He has been looking for someone to produce biooil. This company is working with the people who produce electricity in Hawaii. I was told the cost of electricity in Hawaii is some of the most expensive in the United States. Apparently that electricity is produced using diesel generators because it is easy to transport diesel to Hawaii in ocean going barges.

The folks in Hawaii are interested in converting to a better fuel option but it seems only a liquid concentrated fuel option is really feasible for them to use. Apparently if this company can provide a viable alternative to diesel they will be able to get a 20 year contract with Hawaii electric company to supply biooil for electric production.  (Not sure what the company is actually called). 

Aug 24
2009

1/8th Ton Biochar Plant Demonstration

Posted by etwombly in news

Last week I traveled over to see a demonstration of a 1/8th DTPD biochar plant. This plant was on the Umpqua National Forest near Diamond Lake, Oregon.

This demonstration was basically to introduce a lot of different interested parties with the actual biochar process and all the related values of biochar as it relates to the National Forest and the use of logging slash and excess forest fuels.

Aug 20
2009

Reneable Biofuels Workshop - Los Alamos National Lab

Posted by etwombly in news

I was invited to speak at a Renewable Fuels Workshop sponsored by Los Alamos National Lab and New Mexico Technical Institute. The workshop was held in Albuquerque NM Monday and Tuesday. There were a lot of very interesting renewable fuels technologies being discussed. It was interesting to note that BioChar/BioOil is probably the one that is the closest to actual production.

This was a very interesting effort that New Mexico is beginning to put together. There are people in New Mexico that are working on algae farming for bio energy. There are people working on biochar and there are several other potential bio energy methods that may be coming on board. The concept they are working on in New Mexico is to build and maintain what they called an Integrated Bio Refinery.

This would be a single refinery that could take all kinds of biofuels and refine them into the may products that replicate the same products that are currently being produced by the petroleum industry.  It was interesting that the main speaker was Sied Elnashaie from Egypt. He is doing this very thing in research at a University there.  It is interesting to see that there are things like this going on in the Middle East just as we are thinking about them here.

Aug 14
2009

BioChar Products Preparing to do Business

Posted by etwombly in news

Biochar Products had a meeting with a person who dose bookkeeping here in Pine Valley.  We are doing this to be prepared to actually start work on the RMRS project in October.

We have work that we need to do on the Ellingson Mill Site to prepare it to run the 1 DTPD plant.

This requires being able to pay labor and pay for any materials we need to fix up the old shop and to install a water line and power to the well.

Aug 12
2009

Preperation of application for Solid Waste Letter Authorization Permit

Posted by etwombly in news

One of the permits required to run the temporary 1 DTPD biochar plant on the Ellingson Mill site is to get a Solid Waste Permit from Oregon DEQ.

For short term or temporary projects the permit is called a Solid Waste Letter Authorization Permit. This will cost BioChar Products $500 and is good for 6 months and can be renewed for 6 more months for the Unpqua National Forest part of the project.

To do that I have to submit a solid waste application that includes a Land Use Compatibility Statement that Baker County Land Use Planning has to fill out and send back to me at a cost of $35.00.

Aug 07
2009

Continuing Efforts to Meet Requirements of Baker Conditional Use Permitt for RMRS Study

Posted by etwombly in news

Prior to Biochar Products being able to use the Ellingson mill site there are several regulatory steps that need to be completed. They are as follows along with update on the resolution of each:

Prior to receiving Zoning Clearance, the applicant/property owner must submit a copy of approved DEQ site evaluation for the site. Approval must indicate the parcel is approved for an appropriate sewage system.

Ellingson Lumber has been preparing to finalize the septic approval on the old mill site. One of the steps required in this is the digging of two inspection holes which has been completed. In addition there was an old septic system located at the old repair shop location. Yesterday I took our backhoe and dug out the old sewage line and located the old steel septic tank. This line and tank are now ready for DEQ inspection. This hopefully will be all that is required to complete work in preparation to get the final approval for a septic system.

Aug 04
2009

Visit to Northern California RC&D council

Posted by etwombly in news

Yesterday I flew down to Colusa California for a meeting of the Northern California Resource Conservation & Development Council.

This group had worked to put together a plan to do 5 demonstration with the ABRI 1 DTPD plant. We were able to work together to put together a plan that will work for both Oregon and California and will benefit more for both states.

The council was unaware of the changes that had occurred due to the work that was being planned in Oregon. The council was supportive of the changes and felt the partnership with Oregon was of benefit to the overall goal for them.

Jul 29
2009

OSU Columbia Basin Ag Research Center - Dr Mark Coleman

Posted by etwombly in news

I attended a seminar on Biochar and Biooil at the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center near Pendleton. There were a number of people there demonstrating an interest in biochar.

There was a good presentation by Dr Mark Coleman on biochar and biooil in general with a number of good slides describing the benefits of pyrolysis. The point of interest for BioChar Products was that Dr. Coleman has worked on an ongoing research study applying biochar on Forested Sites.

The group had a good discussion about biochar and biooil and the process of running a stationary vs a mobile pyrolysis plant. The discussion included a concept that with stationary plants vs mobile plants there was the issue of leaving biochar on the site with mobile plants and not if the biomass is harvested and moved to stationary plant.

Jul 27
2009

Continued Effort with Rocky Mt Research and Northern California RC&D

Posted by etwombly in news

We are now getting back to work on putting all the elements together to support the Rocky Mt. Research Station (RMRS) project here in Oregon. It turns out this same plant was planed for use with demonstrations during a similar time with the Northern California - Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) - Resource Conservation  and Development (RC&D)  demonstrations.

The RMRS project has come together very quickly in the last few weeks. The California project has been in planning for quite some time. There was some perception that the RMRS was much solider and had the money on hand to pay for it. So commitments were made that were in conflict with the California RC&D plans. 

I made contact with the folks in California and we have since coordinated our planing in such a way that we can support both projects and there will be no overlap of times for the 1 DTPD plant. The plant will start here in Halfway, after we are through we will take the plant to California and then we will go bring it back in June for the final work on the Umpqua.