Posted by: etwombly on Mar 17, 2010
Tagged in: news
We spent the last week or so trying several ideas to solve the problem of not making much oil because of char in the oil.
Since the Forest Service wanted more char we had gone to running at lower shot temperatures basically under 350 degrees C. This dose produce more char and less oil but we discovered that most of the additional char produced is just light char and ends up in the oil.
So starting this week we went back to running above 400 degrees C for shot temp. That turns out to be a very good idea we are now getting much less char in our oil and we are starting to get longer runs because we have more oil to cool since we are not destroying most of it with char.
We now are running for up to 90 minutes at a time at the full 1 ton per day rate of 90 pounds/ hour which is just above the 84 pounds/ hour to get 1 ton. In the past we have run any where from 25 to 60 pounds / hour to get longer runs. It seems each day we can get longer and longer runs before we reach the 70 degrees C that biooil can not exceed.
If we can get the biooil tank full of 50 gallons of good oil we hope to be able to run longer maybe up to 4 hours at a time. We feel we are making progress on that which is exciting. It seem we have the plant working as it should but the oil system is not adequate to support full production for the desired periods. That said we may make it work.
Today the dryer gave us trouble for the first time in months. It got plugged up in the dry biomass extracting process the first time that has happened but we were able to resolve it and clean up some rough edges in a place inside the extraction tube so we don't think it will happen again. The second thing that happened today was the spinning paddles in the fan that pulls the dried feed stocks self destructed and we had to run off and get another. It turned out not to be hard to get which is lucky so we should be up and running again tomorrow after a 200 mile round trip parts run.
Will try to get a new report soon but we think we may finally be on the right track to substantial production. At least we don't have to stop and fix something between most runs now we just have to wait for the oil too cool a real big improvement on the past.