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Author Topic: Wood World  (Read 971 times)

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Offline Tarm

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Wood World
« on: December 28, 2021, 11:09:23 AM »
"We are fated to live in a Wood World. Biomass is the one known energy source that can do the job of several of the critical civilization services performed by oil."

That quote is from a very insightful book, Life After Fossil Fuels, A Reality Check on Alternative Energy, by Alice Friedemann.

The author reminds us that fossil fuels are FOSSIL and will one day be depleted. Every time someone pulls a barrel of oil out of the ground and burns it, it is gone forever. Modern industrial society has consumed about half of the worlds original fossil fuel reserves. So the question before us is as fossil fuels deplete, get scarce and expensive what will replace them?
The standard narrative is renewable energy, mostly wind and solar, will replace fossil (carbon) fuels. Governments around the world are spending billions of dollars in pursuit of this narrative mostly to combat climate change. The author argues that this narrative is false. She gives four reasons.
1. It takes large amounts of fossil fuel energy to mine the materials, manufacture the components and install wind and solar energy facilities. No fossil fuel inputs, no wind and solar.
2.Wind and solar are intermittent. To maintain 24/7/365 electrical output full scale backup is required. 99% of the time that backup is fossil fuel powered (natural gas).
3. Half of energy used is for industry. High heat is needed for many industrial processes. Three big ones are steel, cement and fertilizer production. Wind and solar can not provide the high heat needed.
4.Wind and solar do not produce diesel fuel, which is truly the life blood of an industrial society.

Here is where it gets interesting. Wood and biomass CAN do all of those things. Wood chips can fuel power plants 24/7/365. Wood charcoal can make steel and cement. Biomass (vegetable oils) can power modified diesel engines. Firewood and wood pellets can heat homes and businesses.

So to all us wood harvesters on this site, are we ready? In the decades ahead as the demand for firewood, wood chips and wood pellets, doubles and doubles again, can we satisfy that market? It will be quite a change from the gloom and doom of one pulp mill shut down after another. Seize the day! Better times are coming.

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Wood World
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2021, 02:41:47 PM »
Granted, I don't know loads about fuels but this feels pretty right. Thanks for sharing.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Wood World
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2021, 02:52:58 PM »
Ive planned my industrial life around free sawdust and waste vegetable oil which ive been into since 2008ish. 

 Its a slow transition when you are doing it out of pocket but if i can do it so can anyone else that really wants to. 

Polymerization with copper, brass and mild steel is the big issue with 2 tank veggie diesels. You can crack the glycerine out and make biodiesel on single setups but it requires methanol, lye and wastewater disposal.   

Revelation 13:11-18

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Wood World
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2021, 03:02:19 PM »
A friend of ours heats a large part of town with his biomass boiler system and he build systems and ships them worldwide. The other night he was saying he was up in Inuvik a few years ago which is well above the treeline but still economical to truck in the wood chips. The boilers are from his native Austria.



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Offline Paul_H

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Re: Wood World
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2021, 03:58:43 PM »
This is an interesting read on a wood gas fueled powerhouse in Australia back in the 1950's.  In 2007 when I was looking for a truck to power with a wood gasifier I met a man in his eighties from New Zealand and he remembered the wood gas and charcoal gas vehicles well because post war Australia and NZ were on the hind teat as far as getting petroleum was concerned and he said it was used right up into the late 1950's
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Offline Tarm

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Re: Wood World
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2022, 03:01:07 PM »
Ive planned my industrial life around free sawdust and waste vegetable oil which ive been into since 2008ish.


Polymerization with copper, brass and mild steel is the big issue with 2 tank veggie diesels. You can crack the glycerine out and make biodiesel on single setups but it requires methanol, lye and wastewater disposal.  
So to make things work Mike either the vegetable oil needs to be reprocessed or the diesel engine modified?

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Wood World
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2022, 12:15:37 AM »
The viscosity of WVO is too thick to atomize correctly until 160F.  You can heat it to 160f using waste heat from the coolant by building a 2tank system to start and stop on diesel, which i have done.  Or you can thin it with diesel in a single tank system during warm season.   Ive done this also but both trucks have eventually had polymerization issues.  Ive driven 30, maybe 40k miles on straight or blended WVO.

Problems with blending i had, in the dodge it was a brass fuel level sender catalyzing the tank.  On the international i was okay blending in the primary tank while in regular service but i had a wreck and the trucks been parked a few years.  I recently discovered that the balance hose let enough veggie blend over to the passenger tank for the brass cap and chain to polymerize that side real bad.  It reeks of oil based paint and is all gummy. I will have to pull tanks and wash them out with a caustic solution before putting it back in service.  Mostly it was the sitting that caused trouble.  When you pour in veggie the best thing to do is burn it all.  Letting it sit in a vehicle for months is always gonna goo up. 

3rd option is cracking the glycerin out of every batch which makes it pretty thin.  then it can run in nonconverted, single tank diesels as long as you dont swell any seals i guess. Has to do with the methanol in biodiesel processing. 

 This is what people would call B100 biodiesel unless they cut it down with #2 pump diesel.   Ive never done it- as the rig, time and material investment are substantial and continuual. Building a vehicle conversion is one time.  I was completely swamped with just filtering and dewatering straight WVO when i had a hotel contract that required fetching a hundred or more gallons a week.


IMO the old bosch inline plunger and barrel injection pumps handle grease the best.  4BT, 6BT, 6CT, DT360, Dt466, OM617 etc.  


Revelation 13:11-18


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