IRSI BlogSharing our installations, case studies and knowledge.
IRSI has partnered with Biomass Energy Techniques (http://biomassenergytechniques.com) to produce thermal energy and biochar in Edmonton. BET’s 61S will be able to handle up to a ton of feedstock every hour, allowing us to process over 100 tons of waste material every week! In addition to keeping this material out of our city’s landfills, we will be turning this waste into useful thermal energy and biochar to be sold in a variety of markets. Work on the needed support systems is running full steam ahead as we prepare for arrival. We are very excited to get BET’s 61S system in place and commissioned in the next few weeks.
The close out of the growing season has had some fruitful results for the IRSI biochar blends in Drayton Valley, Alberta. Michelle Bossert had positive results with the biochar blends that were produced, in part, from the Ulysses Slow Pyrolysis System working cooperatively with the Clean Energy Technology Centre. The best combination of ingredients was humiliate and biochar, which had a significant increase in the overall production of the plants. As the season closes out IRSI will sample and test the different soil mixtures to assess the characteristics of each blend and compare them to the plant production. This testing will inform future work by both IRSI and Michelle. Michelle will be planting with the same soils next year to measure the residual positive impact of biochar on marginal soils. IRSI is excited to continue their work next year with Michelle and further promote the value of organic soil amendments!
IRSI is excited to showcase the great work from Michelle’s greenhouse just outside Drayton Valley. So far the most promising blend is a biochar/humalite/soil mix. The humic acid was sourced from Canadian Humalite International Inc and seems to be a fantastic additive to the biochar blend. The value of the microbial life contained in the humic acid and the porous structure of the biochar provide a terrific mix for growth productivity. IRSI will continue to report on the findings from Michelle’s work and will test the highest return blends at the end of the growing season. Stay tuned for more information!
IRSI has supplied biochar produced in Drayton Valley at the Ulysses Slow Pyrolysis System to a small scale farmer to see how much of an impact the biochar material can have on the marginal soils in the area. Biochar has a litany of benefits in soil and range from increased water retention to reduced compaction. The work with Michelle Bossert outside Drayton Valley has had multiple biochar blends produced, including: soil/biochar, soil/biochar/humalite, soil/compost/biochar, and a controlled soil. IRSI will use the findings from this case study to begin working out the key ingredients for a high quality super soil with a biochar component.
Approximately 100 pots have been planted with a variety of biochar blends and IRSI will be working with Michelle to test the soil blends at the end of the season. As biochar becomes more widely known its value as a soil amendment and carbon sink is becoming more clear. The International Biochar Initiative’s website has a number of useful biochar related resources and reports documenting findings of the materials value as a soil amendment.
The Ulysses slow pyrolysis system has begun to produce biochar in Drayton Valley, Alberta. The optimization of the Ulysses system is still being fine tuned, but the first batch of biochar produce through the continuous feed slow pyrolysis system to be sampled and tested has been verified to be high quality biochar. IRSI’s biochar has been identified as class 1 material under the International Biochar Initiative guidelines. Thank you to the work done by InnoTech Alberta. IRSI will be taking the findings from InnoTech’s report and moving forward with further optimization of the Ulysses Slow Pyrolysis System.
The middle of February 2017 will see IRSI working with the National Resources Canada for three days completing trial campaigns on bailed forestry debris from a vendor located in Drayton Valley. The goal of these trial runs will be to demonstrate the mass reduction of forestry debris through the Ulysses system as well as testing to verify the classification of the biochar material produced. IRSI is excited to see the results and believes that this could translate into a fruitful relationship for all parties involved.
The Ulysses Pyrolysis System’s setup in Drayton Valley is heading into the home stretch! IRSI is very excited to begin the demonstration period facilitating the production of large volumes of Biochar for the Western Canadian market. Alberta Innovates Technology Futures will be on site following the start up of the demonstration period to perform full performance validation and testing on the feedstock and Biochar end product. The framework of the Ulysses demonstration project will showcase the Ulysses’ ability to reduce large volumes of waste material (ex. sawmill wood residue, construction and demolition waste), produce high quality Biochar, produce value-added charcoal for landfills, demonstrate the viability of pyrolysis for heat and power generation, and confirm the value proposition of the Ulysses for waste reduction and Biochar production.
IRSI has a number of interested parties, project developers, companies, and academic institutions excited about the start up of the Ulysses Pyrolysis System. Stay tuned for further developments in the next month.