Yesterday afternoon, the Pyrolyzer team tested the first version of the pyrolysis kiln. We filled the kiln with layers of shredded paper, heavy grained sawdust, small blocks of wood, and crumpled pieces of thick paper, and we used tall pieces of cardboard to provide structural support and airflow. After about 20 minutes of pyrolyzing, we ended the pyrolysis by dumping snow into the kiln and we observed some charcoal but also many un-pyrolyzed materials. The cold temperatures and wind likely had a negative impact on the performance of the kiln, but we hope to improve the effectiveness of the kiln with new designs in the near future!
Ideas for design improvement and further testing
- Design a simple method to warm secondary air and to protect secondary air holes from wind
- Experiment using different types of fuel, such as hay, in the kiln
- Consider new options for secondary-air hole location
- Measure the temperature in the chimney and metal drum during a burn; use chimney temperatures to identify if combustion is possibly occurring in the chimney