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  #31  
Old 10-25-2009, 01:19 AM
Vortex Vortex is offline
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theremart, sounds like you have a good start at getting things to happen.

Note to all.
Do not put a flame to the methane until you know there is a
a high percentage of methane in what you intend to light.
5% methane in air is explosive.

A single (fresh) paddy of cow manure has the right bacteria to
get a methane digester started, so I've read is how they start
a waste food only digester in India.

Methane Digesters For Fuel Gas and Fertilizer
With Complete Instructions For Two Working Models
Methane Digesters for Fuel Gas and Fertilizer - ToC
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2009, 01:46 AM
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theremart theremart is offline
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Thanks Vortex

that is a good thing to know about methane.

I have decided just to test out how hot my 55 gal barrel gets filled with water in the center of the mulch pile. Today I am 1/2 way done putting the mulch around and setting up. Once I get an idea of temperature of water etc I will then be better setup to make my next move. The trouble with being in such a hot area is I could kill the bacteria very quickly with the methane so I may need to find the right balance to keep temperature at 95 deg.


I have come across a 50,000 gallon tank for $600.00 I am thinking hmm I could grow algae in the tank, then use the algae for the methane generation. The link that Vortex gave showed this setup, and seems very reasonable.


Anyhow video of my progress so far.

YouTube - Video 73 Jean Pain The Power of Compost, solar cooking,
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  #33  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:13 AM
rileydad48 rileydad48 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
theremart, sounds like you have a good start at getting things to happen.

Note to all.
Do not put a flame to the methane until you know there is a
a high percentage of methane in what you intend to light.
5% methane in air is explosive.

A single (fresh) paddy of cow manure has the right bacteria to
get a methane digester started, so I've read is how they start
a waste food only digester in India.

Methane Digesters For Fuel Gas and Fertilizer
With Complete Instructions For Two Working Models
Methane Digesters for Fuel Gas and Fertilizer - ToC
Thanks Vortex, allways good to remind people to be safe...

I really must take back my statement about "not incredible but just good logic" . Ever since this thread was added, I have searched the internet and read everything I could on Methane, Biogas, saftey and Production. There are books and books full of very good information out there. And the simplicity of it all is quite astounding.. Just about everyone could do some form of what's happening here, if only a pile of grass clippings in the back yard to get free heat... So Yes I do agree.. this is incredible !!!.. Even If my "cavitation pump" works as I planned it to. I will still be doing something later with methane probuction to run a gas engine with a induction motor generator . Thanks guys , I really do enjoy this Forum...

Thanks again ...Paul

Ps... I've learned that you can remove the trace quanities of Hydrogen Sulfied
and most of the water by running the biogas thru a filter of metal shavings from any machine shop... which are reasonable cause they only get scrap price for it..
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2009, 02:33 PM
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theremart theremart is offline
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Trick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rileydad48 View Post
Thanks Vortex, allways good to remind people to be safe...

I really must take back my statement about "not incredible but just good logic" . Ever since this thread was added, I have searched the internet and read everything I could on Methane, Biogas, saftey and Production. There are books and books full of very good information out there. And the simplicity of it all is quite astounding.. Just about everyone could do some form of what's happening here, if only a pile of grass clippings in the back yard to get free heat... So Yes I do agree.. this is incredible !!!.. Even If my "cavitation pump" works as I planned it to. I will still be doing something later with methane probuction to run a gas engine with a induction motor generator . Thanks guys , I really do enjoy this Forum...

Thanks again ...Paul

Ps... I've learned that you can remove the trace quanities of Hydrogen Sulfied
and most of the water by running the biogas thru a filter of metal shavings from any machine shop... which are reasonable cause they only get scrap price for it..
Do that or steel wool ( which is really iron ) even better yet run it through lime water ( hand full of lime from ag store used to lime garden ) and it helps cut down the sulfur smell.

Full details and more are available from the 3 hour video at the start of the list, I believe it is worth the $30.00 for the video as it will save you hours and $ from doing it less efficient ways.
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  #35  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:30 PM
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I found this link...

Hot Compost


Mentions to insulate the compost pile..

I tested my 55 gal barrel this morning it was 3 deg warmer than water that was setting outside 75 outside in a 5 gal bucket. I poured more water around the barrel so it would pick up more heat from the compost. Yet as I was pouring the water it hit me that I am now loosing the insulation value of the wood chips below the barrel but oh well live and learn.

If nothing else I will try to find a good method of insulation the 55 gallon barrel I think the worst now is the top I will try to get some foam that I can cover the top of the barrel with to hold the heat in. Right now I only have a tarp.
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  #36  
Old 10-29-2009, 01:22 AM
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Even better link

DIY Water Heating with Compost

How to do Jean Pain's method from Mother Earth news.

Very sweet
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  #37  
Old 10-29-2009, 02:21 PM
Vortex Vortex is offline
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"come across a 50,000 gallon tank for $600.00 I am thinking hmm I could grow algae in the tank"
That water can be used as thermal mass storage to heat a green house, etc
and algae will not mind the water being a bit warm ...

Since methane production creates co2 from 25-50% also,
I've often wondered how one might use the co2 for plant growth without blowing things up ...

A weed whacker is easiest to convert to methane as well
as into other things like a compressor.

The methane is great for cooking, but quantity might prevent heating
the house with it. Heating the house could be done using a
biomass gasifier that is started using a methane burner,
but self-fuels and self-heats once the gasification begins.
This would provide on demand heating of greater quantity without
storage problems that methane has.
A gasifier can use any biomass for fuel if the biomass itself is not
the fuel used for heat initially, that's when limitation of fuel choices
and designs are effected.
A multiple cylinder biomass unit could be continuously reloaded ..
I don't know how you would know if one is spent, used up and ready to be removed and replaced.

I like my woodgas stove but it is touchy about the fuel I use.
I can't use just anything ... I'm going to fix that and come up
with a different design. No I'm not going to use a fan.
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  #38  
Old 10-30-2009, 08:49 PM
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More progress water temp up to 98 degrees on 55 gallon

I got the pump working on the setup, Today I added more insulation will see what difference this makes.

YouTube - Video 74 Warmer water, circulating pump working with Jean Pain's method
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  #39  
Old 10-30-2009, 09:00 PM
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theremart theremart is offline
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Jean Pains method...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
"come across a 50,000 gallon tank for $600.00 I am thinking hmm I could grow algae in the tank"
That water can be used as thermal mass storage to heat a green house, etc
and algae will not mind the water being a bit warm ...

Since methane production creates co2 from 25-50% also,
I've often wondered how one might use the co2 for plant growth without blowing things up ...

A weed whacker is easiest to convert to methane as well
as into other things like a compressor.

The methane is great for cooking, but quantity might prevent heating
the house with it. Heating the house could be done using a
biomass gasifier that is started using a methane burner,
but self-fuels and self-heats once the gasification begins.
This would provide on demand heating of greater quantity without
storage problems that methane has.
A gasifier can use any biomass for fuel if the biomass itself is not
the fuel used for heat initially, that's when limitation of fuel choices
and designs are effected.
A multiple cylinder biomass unit could be continuously reloaded ..
I don't know how you would know if one is spent, used up and ready to be removed and replaced.

I like my woodgas stove but it is touchy about the fuel I use.
I can't use just anything ... I'm going to fix that and come up
with a different design. No I'm not going to use a fan.
My thought is to take the hot water from the Jean Pain method and then circulate that inside the house. If you take 130 degree water then use your biogas heater to that water it should not take much to heat the house.
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  #40  
Old 11-01-2009, 02:25 PM
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Found this book made by Jean Pain...

http://www.biomeiler.at/explorer/Dow...ndofGarden.pdf

has wonderful pictures and indepth instructions of how to do this. I did not know he also heated a green house with this method.

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  #41  
Old 11-01-2009, 02:58 PM
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Matthew Jones Matthew Jones is offline
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I was kinda wondering about something like this. I was thinking heating the floor with water.
But it dawned me, to wonder what spectrum of light a lantern (Coleman) would emit if methane gas was used to light the filament.
I haven't been able to find an answer but if the light was good you could make grow house of some kind. but then again you could use generator and lights. But a lantern would be real cheap.

Matt
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  #42  
Old 11-01-2009, 05:53 PM
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heating with this method..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
I was kinda wondering about something like this. I was thinking heating the floor with water.
But it dawned me, to wonder what spectrum of light a lantern (Coleman) would emit if methane gas was used to light the filament.
I haven't been able to find an answer but if the light was good you could make grow house of some kind. but then again you could use generator and lights. But a lantern would be real cheap.

Matt
Today I checked the temperature of my 55 gallon barrel and found it at 108 deg F. That is without using a pump but just letting the heat transfer to the water inside through the wall of the barrel. It seems to rise about 3 deg every 12 hours. I made some modifications of adding some old blankets I had to the top in layers for insulation. That seems to work great. I remembered when I lived up in Indiana that dressing up in layers seemed to have the best way of staying warm.


I have a can of enzymes I am tempted to add the the mix with the rest of the sugar I have in the house ( I don't eat processed sugar but they guy who used to live here left me about 5 lbs ) I am thinking I could mix together sugar and the enzymes and pour that on the mixture and see what happens.

Now I have a question...

If in a methane reactor all bacteria are killed at 108 degrees..... why is that the compost pile gets to over 150 degrees? Is there bacteria that lives at that temperature that keep the reaction going?


I am thinking that it may be cheaper just to have like 8 55 gallon barrrels in setups like this, Then just rotate to each one for your hot water needs...

The problem of heating a home with the water is it is sooo moist. You would have a big moister problem inside the home. I think that is why he used a hot water radiator inside the home to transfer the heat. But for a green house it would be perfect for the plants.

I love this project as I am seeing beneficial results quickly. Today I measured the hot water cumming out of my tap and it is at 115 degrees. I think soon I will be taking my first bath with compost heated water.
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  #43  
Old 11-03-2009, 10:08 PM
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Update..

I measured the temperature of the the 55 gal tank full of water that started at 75 deg inside the compost pile.

Up to 114.7 degrees... It was down to 58 degrees the night before outside, so indeed this does work. One note, the temp rise is not do to circulating water but only the sides of the tank heating up with the compost reaction. If I hit 120 degrees I will take my first bath with water heated from compost.

I want to try to calculate how much it cost to heat a tank of water with electric at 10 cents a kilowatt.
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  #44  
Old 11-03-2009, 10:29 PM
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Matthew Jones Matthew Jones is offline
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Depends on the storage of a hot water heater. 80 gallon heater Electric usually runs anywhere from 400 - 500 dollars a year to run.

This is one

Some can go lower.

A solar hot water system costs on average 120 to 150 dollars a years because of the pumps. But the up front is way more expensive.

So if you can beat either one your golden....

I wonder how much heat could be generated from the average yard waste of a single family home? IE flower beds grooming, lawn clippings, even food waste, ect...
That might be worth building product for. "Just add clippings, and trash..."

Matt
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  #45  
Old 11-05-2009, 12:37 AM
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Well..

It still was at 114 this morning. So I decided to run the circulating pump. It went down to 108 Deg after 3 hours. So I removed some of the mulch from around the pipes, it was about bone dry. We have not had rain here for some time with low humidity, so I am setting up some rain barrels to catch the next drops of rain.
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  #46  
Old 11-05-2009, 02:44 AM
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You could pick up some mycorrhizal mix with beneficial bacteria at www fungi com
and though rain water is great .. given the correct environment salt water
even works just fine .. See greening the desert where they had mushrooms growing in the mulch (compost)
So i see not much harm in using tap water.

keep up the good work
randy
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  #47  
Old 11-09-2009, 01:11 AM
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Found a new link - and poor results on my test run.

This guy has this down to a science..

Heat free (nearly) with a compost furnace Energymd – Practical Alternative Energy


My results have been most disappointing as the pile has gone dry It did reach 114 before loosing it's ump as it was not properly watered. Now it went down to 98 degrees in the tank.

I am planning on testing an idea I have. I plan on rebuilding the pile, but this time with a childs swimming pool at the bottom to catch excess water that comes off as I soak the pile. I did not know about the need for air in the pile or other things. So.. I plan on tearing the pile down allowing the next rain to soak the compost and try again his time re circulating the water in the pile to keep the mulch wet. ( has been very dry here )

As well, I think I will put leaves around the pipes which will break down faster and help in getting the reaction going better.

But from what I saw from the start, I am ready to do this again. There is much potential here.
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  #48  
Old 11-09-2009, 01:14 AM
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Hey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
You could pick up some mycorrhizal mix with beneficial bacteria at www fungi com
and though rain water is great .. given the correct environment salt water
even works just fine .. See greening the desert where they had mushrooms growing in the mulch (compost)
So i see not much harm in using tap water.

keep up the good work
randy
Thanks for the encouragement...
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  #49  
Old 11-22-2009, 09:34 PM
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Jean Pain next try

YouTube - Video 78 Try 3 with Jean Pain method and latching relays.wmv

Added a method to trap more water.

Today I have got over 3 55 gallon barrels full of water from rain water so wooo hoo I have moister.

Today I tested running the irrigation hoses with the sump pump and that is working like a champ!!! Next will be an air compressor to keep the air going to feed the reaction.

I am looking forward to see how this progresses.
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  #50  
Old 12-06-2009, 05:50 PM
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Progress!

I have been recording the temperature rise of the 40 gallons of water since I have again drenched the compost pile with water and started the process of getting the bacteria to work again.

We had much rain and I now have 4 rain barrels full of water.

November

29th 81 deg F
30 81

December

1 83 ( added more insulation - used cardboard and put on more wood chips as insulation )
2 84
3 87
4 88
5 93
6 97


The last reading was this morning, which is surprising to me as it was 60 deg here in Florida outside. Them bacteria must of been dancing up a storm to make all that heat
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  #51  
Old 12-06-2009, 05:53 PM
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Something that hit me today..

What about a sterling engine with the 150 degree water from the compost? Would that turn a wheel for energy?
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  #52  
Old 12-06-2009, 08:25 PM
Vortex Vortex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theremart View Post
What about a sterling engine with the 150 degree water from the compost? Would that turn a wheel for energy?
Yep.. .. see 'Imagineer' touts geothermal energy invention
"generate electricity using water that's the temperature of a cup of coffee -- about 165 degrees Fahrenheit."


Fluidyne pump .. only moving parts are two check valves.

One option to think about is Compost Pile Vent Tubes
Google search pvc oxygen

I was thinking of reuse (removal of piping from old pile to new pile) and construction or the non-man-handling of the piping?

Those that have tried to work with this plastic piping will know it is a
major pain trying to get it into the desired configuration, unwinding
it and then rewinding it into like a spiral.
A frame to hold it in a spiral would prevent removal from a used up compost pile
requiring a lot of compost removal before the piping could be moved to another location.
A lot of the compost information I've read states going beyond 4 feet wide
does not allow the oxygen to reach the middle of the pile .. This is the
reason all that labor is involved to turn the compost.. and thus
bigger piles get longer but never much wider than 4 foot, an elongated shape .
100 feet roll can be made into 9 x 10 foot sections with 4 inch or so spacing
in a radiator like layout and braced at each end where it is coupled so
moving or pulling does not put stress upon the couplings . ..
8 sets of elbows are needed if 9 runs of piping are space at 4 inches apart.
A 100 feet of piping could make two sets of 5 foot long runs.
The shorter runs would make it easier to move around and
pull it out of the used up compost pile.
this would allow pulling the piping up out of the compost without removal
all the compost above it.. saving some work.
A 6 or 7 foot long by 4 foot wide by 3 foot high compost pile could probably
contain close to 150 feet of piping.
5 feet, 90 degree, 4 inches, 90 degree, 5 feet, etc.

Unsure how to keep the runs spaced/straight .. maybe rebar / stakes ...
Keeping a set as unframed or tied together allows for easier moving and removal.??
Unsure what would be best to brace the piping together near the
elbows to prevent stress being applied upon them.

These sets could be added or removed as the compost pile is used up...
If the pile was 10 foot long to start with, using two 5 foot long runs and
the compost pile reduces.. one set could be removed and
the remaining compost moved over the top of the remaining 5 foot long run.
Then the removed run could be used to start a new pile.??

just thinking.
randy
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  #53  
Old 12-06-2009, 09:15 PM
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Re: just thinking...

Thanks for the input Vortex,

I believe I may be able to push over to 165 with solar heating. I have buried a 55 gallon barrel and panted part of it black the rest is insulated with the compost. So far this failed, but I have another plan... Will try dripping the water with a small solar pump into a black pipe that will be heated perhaps with a parabolic dish thus transfering the heat to the water directly just heating the barrel has not yeiled much of a rise in the temp so far.

The removal / reconstruction is not a problem for me now. It should only need to be done once a year. The new setup I have adopted is simplier it uses irrigation pipe about 20 inches from the bottom to input the needed water to keep the pile moist. as for the air, I plan to use an air compressor to feed it in. A guy in Minnesota is doing this with 8 inche of snow on the top it is 150 deg!!! he 3 times a day runs air thru pvc pipe to the bottom of the pile, I intend on using the irrigation pipe for the same purpose. But his method does not require turning the pile. If you keep the conditions set through the pile you don't have to turn it. Jean Pain no where mentions turning his pile. I belive because he spent so much time getting the much wet ( dunking in barrels ) and how big his pile was, and how thin the mulch was create he did not have to turn as the mulch acted as insulation.

But once a year dealing with tear down is not a problem for me. I have torn it down and re-built the pile in about 1/2 a day. The exercise does me good :-)

But I have found the better the insulation, the faster the pile heats up. I am just wondering how high it will go with my present setup. I have not piped in air yet, I want to see how long the heat will continue to rise with present setup, if it drops then I will add air.

I am slowly changing one thing at a time and noting the temp changes daily. I intend to take my timer on relay to automate the blowing in of air each day.


But I want to learn from this pile Learn what works and what does not, I am just thrilled it is comming back to life. !


Will have to check into the devices you listed if I hit 150 and maintain it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortex View Post
Yep.. .. see 'Imagineer' touts geothermal energy invention
"generate electricity using water that's the temperature of a cup of coffee -- about 165 degrees Fahrenheit."


Fluidyne pump .. only moving parts are two check valves.

One option to think about is Compost Pile Vent Tubes
Google search pvc oxygen

I was thinking of reuse (removal of piping from old pile to new pile) and construction or the non-man-handling of the piping?

Those that have tried to work with this plastic piping will know it is a
major pain trying to get it into the desired configuration, unwinding
it and then rewinding it into like a spiral.
A frame to hold it in a spiral would prevent removal from a used up compost pile
requiring a lot of compost removal before the piping could be moved to another location.
A lot of the compost information I've read states going beyond 4 feet wide
does not allow the oxygen to reach the middle of the pile .. This is the
reason all that labor is involved to turn the compost.. and thus
bigger piles get longer but never much wider than 4 foot, an elongated shape .
100 feet roll can be made into 9 x 10 foot sections with 4 inch or so spacing
in a radiator like layout and braced at each end where it is coupled so
moving or pulling does not put stress upon the couplings . ..
8 sets of elbows are needed if 9 runs of piping are space at 4 inches apart.
A 100 feet of piping could make two sets of 5 foot long runs.
The shorter runs would make it easier to move around and
pull it out of the used up compost pile.
this would allow pulling the piping up out of the compost without removal
all the compost above it.. saving some work.
A 6 or 7 foot long by 4 foot wide by 3 foot high compost pile could probably
contain close to 150 feet of piping.
5 feet, 90 degree, 4 inches, 90 degree, 5 feet, etc.

Unsure how to keep the runs spaced/straight .. maybe rebar / stakes ...
Keeping a set as unframed or tied together allows for easier moving and removal.??
Unsure what would be best to brace the piping together near the
elbows to prevent stress being applied upon them.

These sets could be added or removed as the compost pile is used up...
If the pile was 10 foot long to start with, using two 5 foot long runs and
the compost pile reduces.. one set could be removed and
the remaining compost moved over the top of the remaining 5 foot long run.
Then the removed run could be used to start a new pile.??

just thinking.
randy
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:44 PM
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Next update

YouTube - Video 82 Jean Pain Power of Compost update.wmv

Getting back up to temp..
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:12 PM
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And another kool link

Jean Pain Method (Permaculture Forums: alternative energy)

His house is warmer using compost.

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Old 12-11-2009, 05:05 PM
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MY man.
I can't wait to get moved in to my house and get started. I got brush piles everywhere, just bought a mulcher.

Never would have dawned on me that rotting garden material would be exciting. LOL
I want to try some Auqaponics too. But you gotta license to culture fish in NC.

Cheers
Matt
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:21 PM
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I just looked at classified adds..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
MY man.
I can't wait to get moved in to my house and get started. I got brush piles everywhere, just bought a mulcher.

Never would have dawned on me that rotting garden material would be exciting. LOL
I want to try some Auqaponics too. But you gotta license to culture fish in NC.

Cheers
Matt

They had two listings for FREE compost. I just need a means of getting it to my door. Looks like I will have to call around for hauling places to find someone who can load and dump it at my door.

Another find was I found a method in india to make methane that does not use manure.

YouTube - Compact digester for producing biogas from food waste


ARTI

I am thinking of using my blender to blend up old oranges and then see if I can start the process.

I was thinking of buying a composter but.... when I can get it delivered all ready composted, I am wondering is it worth the expense of a composter...
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:04 PM
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Ya thats pretty nifty. Doesn't look that complicated. Are you going to buy one, or try to build one?

I know in Germany the cities collect food waste as a recycled product. They have separate bags that are colored that they have to put it in.
If they are not separating they are fined.
I suspect they are doing the same thing on a large scale.

I'll have to find it but I was reading an article on ethanol production from local wood product using the bacteria found in the belly of a termite.
Termites work like cows. The bacteria digests the pulped wood product they make from eating the wood. The bi product is sugar. Then termite has separate stomach that digests the sugar and the dead bacteria.

It ain't hard to find termites, but it might be a trick to isolate the bacteria. Once isolated it shouldn't be to hard to culture and ferment. I have made plenty of potato mash in my younger days, it ain't hard to do.
Its an alternative to methane gas though and a little easier to store.

We'll see. Got to get finished and moved..

Matt
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:01 PM
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RE: Methane..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
Ya thats pretty nifty. Doesn't look that complicated. Are you going to buy one, or try to build one?

I know in Germany the cities collect food waste as a recycled product. They have separate bags that are colored that they have to put it in.
If they are not separating they are fined.
I suspect they are doing the same thing on a large scale.

Matt
I have been looking at many youtube videos on methane production. I like the look of this method. It looks exactly like the one in India. So it seems the best way is large containers the fit inside one another. What I like about this method is you can adjust the amount of pressure by simply adding weights to the top container. I am thinking of getting some large inter tubes and then on the methane tank simply put on a snap on part from an air pump. Fill up the tire, then it is portable. or with a compressor be store in compressed tanks. I have heard reports of people who do this the tires work very well.

The theory of Pulsefuelnerd ( from youtube ) is to simply to not store the methane, but to turn it into heat. burn the fuel at x rate running a sterling engine running a generator. That sounds just awesome to me to have batteries charged with this. I was thinking gas generator, but need to get a larger production before I do that.


Something near this setup is what I am targeting

YouTube - Simple Methane Digester

very very simple. Trouble is I can't find barrels that fit together like this. I found a 55 gallon plastic barrel that is air tight which should do the job.. As I write this I am thinking perhaps I could use a 5 gallon bucket in my 55 gallon rain barrel to capture the gas, the same way you do a HHO litters per minute test.... or... get myself a trash can that will fit inside the 55 gallon barrel this is starting to come together.

oh BTW the temp of the water this morning at the top was 117 deg, and the bottom of the 40 gallon tank is 107. I am getting very very close to my first compost heated bath whoo hoo!

Mart
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:39 AM
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Another update...

YouTube - Video 83 Jean Pain Power of Compost Update 2.wmv

I have seen my temp get up to 120. Again the moister has gone low in the compost heap so I added 2 55 gallon barrels of rain water. I found it interesting the hottest parts of the heap have this white color to it. I do wonder if this is mold or the color of the specific bacteria.


015 C (3259 F) - psychrophiles predominate, beginning the heating process as they multiply
1540 C (59104 F) - mesophiles take over, psychrophiles die off or are relegated to the borders
4070 C (104158 F) - thermophiles work at their peak, including consuming many other bacteria

( from webpedia on compost )


I found it interesting to find these bacteria can double every 30 seconds.
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