More gas is created by the subject wood than is needed to convert it to charcoal and we have developed a simple gas bleed which will allow gas to be taken off, cooled, cleaned and stored for later use.
This gas can be used to run a small petrol generator. We have also looked at removing waste heat by running water pipes between the outer cover and the insulation beneath it for heating use. Some of this work was carried out as part of a UK government Department of Energy and Climate Change/RSPB competition to convert wetland biomass to bioenergy.
We worked with The University of Sheffield to look at the feasibility of producing a mobile unit that could convert reed to heat and electricity using hot water, gas and charcoal. Some of the energy would come directly from our machine whilst the charcoal would be consumed in a USS gasifier to create yet more gas and electricity.
In 2016 we won a UK Government Energy Catalyst grant, and with four other companies we are developing a portable system that uses excess gas created by the wood in our machine to run a sizeable CHP unit.
This will mean it will be possible to produce hot water and electricity anywhere there is a suitable feedstock.
The Exeter Retort has also been approved by the British Biochar Foundation for the production of biochar. The BBF is a leading authority in the biochar industry and has set high standards for those companies wishing to manufacture this product. Only low emission methods of char production are approved--any biochar that comes from traditional methods will not meet BBF criteria. Carbon Compost Company also won the 2012 DEBI Low Carbon Innovative Business for its work with the Exeter Retort and the biochar compost it produces. Our machine is built under license in the USA, Lebanon, South Africa and Australia.