A team of university and USDA Forest Service employees, biologists, soil scientists, geneticists, hydrologists, botanists, and plant physiologists, are using biochar to enhance and restore critical monarch butterfly and greater sage-grouse habitat on the ...
In 2014 the Utah Biomass Resources Group received a grant from the US Department of Transportation’s SUN Grant program to scale-up the mobile pyrolysis technology developed by Amaron Energy of Salt Lake City. Using the rapid kiln technology of the pyrolysis machine, Amaron has demonstrated how to transform woody biomass into a variety of products including biochar and bio-oil. The abundance of beetle killed timber in the west makes for plentiful feedstock opportunities. Mobile pyrolysis is a sustainable method for woody biomass utilization, something needed for the 22 million acres of forestland in the Northern Rockies impacted by bark beetles. Through pyrolysis, biochar sequesters carbon.
Amaron’s pyrolysis kiln is built around a 15 foot long, 24 inch diameter tube. This rotating metal tube is heated from the outside with gas burners to temperatures of 400 to 600 degrees Celsius. The tube is in constant motion and this allows the feedstock (wood chips) to be rapidly heated. The extreme heating of such small particles in a low oxygen environment quickly transforms the wood into three potentially high-value products biochar, bio-oil and syngas.