Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 15, 2016 at 1:18 am.
From: Robert Pritchett
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 6:12 PM
Subject: Re: Home Biomass?
Possible? Yes, but you'd need a fairly good sized pond in your back yard and you'd probably have to wait a year to get enough algae going to use it effectively. We use anti-algae in our pond, so the bloom each Spring doesn't get too carried away and overcome the algae-eating fish as the water warms up. My wife gets in there and pulls a lot of it out to be sent to the landfill. (She doesn't want it around the veggies, for some reason and she doesn't want to eat it either). It has that pond-scum smell we love so much.
You'd have to make a heck of a lot of algae at home to make it worth while to burn. When the algae has the water removed it turns into a very thin wafer of biomass. I can't even call it that. It is a thin sheet of dry stuff that looks like something that came out of a cow and dried.
I'd say "keep toying with the idea", but don't expect spectacular results.
If you want warm, burn wood.
If you want biomass, mulch and pipe the heat from the center of the decaying mess.
You could also pose this question to Home Power magazine or EarthNews or even the Farmer's Almanac.
----- Original Message -----
From: Sam Kiesinger
To: Sterling D. Allan
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 4:21 PM
Subject: Home Biomass?
I've been toying with this idea for a week or two now and would like to run it past you and your collection of knowledge about bio-fuels and new energy sources. You'd know what to do with it.
Many people still use wood stoves today for heat in the winter, in fact locally(Central New York, snow capital of the US) it's still used by a good portion of the population. With rising oil costs I'm seeing people almost in a panic over their heating bill this coming winter. What was 800 last winter is 1600 this time around.
Would it be feasible for people to grow algae or other water based plants like duckweed for the purpose of drying and burning in the winter? Or collecting what seaweed washes up on shores of lakes? If you return the ashes in the spring to the water source at a regulated rate(don't want to throw off the PH of a smaller body of water too much) you would essentially be returning a good portion of the nutrients back into the system for the next year.
I just figured while this is a throwback to the old school heating methods it's probably the most realistic way for the average joe to take advantage of biomass since it's very simple.
Anyway if you know anyone or any company that has a bit more clout or more money to look into this than I do I'd love to be put in touch with them! Thank you for your time and effort with the PES network!