Picture of Durable Biochar Producing TLUD Camp Stove
TLUD - Top Lit Up Draft stoves are an innovative technology for high efficiency, low emission conversion of woody biomass to biochar with plenty of useful heat available during the process for cooking and heating water.

Design and use of TLUD's is counter-intuitive to say the least.  
  --Rather than lighting a match to the bottom of the pile, the pile must be started on top.  
  --If the process is smoky, you REDUCE the process air going into the pile.

Proficiency in getting them started and adding fuel takes some experience.  But in terms of efficient conversion of biomass to useful products their performance is at or very near the top among the latest world stove designs.  

They offer a highly carbon negative footprint.  Because they can be tuned to work with many locally obtainable biomass residues, there is no need to transport or store expensive fossil fuels.  The co-product of the heat is biochar, a new-old technology that enhances crops while interring carbon in the soil long-term.

Enough banter, lets get to it.

Although tincanium and obtainium are practical when testing designs, stainless vessels offer better radiant heat properties and long term durability.

This design begins with a 2 liter vacuum insulated serving pitcher.  Depending upon the number of holes and fuel quality (drier and denser is better), it finishes with a stove that boils a quart of water in 10 minutes and keeps it boiling for half an hour on a half load - one pound - of hardwood pellets.

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Step 1: Remove the bottom cover.

Picture of Remove the bottom cover.
Starting with a standard stainless serving pitcher, using a chisel and hammer, place the chisel in the crease near the bottom. Rap the chisel with the hammer to make the base slide down clear of the main vessel.

Keep moving around the diameter, take it a little at a time, until the base releases completely from the vessel.

The same procedure works for removing the top cap.

Step 2: Bare vessel

Picture of Bare vessel
Hammer and chisel make quick work of stripping vessel down to just what is needed.
bollinger232 years ago
compliments a very interesting project, thanks! I'm thinking for some time how to make a version of biochar stove for inside, I would like to use it in a tent, in particular a ger housing typical of the Mongolian population.
freedombiomass (author)  bollinger232 years ago
There is a lot of work by a lot of groups that has taken place in Mongolia. There is a research paper with conclusions dated 2005 from that region.

Efforts continue on at least a few fronts. I would love to help, have been approached, currently caught in the time-money continuum, lacking both ;~)

I suspect as with mobile touch screen tech, the breakthrough will be with the right mix of ease of use, practicality, and "looky here" pride of ownership.

Certainly wish the good people of Mongolia and those who would help them the best.

B2BSurvivor3 years ago
THANKS ! We need more of this kind of information. Very well done, indeed !
freedombiomass (author)  B2BSurvivor3 years ago
Thank you for the kind worlds.

We need more of these stoves out there. They really open eyes to the power in biomass energy.

Nice Project, I am looking to make one for a Sailboat and use it
to Dispose of waste aboard. Also would like to add a heat exchanger
for Heating Potable Water. through a Loop. Will be an interesting project
to Hang over the side on a Marine BBQ style bracket.
P.S. Will be making up a prototype out of "Tincanium" added a new
word to my vocabulary. Cheers
freedombiomass (author)  sodiumcanine3 years ago

Char produced is excellent for odor control of many waste products. Heat works for distilling water and other essentials.

Keep on playin and keep on charrin'
Bob_of_Mars3 years ago
Excellent! I've been trying to find a way to cheaply produce this biochar stuff I keep reading about, and this seems to be just what I was looking for!

A couple of questions I would like answered, if at all possible. I'm still new to this, so if these are questions that are fairly obvious, I do apologize.

1. What gases are given off during this process? Are they just like normal flames, like CO2, CO, and CH4, or is something else entirely cause all the carbon is being sequestered? Can this gas, if different, be captured and used in any other processes?

2. How much heat does this produce? Could I, say, bend some copper tubing into a coil, put water through it, and put it directly above the flames to more quickly heat the water, or is that not at all feasible?

3. Should this only be used outdoors due to potentially toxic gases, or is it safe to use inside of ones home?

4. You may have addressed this and I simply missed it whilst reading, but about how long does this process take to produce the biochar? I understand that the burn isn't as hot at a normal fire, so does that make it a slower process? Could I feasibly change the fuel into biochar and put it in a garden in one day, or should I do most of the production a couple weeks or months before?

Thank you so much for your time and this wonderful information! I'll be sure to tell my friends and family about this!
freedombiomass (author)  Bob_of_Mars3 years ago
1. The old site had some really good info on makeup of biomass and products of combustion as pyrolysis takes place in a vessel. Simple in a graph once you understand it, way too detailed to cover here.

2. Approximately 7500 btu until somebody says different with supporting docs. Heat may be focused or diffused with various chimney attachments. Gas can be directed but in so doing can easily turn everything in path into a tarry mess.


4. Biochar co-product is left behind when flame dies. Essentially the volatiles have been flared off the biomass leaving the hard char. From there snuff and allow to cool. Other options available with more study and experience.

Very nice! Perhaps you could add a diagram?
freedombiomass (author)  doctormerlin3 years ago
Thanks and right you are!

Added a page for foundational technologies.