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Welcome to Thrive Off Grid!

We are a world leader in micro scale gasification for power and heat systems. Our systems convert renewable and waste woody biomass to energy for Off Grid Power and Primary Heating. Our kiln process can provide primary heating and hot water production while converting woody biomass to charcoal. This resulting charcoal is then used to create clean gaseous fuels for running spark ignition power generators and other small engine power equipment. With over 10 years of rapid product development our technologies are some of the best there is to offer.

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2022 M-1 SG RTR

Why Charcoal?

Our development spans over 10 years and up until 2020, was focused solely on raw fuels gasification with over 300 machines produced and shipped world wide. We are the largest manufacture on market in the smaller scale home off grid biomass gasification systems. The company launched January 2012, quickly evolving to become one of few companies globally to develop at a very high level. We have ran small single cylinder engines up to large GM, LS based V8 engine power plants with combined heat. These machines had very advanced reactor cores, automation and other features to advance this technology. Anyone can insulate a reactor and we certainly did along with complex air intake preheating, conical hearth architecture, insulated reduction cores and hybrid cross draft grate systems just to name a very few innovations we developed into our technology. So when comparing us to others keep in mind we have been there and already done what most others are experimenting with today. You can only do so much to the Imbert Gasifier; we've done it and have moved on to better more viable technology. 

Primary Differences Between Charcoal and Direct Gasification

The difference between charcoal and raw fuel direct gasification is with a charcoal system the pyrolysis zone / process is removed and is an external process. This is where TAR is produced and if the conditions are not right in a raw fuel direct system it will bypass the entire system including filters and condense at the engine. One drop of tar in an engine is one drop to many! This tar under vacuum will stay in gas suspension until it hits a positive pressure due point at near ambient temperature. In gas suspension it will bypass most filtration systems as filters can not be restrictive or you lose power. Combustion process in a direct fuel gasifier must sustain 2000* F and no less than 1600* F and do so for more than five minutes to get it on a YouTube video. Any gasifier can do this if dry enough fuel is used don't be deceived by this as the reality is you wont always have dry fuel when you need to run this equipment. "Oh just put good fuel in the machine and it will be fine" No! If it can happen it will and it only takes one instance to create a bad problem. 

Here is the deception; in a direct fuel gasifier 30% of your fuel input is lost in process!! This is due to combating chemically bound and natural water in the fuel along with exothermic processing absorbing needed heat for the reduction process. A charcoal system is less than half this especially when water injection reformer technology is employed. 

Charcoal Production / CHP versus Direct Gasification Fuel Processing

Fuel processing is a matter of perception verses actually doing it and how you are doing it; as there are many different ways to process fuels for either technology. However most have a perception of chip fuel based systems. Seems straight forward you fill up a Harbor Freight chipper with "gasoline??" Chip up some branches and then simply run your gasifier all day long with the chips to fuel a generator?? Nope!! That's not how it works and you surely wont be running your generator all day. (Making fuel yes but the generator no) First of all a small box store chipper simply is not going to cut it for this. You will spend hours pre processing the branches as the feed stock must be de limbed and free of leaves and small twigs. Then you are limited to what will fit the chipper and then chip size will be inconsistent. The small fines will need to be discarded and you will throw 25% to 50% of your yield away as it can not be ran in a direct fuel gasifier. So right there besides the gasoline you dumped into the chipper is fuel that has gone to waste!! Ok could you go to a larger chipper? Maybe a PTO chipper? Yes certainly you could but this equipment will come at a much higher cost, require even more energy to run and may exceed the size gasifier you intend to run; so it may not be possible to use your gasifier to run this equipment. Lets say we did run this chipper with the gasifier, now you have the complexity of setting up just for this operation and guess what? You are in fact burning fuel to make the fuel and how much fuel do you think you are going to burn?? Then on top of all that, then you still must dry this fuel. If you think this is a fast process think again; this can take days to weeks and you cant just create a giant pile as only the outside will dry. Could you kiln dry it? Yes but you might as well convert to charcoal in the first place. You could use engine exhaust heat for drying fuel; however, there is still nothing to gain as this also applies to charcoal fuel production. You simply can use this same process for charcoal pre kiln preprocess. The dryer the fuel the more efficient the kiln process is. Other methods are chunking machines but this is something you will need to build as they do not exist on market and would not be viable to manufacture cost effectively. You could manually chop up the fuel into small pieces this will require a great deal of hands on labor and gasifiers are very hungry machines. In concept a direct fuel system all seems viable but in actual practice most will abandon this technology. So now you have lost energy running your equipment, lost energy in yield waste, lost energy in drying process (unless dried by the sun; cold climates good luck) you will lose 30% in the gasification process and there is always to the potential of tar production. That is the deception!!

Charcoal production does not require any heavy machinery. Just a simple kiln, we simply cleanly burn off the pyrolysis stage gas and combine this process with a primary heat and or hot water application. Generally a primary heating solution is an around the clock constant application. So with charcoal production we combine this process with primary heat and hot water and rather than bulk produce mass quantities in short time periods we produce over a daily time span while producing heat so that heat energy is used for something and not wasted. Charcoal offers less hands on fuel prep as processing is not small chunks just sized to fit the charcoal kiln (the kiln does the work not you). However we are working on chip and pellet kilns. The chip kiln format will not be like a gasifier where you sort out the fines and the smaller chippers will work with less fuel prep. However your not going to dump mulch in this, but small fines and leaves will still work. Plus our M-Series gasifiers are all in the size range to run most small chippers. Electric chainsaws, chop saws, circular skill saws, small electric splitters and other electric plug in processing equipment; can all be ran directly from your M-Series fueled Power Generator. Instead of working and wasting fuels charcoal offers less hands on work with less energy waste. Even if you direct burn to produce charcoal without CHP reclaim the energy loss is the same or even less than direct gasification and that fuel is ready to run that day!! When you combine this process with heat reclaim it is in fact by far more efficient and viable. Its all a matter of perspective

Self Sustaining Operation / Machine Complexity

A direct fuel gasifier simply will not self sustain without constant intervention. Without automation a direct fuel gasifier will not be hands free. Most down draft gasifier's have active grates that must be agitated to keep the system flowing and generally a hopper vibrator is employed to prevent fuel bridging. As gas flows oscillate along with gas energy density fluctuations an electronic air fuel mixer may also need to be employed to sustain proper fuel / air mixture for optimum power output of the generator. Automation adds cost, it adds complexity, it adds additional components that can break.

Char ash removal and condensate on most typical systems at our scale will need daily servicing or multiple servicing's per day. Not the case with charcoal, as the charcoal is fully reduced leaving only very little ash. There is no condensate so there is nothing there that is needed to service and that condensate is in fact toxic and a carcinogen!! Our charcoal units if ran on a daily basis only require weekly to monthly servicing. 

Charcoal systems are simply less complex. The reaction process is exothermic so there is no need to cool the gas as it is already cool by the time it leaves the gasifier unit. So no cooler is needed the coarse filter box is more than adequate to shed any excess heat. The water shift is generally 100% and we even add in water injection to our systems. 25% of your gas energy density comes from ordinary water that is cracked in process. Another reclaim that can not be done with direct fuels gasification. 

Filter system is simply a coarse and fine filter to remove dust. There is generally no tar ever produced so we are not concerned with attempting to filter tar. However even charcoal is not 100 percent tar free nor is it 100% hands free. If tar is ever produced it is generally a very minimal amount that an engine can easily tolerate; for the most part the gas is tar free. Our charcoal systems are 95% more self sustaining and generally only require an air / fuel mixture adjustment at the end of a hopper load. As far as tar? What does that tell you about raw fuel direct gasification? If it is possible with charcoal there is absolutely ZERO chance a direct fuel gasifier will ever be tar free. 

At the end of the day, the charcoal system is 1/3 the complexity so about 1/3 the cost and way more compact. They are far more self sustaining, far more user friendly, less hands on / more efficient fuel processing when combined with heat and hot water applications. They crack ordinary water directly and are far less likely to produce tar ever. Spend your money wisely this will be a big investment! We've been there and We've done it! We made this transition for a reason and it is because direct gasification is inferior. Charcoal really is the better technology as a consumer grade product.

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