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Gasification and Biochar Workshop- October 8-11

The next quarterly workshop at ALL Power Labs is coming up in less than two weeks.   We hope you will join us for what is always a very enjoyable descent into (and back out of) the deep recesses of biomass thermal conversion.

The workshop offers education, research reports and hands-on experience to bring more people to successful operation of small scale gasification and pyrolysis units. The event is open everyone, not just GEK or BEK users/owners. So come and join us while we progressively make small-scale gasification and pyrolysis a reasonable proposition, adequately advanced for everyday use.

This fall we’re running the workshop in an extended format so we can take on some long-anticipated projects requiring more than the usual weekend to finish. The main event will be four days this time (Friday through Monday) but with one of the projects continuing until the following weekend. (yes, we’ll have a live webcam so you can watch the whole process, even if you’re not here).

There are 4 tracks/projects during the workshop.  Everyone can participate in all of them.

1. GEK Power Pallet 7 day endurance test
2. Syngas-to-Liquid experiments
3. Lister spark conversion
4. Biochar database samples generation with the BEK

Jay has started a journal in the forum to track progress on the Gas-to-Liquids test rig.  See here:

The Lister diesel spark conversion discussion is mostly in the yahoo woodgas forum, but with the highlights copied over to the gek forum here:

The Power Pallet and Biochar disccussions are less localized.  However, one recent page of interest is the recent grate shaking tests Bear has started to compare and characterize the performance of various grate shaking modes and perf hole sizes.  See here:

Workshop Details:

Opening Intro/ Lecture: Friday, October 8, 7:30-9:30PM
Weekend Build, Run and Test: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, October 9-11, 11am – 7pm

Location: ALL Power Labs, 1010 Murray Street. Berkeley, CA
Contact: jim ^at^ allpowerlabs dot org
Cost: Free if you are a GEK or BEK owner, either through self build or purchase. Otherwise, $100 for weekend. Pay via paypal here.

For more information and RSVP instructions for the workshop, see:


APL and BEK at International Biochar Conference in Brazil.

Jay and Rachael just returned from Brazil where the held court for several days in the APL booth with the new BEK biochar maker.  Jay has written up a short report on the proceedings as well as posted a very interesting gallery of photos.

The report and photos include the post conference trip up the Amazon with a boatload of biochar enthusiasts to survey some real Terra Preta sites.  This sounded highly enjoyable, and i’m very sad I didn’t get to go.

The full report is here:

The gallery of conference and trip photos is here:

General info the BEK biochar unit is here:


New Kubota spark fired 3cyl 962cc engine for Power Pallet

Recently we learned Kubota has launched some spark fired versions of its legendary compact diesel engines. Fabulous news!  Thus we’re now offering a Kubota engine upgrade for the GEK Power Pallet, paired with a Mecc alte genhead.

Kubota diesels are generally considered to be the best small diesel engines available today. The refinement of their engineering, high power density, smooth operation and extreme longevity are long established and universally acknowledged.  The new Kubota spark fired line is built on these same diesel blocks, with most parts interchangeable between the spark and diesel versions.

The spark line has already become a favorite of natural gas field pumping operations. Our local distributor tells stories of the prototype engines to date running non-stop for three years in a Montana gas field (over 20,000 hours).

While we very much like the Kohler engines, the Kubotas are clearly a superior offering (though also more expensive). With the Kubota, we can reasonably expect a 10,000 hour service life, and see justification for this in the maintenance schedules Kubota offers for their nameplate gensets. Of course your actual mileage will vary depending on your service, but at least we have a baseline reference with some support for the claim.

More information and photos of the Kubota engine are here in the forum:

The Kubota engine and Mecc alte genhead are are offered at 10kw for $1,000 over the standard Power Pallet prices.

General info on the GEK Power Pallet is here:

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