The morning of May 18th did not include the usual routine for us at the re:char shamba. Besides weeding and taking care of our test plots we got a visit from Paul Anderson aka Dr. TLUD.
He, his wife, some friends and a group of tinsmiths from Uganda visited us in Bungoma as part of their preparations for their Stove Camp in Kakamega in the following week. Lucky for all of us they had time to come to our shamba, so we gave them a little tour.
We guided the group through our millet test plots with different applications of biochar, compost and human urine solution. They listened closely to every word we said. Some secret notes where taken as well.
After the test plots, the tour moved on to our production site. Tom, our production manager, showed everyone our CNC Plasma Cutter in action.
Then we took everyone for demonstrations of our kilns – at this point it started to get hot. We explained how our kilns function and described the pyrolysis occurring inside.
After quenching the biochar we introduced our newest version of the kiln – Rutuba 2.0.
We were interested in Dr. TLUD’s critical suggestions. The redesign shows improvements in secondary and primary air flow and a controlled pyrolysis process inside the chamber. Mr. Anderson agreed with our changes and we had further detailed discussion over lunch.
The second prototype was free to debate. The in-ground-horizontal kiln was a design from his early days. The goal in this case is to get better biochar yield in a shorter time. “This is what we are all aiming for” – Paul Anderson with a smile in his face.
Unfortunately there was not enough time for a full demonstration of the horizontal in-ground kiln because the group had to go back to their Camp preparations. It was an informative morning for everyone we welcome Dr. TLUD and his crew back to Bungoma any time.