Questions & Answers

Question #1

The easy inexpensive way

Isn’t naming your machine the ‘Climate Change Machine’ audacious?

Yes, it is. But you need to understand the plan that the Climate Change Machine (CCM) would play in reducing the carbon in the atmosphere. It is based upon giving common individuals the ability to fight global warming while having an independent, profitable business. If given the opportunity, tens of thousands of individuals will make up the work force needed for this huge task. They would all work independently, using their knowledge of the local area to maximize their return on investment. The standardization of the CCM will allow financial institutions to provide loans and mortgages. The CCM will be beneficial to local communities.

The CCM itself is effectively a carbon sequestration machine. At first, it only makes sense that the products from a CCM will be used to lower the amount of fossil fuels burned. But as the development of sustainable clean energy increases, the demand for fossil fuels will fall, and allow the products from a CCM to start sequestering large amount of carbon.

To us, the machine’s name seemed to be the only one that makes sense; when you look at what it does and the potential it has to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere.

Question #2

The easy inexpensive way

What is the potential of the CCMs vs Global Warming?

This scenario estimating the potential of using solar pyrolysis across the world is difficult, since crops, yields, and conditions vary from place to place. This following calculation will use an estimate of 1 ton of agricultural residue per acre for this scenario (this is an estimate for a very light crop; many crops consistently produce 5 times more residue).

Wikipedia estimates the world’s cultivated lands at 17,235,800 square kilometers or 4,259,052,359 acres.

If we use 32% of the total mass as the amount of gasoline and diesel produced by pyrolysis at 500° Celsius. Then we can do the following math:

Agricultural residue estimated at 1 ton or 2,000 lbs. is equal to 8,518,104,718,000 lbs.

Conversion of 8,518,104,718,000 *32% = 2,725,793,509,760 lbs. of gasoline and diesel

If we use 6.5 lbs. for the weight of the gas and diesel mixture, then it is equal to 419,352,847,655 gallons per year or 9,984,591,611 barrels per year. The world is currently using an estimated 100 million barrels per day so that works out to being about 27% of what we are using currently. If we use 2 tons of agricultural residue per acre in lieu of 1 ton (a more realistic estimate) the number jumps to 54% of our current use. This scenario is crude, but it shows that in a future without fossil fuel extraction, Climate Change Machines would be able to reduce the Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere a significant amount over time.


If one CCM produces 1,400 gallons per day (33.3 barrels)

with 300 days of sunshine per year

1,400 gallons of diesel and gasoline per day X 300 days = 420,000 gallons (10,000 barrels)/ year

1000 CCMs = 420,000,000 gallons of gas & diesel or (1,000,000 barrels)/year

100,000 CCMs = 42,000,000,000 gallons of gas & diesel or (100,000,000 barrels)/year

1,000,000 CCMs = 420,000,000,000 gallons of gas & diesel or (10,000,000,000 barrels)/year

A million CCMs would produce 27% of our current use of Petroleum

The cost of a million CCMs at 2 million per unit would require a 2 trillion investment over time.

If we use 8 billion as the world’s population, a million CCMs would equal 8,000 people per CCM or 4,200 acres of farmland per CCM

This works out to be a $250 investment per person

The reason a million CCMs are feasible is that individuals acting on their own (without government support) will make the decision to build these machines, because of their profitability. And even if a million CCMs are not reached, the work of the CCMs built will help in the fight against global warming.

We should expect that later models of the CCM should be more efficient than the prototype.

Question #3

The easy inexpensive way

How much can a CCM produce?

A CCM’s output is directly related to the amount of solar energy it can concentrate into the reactor.

The proposed prototype has 330 heliostats in an array around the solar tower with each heliostat averaging 1000 watts of reflected power during the day (heliostat manufacturers estimate). We estimate that 85% of the total power is reflected into the reactor.

330 KW Climate Change Machine………………………330,000 watts

85% efficiency…………………………………………………………….85%

Total energy reaching reactor……………………………280,500 watts aimed into reactor


The amount of energy required for both flash and fast pyrolysis is estimated at 200 +/- watthours to raise the temperature from 25 degrees Celsius to 500 degrees Celsius for a kilogram.

Power delivered to reactor in solar energy……….280,500 watts

Pyrolysis of 1 kilogram requires……………………………….200 watt/hours

Kilograms of pyrolysis an hour……………………………….1,402 kilograms per hour

15% of mass = biochar………………………………………………. 84 kg of biochar per hour

Kilograms of mass minus biochar…………………………….1318 kg per hour

Pyrolysis efficiency of mass to liquid 80%………………1054 kg per hour

40% of mass = gasoline & diesel in pyrolysis oil…………421 kg of diesel and gasoline mix per hour

Lbs. of gasoline & diesel produced…………………………….928 lbs. of diesel and gasoline per hour

Using 6.6 lbs./gal for gasoline & diesel mix……….……….141 gallons of 50% diesel & 50% gasoline mix/hour

A 10-hour day could produce…………………….……………1,410 gallons (33.5 barrels) /day mix of gas & diesel

The machine will need additional energy for the compressor and processing equipment that can be supplied by solar panels or from the grid. The machine can be set at different temperatures to produce more hydrogen with less gasoline or diesel.

The prototype is design to produce a minimum of 1,000 gallons per day of a mixture of gasoline and diesel. CCMs in the future could include more heliostats and power for greater productions.


Question #4

The easy inexpensive way

Energy required for pyrolysis of 1 kg of different substances.

The Solar Energy is directly absorbed by the pellets in the reactor. This is a much more efficient way of transferring energy than heating by convection or conduction that is used in other pyrolysis methods.

Formula for calculating energy required to raise the temperature by 475 degrees Celsius per kilogram.

(SH) Specific Heat = joules/kg*1°Celsius………………………… Joules = measurement of energy for 1 second

(M) Mass = kilograms……………………………………………………Watt hour = 3600 joules

(ΔT) Temperature change = ΔT Celsius

(E) Energy = Joules of energy

Specific Heat of Corn Cobs = 1484 J /per kg

Formula SH x M x ΔT = E

Example – (Specific heat of corn cobs =1484) x 1kg x (500° C – 25° C = 475° C) = 704,900 joules

We used 200 watt/hours per kg as an approximation in our calculations of CCM output.

Question #5

The easy inexpensive way

What happens in the reactor?

The reactor is extremely simple and principally made of fire brick and ceramics. The metal funnel on top of the reactor’s purpose is to control the wind and hold sensors that will control the amount of suction at the bottom of the reactor. The funnel does not reflect light.

A round hole at the top of the reactor is where the reflected sun light enters the reactor and high temperature steam fills the hole, acting like a virtual lens that separates the air above from the inside of the reactor. Immediately below the hole, biomass pellets fall below the opening and through the concentrated solar energy, until they reach the pile of biomass that is slowing moving toward the bottom. At the bottom of the reactor is an auger that removes the remaining biomass (bio-char and ash). On the opposite side of the reactor, a hole sucks the gases out of the reactor.

The three main reactions that take place in the reactor are: Flash Pyrolysis, Fast Pyrolysis and Steam Reforming. The pyrolysis processes turn most of the Biomass into syngas, leaving only ash and bio-char. The steam reforming process is when the steam’s oxygen atom combines with the biomass’s carbon atoms and results in the production of both hydrogen and carbon monoxide (C + H₂O = 2H + CO).

The gases are sucked into a high-pressure chamber where the large molecules from the biomass are changed into simpler, smaller molecules by both the steam and hydrogen combining with the biomass molecules (steam cracking). This soup of chemicals can then be refined by fractional distillation in which gasoline, diesel and other products can be separated by their boiling points.

The processes and results of what happens in the reactor can be modified by the settings the CCM operator can make to produce different amounts of different products. Generally, the major processes that take place in the reactor are endothermic, requiring the addition of energy. The energy required for the high-pressure chamber and compressor will be supplied by solar panels located outside of the heliostat field supplying concentrated solar energy.

The figure summarizing different pyrolysis conditions and the effect on product distribution.

Credit: Alternative Fuels from Biomass Sources, John A. Dutton (Created based on Xavier Deglise, Emeritus Professor at University Henri Poincare, France. 2006

BEEMS Module C2, Brian He.)

Question #6

The easy inexpensive way

How profitable is a CCM?

The profitability of different CCMs may vary widely caused by different locale conditions. Currently, in some areas, people must pay to get rid of biomass. CCMs operated by farmers, dairy people and others may have an opportunity to use very cheap biomass. If recent historical trends continue, CCM operators may also have windfalls, when petroleum prices spike, and the CCM’s ability to switch from gasoline and diesel production to hydrogen may also be an important factor. In the following analysis we only use the CCM’s production potential for Gasoline and diesel and ignore other income streams for simplicity.

In our analysis, we use 2 million as the cost of a CCM about the size of the prototype.

A CCM is a simple machine with only a few moving parts, allowing them to be automated and only requiring a manager and two part time helpers to keep the machine supplied with biomass pellets and the removing and handling of its processes products. Because of the automation, we believe that in some situations, the operator could spend as little as 15 hours a week, operating the machine.

Question #7

The easy inexpensive way

What happens after fossil fuels are no longer needed?

The CCMs have two purposes:

  • To reduce and replace the use of fossil fuels.

  • To remove carbon from the atmosphere and the carbon cycle.

The Climate Change Machine is a machine that creates products that allow sequestering of carbon from the carbon cycle. Biochar is a product that a CCM will always produce. The amount of biochar produced depends on the machines settings the operator selects. Since biochar is a solid, using it as a soil amendment to improve top soils is a proven way of sequestering the carbon for thousands of years. The gasoline and diesel liquids that the machine produces can also be sequestered cheaply, the same way that current fossil fuel oil wells disposes of the large quantities of salt water produced in oil production. That’s by pouring or injecting the CCMs fuels into existing depleted oil wells.

Who will pay to sequester carbon? That will eventually be the hard part. But it will not be a problem at the beginning since a viable market for fossil fuels exist and will allowing for the construction of the CCM infrastructure. But as the efforts to replace fossil fuels continue, a time will come when CCM operators will need to have government or others pay for their work in sequestering carbon.

It will take time and money to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to acceptable levels. The existing CCMs infrastructure will be the cheapest and most environment way to reduce greenhouse gases quickly.

Reference Literature & Web Address

The easy inexpensive way

Daren E. Daugaard, Robert C. Brown

Enthalpy for Pyrolysis for Several Types of Biomass

Energy & Fuels 2003, 17. 934-939

John A. Dutton

Alternative Fuels from Biomass Sources

5.1 Biomass Pyrolysis

United Nations Environment Program

Converting Waste Agricultural Biomass into a Resource-Compendium of Technologies


Converting Waste Agricultural Biomass into a Resour of Technologies (

R. Lal

World crop residues production and implications of its use as a biofuel

Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, United States Received 14 July 2004; accepted 22 September 2004

US Dept. of Energy, Bioenergy technologies office

US Billion-ton update: Crop Residues and Agricultural Wastes

Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Land use statistics by country

Heike Kahr, Alexander Jäger and Christof Lanzerstorfer, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Austria

Bioethanol Production from Steam Explosion Pretreated Straw

Teresa Martí-Rosselló1 , Jun Li 1, Leo Lue1 , Oskar Kärlstrom , Anders Brink, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G11XJ, United Kingdom (; Process Chemistry Centre, Åbo Akademi University, Porthansgatan; Turku, FI-20500, Finland


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Water–gas shift reaction

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The water-gas shift reaction (WGSR) describes the reaction of carbon monoxide and water vapor to form carbon dioxide and hydrogen:

CO + H2O ⇌ CO2 + H2

The water gas shift reaction was discovered by Italian physicist Felice Fontana in 1780. It was not until much later that the industrial value of this reaction was realized. Before the early 20th century, hydrogen was obtained by reacting steam under high pressure with iron to produce iron oxide and hydrogen. With the development of industrial processes that required hydrogen, such as the Haber–Bosch ammonia synthesis, a less expensive and more efficient method of hydrogen production was needed. As a resolution to this problem, the WGSR was combined with the gasification of coal to produce a pure hydrogen product. As the idea of hydrogen economy gains popularity, the focus on hydrogen as a replacement fuel source for hydrocarbons is increasing.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Syngas, or synthesis gas, is a fuel gas mixture consisting primarily of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and very often some carbon dioxide. The name comes from its use as intermediates in creating synthetic natural gas (SNG) and for producing ammonia or methanol. Syngas is combustible and can be used as a fuel of internal combustion engines. Historically, it has been used as a replacement for gasoline, when gasoline supply has been limited; for example, wood gas was used to power cars in Europe during WWII (in Germany alone half a million cars were built or rebuilt to run on wood gas). However, it has less than half the energy density of natural gas.

Syngas can be produced from many sources, including natural gas, coal, biomass, or virtually any hydrocarbon feedstock, by reaction with steam (steam reforming), carbon dioxide (dry reforming) or oxygen (partial oxidation). It is a crucial intermediate resource for production of hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels. It is also used as an intermediate in producing synthetic petroleum for use as a fuel or lubricant via the Fischer–Tropsch process and previously the Mobil methanol to gasoline process.

Production methods include steam reforming of natural gas or liquid hydrocarbons to produce hydrogen, the gasification of coal, biomass, and in some types of waste-to-energy gasification facilities.

Steam Reforming

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with catalytic reforming.
Steam reforming or steam methane reforming (SMR) is a method for producing syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide) by reaction of hydrocarbons with water. Commonly natural gas is the feedstock. The main purpose of this technology is hydrogen production. The reaction is represented by this equilibrium:
{\displaystyle CH_{4}+H_{2}O\rightleftharpoons CO+3H_{2}}The reaction is strongly endothermic (ΔHSR = 206 kJ/mol).

Hydrogen produced by steam reforming is termed ‘grey hydrogen’ when the waste carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere and ‘blue hydrogen’ when the carbon dioxide is (mostly) captured and stored geologically – see carbon capture and storage. Zero carbon ‘green’ hydrogen is produced by thermochemical water splitting, using solar thermal, low- or zero-carbon electricity or waste heat, or electrolysis, using low- or zero-carbon electricity. Zero carbon emissions ‘turquoise’ hydrogen is produced by one-step methane pyrolysis of natural gas.)

Steam reforming of natural gas produces most of the world’s hydrogen. Hydrogen is used in the industrial synthesis of ammonia and other chemicals.

Please note: The climate change machine is not using natural gas but other sustainable sources of biomass with the carbon process being negative; The environmental color of hydrogen should be ‘green hydrogen’.


A vat or container for an industrial chemical reaction


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A heliostat (from helios, the Greek word for sun, and stat, as in stationary) is a device that includes a mirror, usually a plane mirror, which turns so as to keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target, compensating for the sun’s apparent motions in the sky. The target may be a physical object, distant from the heliostat, or a direction in space. To do this, the reflective surface of the mirror is kept perpendicular to the bisector of the angle between the directions of the sun and the target as seen from the mirror. In almost every case, the target is stationary relative to the heliostat, so the light is reflected in a fixed direction.
Nowadays, most heliostats are used for daylighting or for the production of concentrated solar power, usually to generate electricity. They are also sometimes used in solar cooking. A few are used experimentally to reflect motionless beams of sunlight into solar telescopes. Before the availability of lasers and other electric lights, heliostats were widely used to produce intense, stationary beams of light for scientific and other purposes.
Most modern heliostats are controlled by computers. The computer is given the latitude and longitude of the heliostat’s position on the earth and the time and date. From these, using astronomical theory, it calculates the direction of the sun as seen from the mirror, e.g. its compass bearing and angle of elevation. Then, given the direction of the target, the computer calculates the direction of the required angle-bisector, and sends control signals to motors, often stepper motors, so they turn the mirror to the correct alignment. This sequence of operations is repeated frequently to keep the mirror properly oriented.

Haber Process

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Haber process, also called the Haber–Bosch process, is an artificial nitrogen fixation process and is the main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia today. It is named after its inventors, the German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, who developed it in the first decade of the 20th century. The process converts atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) by a reaction with hydrogen (H2) using a metal catalyst under high temperatures and pressures.

Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector or Fresnel Mirror

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A compact linear Fresnel reflector (CLFR) – also referred to as a concentrating linear Fresnel reflector – is a specific type of linear Fresnel reflector (LFR) technology. They are named for their similarity to a Fresnel lens, in which many small, thin lens fragments are combined to simulate a much thicker simple lens. These mirrors are capable of concentrating the sun’s energy to approximately 30 times its normal intensity.

Fischer–Tropsch process

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fischer–Tropsch process is a collection of chemical reactions that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen or water gas into liquid hydrocarbons. These reactions occur in the presence of metal catalysts, typically at temperatures of 150–300 °C (302–572 °F) and pressures of one to several tens of atmospheres. The process was first developed by Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, in 1925.[1]

As a premier example of C1 chemistry, the Fischer–Tropsch process is an important reaction in both coal liquefaction and gas to liquids technology for producing liquid hydrocarbons.[2] In the usual implementation, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, the feedstocks for FT, are produced from coalnatural gas, or biomass in a process known as gasification. The Fischer–Tropsch process then converts these gases into synthetic lubrication oil and synthetic fuel.[3] The Fischer–Tropsch process has received intermittent attention as a source of low-sulfur diesel fuel and to address the supply or cost of petroleum-derived hydrocarbons. It is now receiving much renewed attention as a means of producing carbon-neutral liquid hydrocarbon fuels from atmospheric CO2 and hydrogen. [4]