iCan, a pyrolytic TLUD stove, operating at 1000 degrees, using readily available materials
Igniting inquiry into basic science
An iCan is an easy to make, inexpensive, hands-on teaching tool for harvesting carbon formerly in the atmosphere. The harvested carbon is then relocated for appropriate environmental applications providing long term benefits. The iCan tool is useful in science and STEM education where it may be used to understand basic scientific principles.
An iCan has three simple zones, one for each fundamental function:
Zone 1: This is the bottom third of the iCan, where the feedstock is placed. To keep runtimes short, I use a volume of fuel less than 1/3 of what an iCan will hold. The bottom of the iCan has just enough evenly distributed holes to supply enough oxygen to maintain pyrolysis – but not more. Too much oxygen reduces the amount of biochar that can be harvested. Getting the amount just right can be an easy trial and error learning experience. In a 15 oz can used for a basic student iCan, I only use 50 grams of feedstock (wood pellets).
Zone 2: This is the middle third of the iCan. In operation, the zone fills with pyrolytic gases; this limits the amount of oxygen available to the feedstock, and prevents combustion of the feedstock. In the absence of oxygen, the feedstock undergoes pyrolysis. Later, you might want to experiment with varying the size of this zone.
Zone 3: This is the top 1/3 of the can. At the bottom of this zone, at the boundary layer between Zones 2 & 3, secondary air in introduced through a ring of larger holes in the wall of the iCan, evenly spaced about 1.5 – 2 cm on centers. Once Zone 2 has filled with pyrolytic gas and formed a barrier to oxygen, then the “flames” of the burning gases will only start at the level of the secondary air holes, and rise up from there. This is very plainly visible to even the most untrained eye.
That’s all there is to it.
Please find the illustrated instructions for making the Basic Student Ican at this link: Making Basic ICan – draft 104.pdf