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Summary of the 2nd International Biomeiler conference

Group Photo Biomeiler conference 2017
Scenery and location Valbona
Scenery and location Valbona

Valbona (Italy) – In the weekend of 30 September 2017  the second international biomeiler / thermocompost conference took place in the beautiful place Valbona near Padova. The annual conference was this time organised by the Italian Thermocompost Group, Native Power Germany and the Dutch Biomeiler foundation.  About 40 attendees were present from Italy, Germany, Chili, Czech Republic, Romania and the Netherlands.

The program was full with many attendees presenting their Biomeilers, results, difficulties and successes. It is really encouraging to observe that various biomeiler builders ran into the same issues and came up with vary similar solutions. Its this kind of practical experience sharing that makes it very worthwhile to participate in such conferences as well as it makes biomeiler/thermocompost technology more reliable and robust in the short run.  In the long run we also benefit as many ideas for future directions have been exchanged between the individual members and groups.

Some highlights of the conference

  • The Romanian Marcel Hreceniuc Viorel used wine wood  for a biomeiler and build a greenhouse on top of it. Not only does this biomeiler look very good, also the CO2 from the woodchips is very good for the plants in a greenhouse. In the cold Romanian winter he managed to seed and harvest over a much longer period extending the growing season. A special blog about this very special biomeiler is in the making.
  • Various independent teams in Europa made the observation that one should not feed back colder water than 35-40C to the Biomeiler, in other words keep the water in the biomeiler tubes above 40C. If not, the biomieiler stabalizes at a much lower temperature (20C) or worse case dies and takes  4-6 weeks to recover.
  • Based on the previous point the common sense on connecting a biomeiler is depicted in the scheme below. Note we use now thermostate valves, that are low tech and do not require electronics. An article about connecting biomeilers is in the making. Helmich de Lange - Connection the pipes - small
  • Compost quality Stünzel Germany is very good with 66% organic material (10% is industrial compost). There is a blogpost in Dutch.
  • Biomeilers for households should be at least 4 meter in diameter, smaller ones do not live long enough to survive a winter and are too sensitive for cold winds (especially in the colder European regions)
  • Paolo Delai made a biomeiler in such a way the the insulation can we preserved when refilling with woodchips.   This is very clever and a major cost and time saver.
  • A lot of people experiment with making biogas
  • The heat inside a biomeiler seems to divided in bell like shapes, very interesting to learn that these kind of questions are being researched.

Research and future directions.

Conference talks
Conference talks

The Biomeiler community has now various research groups grass rooted in the Scientific community and polytechnical highschools world wide. To name a few:

  • The Italian Vulcan group working on better heat exchangers, meassuring systems, improved building processes and source material research
  • Jaroslav Bajko  from Czech and Helmich de Lange from the Netherlands are studying  the chemical and physical heat processes inside the biomeiler, for this advanced measuring methods are being designed
  • Jake de Goede from the Netherlands is working on biomeiler model to make it possible to do simulations
  • The German Native Power group is now working with the University of Leipzig  to establish 15 biomeiler for a research processes starting in 2018
  • Mara Zantedeschi is doing an exiting research project of a hybrid system where a biogas and biomeiler are build on top of each other and the biomeiler is digesting the biogas remains.
  • Education, we do it all a lot! All over Europe Biomeiler enthousiast educate children on primary and secondary schools about composting and how to extract heat from nature. On poly technical high schools we participate in various technical, chemical and biological project. On universities we participate in fundamental research. Great to see such dedication all over Europe, the youth clearly has the future here!
  • CO2 storage calculation, see for instance article: CARBON SEQUESTRATION BY BIOMEILER WOOD COMPOST. More on this matter is on the way as well.

Final Notes

A few final notes: the international thermo compost day will be 12 december, as this is the birthday of Jean Pain.
The next Biomeiler Conference is already being planned and will be in Leipzig Germany from 5 to 7 October 2018.

Grazie Mille Italian Friends!

The conference was hosted by Simone Muraro and Roberto Trevisan (owner of agriturismo Valbona and a biomeiler) plus his family we thank all of them for the excellent organisation, accommodation and food. Also we thank the translators for their work to translate the talks and all the international conversations. Thanks also all who attended, you made it a great experience.