P17487: Kontiki Kiln Heat Recovery System


Project Summary Project Information

The KonTiki kiln is a cone-shaped device used to produce biochar from agricultural wastes. The KonTiki, which has an initial construction price of $500, has been designed for large and small scale biochar production in developing countries. Due to its composition and physical structure, biochar is in high demand as a soil amendment, an animal dietary supplement, a charcoal replacement, a filtering material, or as a component in composite building material. Since biochar production produces high temperatures (650°C–750°C), recovering the excess heat from the kiln during a burn cycle for another use would be extremely beneficial. There are currently a few ways of recovering and using this heat, including overhead hoods and coils used to dry tea leaves, pasteurize water, or heat living spaces.

The goal of this project is to heat water to a safe bathing temperature, and, if the temperatures can be held consistently, to pasteurize the water. Because the kiln is used in countries where education can be minimal, operator ease and simple setup are key requirements for the recovery system. Biochar kilns also come in various sizes, so the heat reclamation system should be adaptable to those existing kilns.

For a full project description, access the Project Readiness Package.

The Kon-Tiki Kiln

The Kon-Tiki Kiln

Our customer

Our customer

Project Name
Kontiki Kiln Heat Recovery System
Project Number
Project Family
Start Term
2161 (Fall 2016)
End Term
2165 (Spring 2017)
Faculty Guide
Bill Nowak (bnowak@rochester.rr.com)
Primary Customer
Kathleen Draper (kdraper2@rochester.rr.com)
Sponsor (financial support)
Ithaka Institute (http://www.ithaka-institut.org/en/home)

Team Members

(Left to Right) Eta, Thane, Kelsey, Leah, Abby

(Left to Right) Eta, Thane, Kelsey, Leah, Abby

Member Role Contact
Abby Higgins Project Manager amh3246@rit.edu
Leah Matczak EDGE Admin, Purchasing Pro lnm5125@rit.edu
Eta Santoro Communications, Documentation ejs1921@rit.edu
Kelsey Thompson Burn Lead kmt4154@rit.edu
Thane Vollbrecht EDGE Admin, Simulation Lead tjv1662@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Meeting Minutes

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation