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Kamas - Big Box Biochar

Big Box Biochar - Double Kiln Day

Location: Kamas, Utah

The Utah Biomass Resources Group (UBRG) and USU Forestry Extension collaborated with both the USDA Forest Service and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands to reduce hazardous fuels left behind after a salvage harvest that was done to remove spruce beetle killed trees. A salvage harvest is the practice of removing deteriorating trees before their value is lost. For the first time, UBRG used two big box kilns simultaneously, which increased productivity. The construction of both boxes was made possible through a 2018 Utah Public Lands Initiative Grant. The original big box, built in 2018, measures 16 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, and 6 feet tall with single wall construction. The second kiln, built in 2019, is slightly smaller at 12’x6’x4 with double-walled construction, which is made from thinner gauge steel that results in a lighter kiln than the original. The double-walled construction allows for better containment of heat, compared to single wall construction, allowing people and equipment to get close to the load and tend the burning debris. It also allows for a more even burn inside the kiln. An estimated 40 to 50 tons of wood was treated to produce several yards of biochar during this project, which was returned to the forest floor for reclamation from the harvest.