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Volvo and Rolls-Royce partner to build super versatile and towable charging stations: ‘We must have practical solutions’

The largest version can create “enough electricity to recharge at least four machines at night” when deployed at a work zone.

The largest version can create "enough electricity to recharge at least four machines at night" when deployed at a work zone.

Photo Credit: AirBurners

Imagine this: A work crew builds a passive home in a remote location using electric tools and equipment charged with an energy generator that cleanly burns wood and biowaste. 

That hypothetical power generation vision is possible thanks to Florida-based Air Burners’ BioCharger technology. The development is promising enough that the company has landed a partnership with Volvo and Rolls-Royce to build upon the concept. 

“The BioCharger’s ability to reduce emissions and generate energy through responsible handling of vegetative waste perfectly aligns with our targets to support our customers with innovative solutions for the transition to clean power generation,” Kevin McKinney, a sales director for the Rolls American division, said in an Electrek story. 

Rolls helped develop the charging station, which is part of the tech

It works by choosing one of three ways to set up the unit. The first is the least-expensive trench design, requiring a ditch where the wood and biowaste are burned. The second is an above-ground BurnBoss, which can be made ready by one person. The third option, FireBox, is a large version that is towed to the site, all per the company. 

Each option uses the crucial Air Curtain design. Simply put, a layer of air is strategically blown over the incinerator, keeping smoke and particle pollution from escaping. Those particulates are burned down to smaller, less harmful sizes, according to an Air Burner description. The tech converts the heat via a turbine into electricity. 

The company has been offering the incineration product to remote pipelines, logging roads, or even landfills to burn wood waste for two decades. The Air Burner team has added the remote and on-grid power generation components along the way. 

The company posted an aerial photo on its website, showing an open fire with smoke billowing from it. Across a lake, an Air Burner is operating. It shows barely noticeable exhaust, which the company’s experts said is mostly heat waves. 

The tech comes with some pretty amazing achievements. The largest version can burn up to 10 tons of wood and biowaste an hour, creating “enough electricity to recharge at least four machines at night” when deployed at a work zone. 

What’s more, the Air Burner team sees this innovation as solving an apparent pollution problem. Up to 30% of the planet’s trash is wood or vegetable matter, according to the company’s website. 

“And it’s continuing to pile up and grow bigger by the day,” per Air Burner’s team. 

The incinerator can tackle logs, root balls, pallets, crates, and other biowaste, saving energy from being used to grind or cut it all apart for the landfill.

The Air Curtain is crucial to negating the air pollution typically generated by burning wood. Anyone who lived along the East Coast during the summer may have experienced asthma or other health problems from the Canadian wildfires

For Volvo’s part, the company is testing the tech to charge its EC230 Crawler Electric Excavator, which is launching in the coming months, Electrek reported

“While electric machinery becomes increasingly popular in the fight against climate change, when it comes to forest management, we must have practical solutions for charging electric machinery away from traditional power sources,” Air Burners president Brian O’Connor said in the Electrek story. “The Air Burners BioCharger provides that solution … in an economical and environmentally conscious way.”

It’s all part of how companies are developing solutions to better use and create energy to power our world.

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