Biochar

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by j_cornelissen, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Tropical food forest

    Tropical food forest Junior Member

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    dont forget to split culms first!
    lol dont want them exploding

    but yes
    set some on fire and watch what it does
     
  2. digging

    digging Junior Member

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    Hello Brazman,

    You said you were doing some testing on bring the char to ph 7, I am very interested in that because it my one concern because here our soils are just over 7 about 7.8 so I do not want to push them up at all. I was thinking a fine char and then a very good soaking. My main interest is for soil creation because I want to start selling bedding plants and I don't want to be sell my soil slowly away!

    Digging
     
  3. adrians

    adrians Junior Member

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    digging

    I had this suggested to me by my father in law who owns a large wholesale nursery which he started from scratch.
    You can make quite good potting mix by sifting compost, you could also add sand "to taste".

    If you want to get really fancy, you could heat it to kill the seeds, but it's not necessary.

    I find it results in a good friable light soil for seed propogation.
    I have even got good soil from sifting compost from the local tip. I sift things twice, first I do a coarse sift with some mesh over a wheel barrow, then I sift this using a standard seedling tray ~400x400mm with small holes in the bottom)

    If it's for a commercial operation, you'll need quite alot. Perhaps you could make a more mechanised compost sifter using a washing machine or something..
     
  4. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Hi Digging

    Yeah giving the biochar a wash will reduce the pH as the wash will remove any added ash around the Biochar. But I would recommend composting it for the best results and the composting will balance out any pH issues for sure. Same goes if you have wood and ash from a fire, always compost it as it's far to strong for growing soils.

    The Biochar we are producing at BlackEarth Products has a pH of 8.5.

    Composting or compost teas will not break down the Biochar btw, it's fixed carbon which is very stable.
     
  5. digging

    digging Junior Member

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    Thanks Bazman,

    Yes I agree using it in compost first, I was thinking of soaking it in liquid fish fertiler/compost tea to charge it. Also I've been reading the book 'Solviva' about an
    organic greenhouse that housed chickens inside during the winter to help with increasing the co2 air levels for better plant growth. She explained she but down saw dust and leaves every few days on the dropping to create a compost layer, I was thinking that could be a great way to use bio-char! It would absorb more of the nitrogen and would be composting at the same time, perhaps the chickens would eat some also and that might help thier digestion. She had to build a air filter because of the excess ammonia in the air which cause plant leaf damage. She build the filter in a raised bed that had one foot gravel with a perforated pipe that had the chicken air blow through it and then fabric and then leaf compost and sandy soil on top. She said she would dig the layer out and use it as a fertilizer because it was so rich in nitrogen. So once again I was thinking this could be a great way to use the bio-char mixed the same way. You see I'm building a special winter greenhouse to try and grow all year long up here and rather than have our food produced using fossil fuels I want to have my greenhouse heated with a biochar making gasification boiler, so that it could be good for the environment to grow food here in the north by making biochar and creating soils.

    Digging
     
  6. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    A couple of interesting links
    [video=youtube;nQyRAHc7uhw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQyRAHc7uhw&feature=autofb[/video]


    The Vine

    https://www.tnr.com/blog/the-vine/76943/yes-biochar-really-might-be-magical
     
  7. digging

    digging Junior Member

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    I had a really great day today, I received my 'samuchit', gasifier stove from Indian. I canned 5 jars of tomato sauce, and cooked three different dishes for supper, all carbon negative!

    I find the stove very easy to light and use. I set it up outside on a 2 by 2ft cement slab, then on four sides of the stove I stood up 4 cinder cement blocks which are exactly the same height. Then I found some old BBQ grates and set that on top of the whole setup so I can move the pots around to control the temp. It produces an amazing amount of heat! I feel the best about making biochar when I also have a use for the heat energy.

    Digging
     
  8. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Study finds Tassie biochar could absorb carbon
    Wednesday, 11/03/2009
    A study has found Tasmania has a commercial opportunity to produce biochar from organic waste.
    Biochar is type of charcoal produced by combusting any organic waste without oxygen in a process that also generates energy.
    The Tasmanian Department of Economic Development funded consultants, Sustainable Infrastructure Australia, to carry out a feasibility study.
    SIA managing director Stephen Thompson says it found significant opportunities in Tasmania.
    "The biggest opportunity with biochar is not just dealing with the waste. The big opportunity is the carbon capture," he says.
    "We also believe it's probably the most cost-effective option for carbon capture, particularly compared to other alternatives."https://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/200903/s2512925.htm
     
  9. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I have been refining my latest $15 backyard Biochar project called FatBoy :D, it's a top lit gasifier which produces about 8 litres of Biochar in approx 15-20min from dry wood chips and small branches. It's a natural high air flow design which runs well in windy conditions. It's dead easy to light and with in 30 seconds of lighting it, you produce no smoke which continues during the entire process. It also has an indicator to quench the Biochar.

    It does not look like much from the outside as all the fun stuff is in the inside and quite a bit of thought has gone into reducing emissions. I will be drawing up the plans and putting them on my website with detailed photos when I have time. Talking to Yandina Permaculture gardens on the Sunshine coast about doing a 2+ hour Biochar talk early next year which will cover making a system.
    https://www.biochar.net/fatboy-project/

    I have already started planning a larger version using a 44 gallon drum which I will call BigDaddy :D Just need to score the right inner chamber from the tip shop, anyone got a 150 litre stainless steel cylinder lying around? [​IMG]

    Also thinking about making a rocket stove too as I have nothing better to do....[​IMG]

    Baz
     
  10. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    I look forward to the talk at Yandina Baz.
    and I may have just the stainless your looking for
    does approximately 915mm long by525mm diameter by 1mm thick fit the bill?
     
  11. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Sounds like it would be a perfect fit to slip inside a 44 gallon drum, what's it from? does it have intact ends? Would you be up for a trade? I have a custom biochar/biological blend that I have been brewing for the last 4 months which is ready for direct application which I could trade. I have to drop up an order to Yandina in the next week or so if you are interested that could be a good swap time. You are also always welcome to come down for a look around too.

    Baz
     
  12. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    It looks like a XXL flue outer one end is convoluted I got it from the tip shop as a set of three 14,18 +20 inch . It has not been used.no ends just the tube. Yes I would be up for a swap as it is going to a worthy cause. I'm going to straddie next week so will be away untill the 11th I can drop It at Yandina on the 12th if it suits your needs.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/permasculptor/20111101?authkey=Gv1sRgCJLpq87R0Yu4ew#5669848542646527778
    I just found a better option ? hope the photos work.
     
  13. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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  14. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Supporting best practice in soil carbon
    . . .
    Methods such as generating carbon-heavy biochar from crop residues and adding it to weathered Australian soils are increasing the amount of stored carbon. These methods can also improve soil fertility. Increasing soil carbon has a proven flowthrough to improved soil structure and productivity, increased filtration and organic activity in the soil, and reduced runoff and erosion
    . . .

    Under the $1.7 billion land sector component of Clean Energy Future plan, the government intends to do just this – by expanding Carbon Farming Futures to a fully fledged $429 million program.

    Under this program, $201 million is set to target cutting-edge soil carbon science and management practice. The funding will be used to look at the viability of recent approaches to carbon abatement, and examine the best way to roll out skills and information to the wider farming community.

    Also on the radar are new forms of carbon land management, such as the use of biochar in weathered soils, wide-scale sowing of new carbon-friendly crop and pasture species, and biofuel production.

    Without focused research in areas like these, Australia risks missing out on low-cost sequestration opportunities as the world moves to tackle climate change.

    Once the soil research is settled, the next step is to turn the science into on-the-ground practice. To properly tackle carbon loss, Australian farmers need to have viable soil carbon tools ready to go. Even when landholders have usable options, they also need certainty to confidently put process into practice. Without this confidence, landholders will miss out on a chance to diversify their land-based income by earning commercial carbon credits under the new Carbon Farming Initiative and Clean Energy legislation.

    To help fix this problem, the program will provide assistance in turning viable abatement science into on-the-ground programs, with $20 million available for grants to support the conversion.

    The Carbon Farming Initiative also includes a ‘positive list’, which will allow landholders to easily assess their soil carbon activities against a list of activity options that have been formally recognised as offering additional emissions abatement.
    https://www.ecosmagazine.com/paper/EC11086.htm
    Carbon Farming Futures
    https://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/carbon-farming-futures/
     
  15. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    This just out. A virtual issue of Plant and Soil on Biochar.
    [​IMG]https://www.springer.com/life+sciences/plant+sciences/journal/11104?cm_mmc=ISI-_-Journal-_-BIO15311_V2-_-0

    Plant and Soil - incl. option to publish open access - Free Access Available
    www.springer.com
    Plant and Soil publishes original papers and review articles exploring the interface of plant biology and soil sciences, and offering a clear mechanistic component. This includes both fundamental and applied aspects of mineral ...
    https://www.springer.com/life+scien.../11104?cm_mmc=ISI-_-Journal-_-BIO15311_V2-_-0
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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  17. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Hi Eco

    No. This is an incinerator that runs at 2000+ degC it destroys everything and you would be left with only a tiny amount of ash I would say. Looks like a pretty smart design but I would wonder what type of gases would be produced and if any toxic elements from plastics would survive the process.

    Pyrolysis used for the production of Biochar is generally in the order of 500-550 degC and is developed to remove the volatile elements leaving just carbon, with my case it is low ash high porous Biochar.
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Thanks Baz - I knew you'd know the answer...
     
  19. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    https://www.journals.elsevier.com/s...cial-issues/virtual-special-issue-on-biochar/
    Virtual Special Issue on Biochar
    Compiled by: Richard Burns, The University of Queensland, Australia and Karl Ritz, Cranfield University, UK

    Over the past few years, the impact of adding pyrolysed organic carbon (or biochar as we usually call it) to agricultural soils has received much attention from biologists because of the possible benefits arising to soil quality and crop yields. A further impetus has been the potential to gain carbon credits by carbon sequestration. There are many different forms of biochar, determined according to such factors as nature of source material and pyrolysis temperature. Some studies have shown that biochars can apparently improve a number of soil chemical and physical properties, including exchange capacity and nutrient retention, as well as structure, water relations and nutrient availability. Others have concentrated on the impacts of biochar on soil organisms and the attendant processes that they regulate.

    The 29 papers presented in this Virtual Special Issue are a selection of those exploring this biochar theme and which have been published in Soil Biology & Biochemistry since 2009. They illustrate the diversity of such research as well as some of the warmly debated, but as yet equivocal, benefits. The subjects of these communications range from: impacts on community composition and C dynamics including the priming effect, nitrogen cycling processes, enzyme activities and the C cycle, to the impacts of biochar on earthworms and their activities, and, of course, effects on plant growth and yield.

    We hope that collating these publications under one virtual roof will stimulate informed debate and accelerate the arrival at a consensus regarding whether biochar is an important addition to our much-needed agricultural armoury or a passing trend with no lasting value or consequences for environmental management.

    Papers included in this virtual special issue:
     
  20. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Bacteria Can Create Their Own Electric Grid, Study Shows

    https://why.knovel.com/all-engineer...eate-their-own-electric-grid-study-shows.html
    Significant to biochar: "Bacteria bolster their ability to grow by sharing electrons with the conductive materials in their environment"

    Graphene, an important component of biochar, is a semiconductor: the surface is highly conductive, the interior is an insulator. Biochar can be expected to help bacterial communities thrive in the same way they thrive in the presence of conductive minerals, like magnetite and hematite.

    When researchers introduced magnetite, a conducting, iron-based mineral known for its magnetic properties, the bacteria thrived as they worked together to share electrons. "We think [such electron swapping] must be quite common"
     

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