Biochar

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

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    I really do not understand how Yanks get away with Patenting everthing that may have a $ in it, especially when the idea has been around for millennium or two
    https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph...50&s1=8236085.PN.&OS=PN/8236085&RS=PN/8236085
     
  3. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    You can patent a method (the apparatus), but not a concept (biochar). So don't worry, nobody is patenting biochar! :)
     
  4. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    This Biochar has me intrigued...
    Can't remember who mentioned it to me, but someone said in a reply to my post (I think it was when I introduced myself to the forum), to make biochar out of horse poo. I have 2 things I have lots of... horse poo and sticks. My eucs seem to enjoy dropping lots of sticks for us to collect and use in winter to heat the house with, but this biochar concept has me intrigued.

    Can you actually use dry horse 'apples' to make biochar with? I know I can turn the sticks into biochar, but horse poo?

    Also... how dangerous is it to build one of those ... Top Burn Updraft.. thingies, besides the risk of getting burned. Can they blow up?

    I've been reading lots and I don't quite seem to be able to get my head around it how it all works... afterburners, fat boys...is there a simple set up for a back yard? I saw something using 44gal drums, and then smaller drums on top to create a flue/afterburner.

    Been to biocharproject.com and biochar.info... and I think there were a few more but I can't remember, even looked at some videos. Nothing about turning horse poo into biochar, although there was something about cow poo. Anyone can point me in the right direction and then give me a gentle shove?.... Thanks in advance :)
     
  5. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    You can turn Horse poo into Biochar but I would suggest you start playing with dry fine/chipped timber first. A simple TLUD gasifier made from tin cans is a good starting point. Always use very dry material as moisture content creates a lot of smoke and hassles.

    I have put a lot of effort into my fatboy design to stop flare ups and make it easy to start, You can stop a gasifier with a hose at any stage but retorts are much harder to control and if you lose ignition of the gases you can blow the system up. A simple TLUD gasifier is the best option to start with.

    https://www.biochar.net/fatboy-gasifier/

    I picked up a couple of stainless steel office rubbish bins today from the tip shop, thinking these will be the start of two medium sized units to send down to Dolph (biocharproject.com) so he can have my design on hand for his many workshops.
     
  6. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info... you mean blow up as in 'Big Bad a Kaboom'.
    I had a look at the fat boy during my research ... and you boy looks pretty... but maybe a bit to 'technical' for my female brain. I had a look at Dolph's (why keep I seeing Dolph Lundgren everytime I see the name 'Dolph'?) website, I will revisit and do more reading, as well as reading your's over again.

    I was thinking of using the 'horse apples' that are dried up and refuse to break-up. I have some I swear have been sitting in the paddock in the same state for months. They are even hard to break up when I step on them and try to grind them into the ground. I was thinking of using them. Might just collect some and start a fire under them and see if they burn. I think I am a closet pyromanica... Fire fascinates me, it's a living thing. It consumes, breathes, grows, starves and dies.

    I keep reading and to some playing on the tiny scale... just in case there is a "Big Bad a Kaboom".
     
  7. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Use a bathtub, soak all your horse apples, and grow Azolla on it. You can feed it to your chickens and use it as mulch.

    Grow your local pioneers (Acacia, Casuarina etc), harvest every few years into a big pile, hire a chipper crew for an hour, chip it all and make char.
     
  8. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Manure standing in the paddock for months on end indicate that you soil life and nutrient cycling is somewhat out of order. This happens alot in compacted soils and you might want to look at increasing the diversity underfoot and measures to restore paddock health.
     
  9. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    Hi Matto, yep the worst spot of it is in the riding arena which I also use as a grazing paddock. One day I find someone who is willing to come out and rip it for me. In my smaller paddocks I used a mattock to break up the compactions as much as possible and that worked a well (not so well for my back). The paddocks have come a long way in six years. I even found some worms in the paddock, but the riding arena is still... well ... crap.
     
  10. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    S.O.P.... I own a chipper :D. It's only a little one but it does a great job.
    I had Azolla growing on my dam in 2010... drove me nuts, it was sooooo thick and the chooks didn't eat it. The floods of 2011 washed it away :(.
     
  11. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Ill be up the Gold Coast soon purchasing a Keyline Plow. Message me, and we might come to an arrangement for me to travelup your way.
     
  12. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    Tempting soooo tempting. I was even toying with the idea of getting one tyne of a Yeoman's plow, but I think my 15hp Kobota would be rebelling, so this is very tempting. I pm'ed you too.
     
  13. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I seriously doubt it would chip several year old Acacia wood.

    Azolla indicates high nutrient levels in your dam, it may be back as nutrients flow back in. Shame, it makes a great mulch, I've heard of nurseries adding it to potting mix etc. Perhaps all your remedial work in the paddocks is slowing the flow too, which would be awesome for you.


    How much for a Keyline Plow, matto? Just interested...
     
  14. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    G'day SOP

    The 6ft single beam Keyline Plow with 3 x 22" shanks and depth wheels is $5882 +GST
     
  15. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    Re Azolla... I know where there is as dam with it so might just go and get a bucket full.
    We've got a Greenfields Piecemaker 45. Do you think it'll be able to chip it? We've got a Black Wattle we want to cut down.
     
  16. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Well, without seeing it, it's hard to tell. I assume you mean Blackwood? A.mearnsii is Black, A.melanoxylon is Blackwood.

    Your chipper has a diameter measurement, splitting branches to reach that distance may not be easy. Therefore, only chip what will fit.
     
  17. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Thanks matto. Seems like a decent price for something that would add value. Why do most members have trouble finding a Keyline plow to hire for their broadacre?
     
  18. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    Now you have me totally confused. The farmers call these wattles 'Black Wattles' but they do look nothing like either of the above mentioned. The one they call a 'Black Wattle' here is a weed, it's flowers not little balls but long. I was told it's not an Australian native.

    Well anyways... let's get this back on topic... making Biochar. I am going to source some materials to build a TLUD as suggested, and will let you know how it all went. Hubby is on board and actually is excited. He told me this morning that a few months ago he was listening to the American guy talking about biochar and what id does for the soil and the environment. Apparently he was visiting somewhere on the Sunshine coast. It will be nice having hubby help me with this little project when time comes. As said before... besides horse poo... we are also blessed with lots of stick. :D
     
  19. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    No, let's not change the topic. Long yellow flowers? A. disparrima?
     
  20. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    LOL... yes that is the shape of the flowers except they are bright yellow. The leaves of the tree we have here are more round. I do have one of those ones with the light coloured flowers as well. Might go out tomorrow and take a couple of photos to help identify them.
    Or maybe it is the same... just read that the spikes can be light yellow to lemon yellow.
     

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