charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by bazman, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Clays for use in TP Mixes

    Is attapulgite the same thing?

    Betonite is the "clumping" form of kitty litter

    I have been triing to buy some Zeolite which seems to have many of the same properties of charcoal.
    i can buy a 25k bag but was hoping to start with a smaller amount.
     
  2. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    >>Slash-and-char, on the other hand, actually reduces greenhouse gases, >>Lehmann said, by sequestering huge amounts of carbon for thousands of >>years and substantially reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions >>from soils.


    So we all know that that production of bio-char or charred carbon always produces carbon monoxide, smoke particles and methane gas that can get into the atmosphere, right? And it's only after it's in the soil that it is sequestering greenhouse gases back out of the atmosphere.

    Maybe the commercial guys can keep those gases from getting into the atmosphere, but I'm not sure how we small growers will do that. Although in the long run it's way more beneficial to have charred carbon in the soil, than not :)
     
  3. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Michaelangelica, why do you think zeolite is like charcoal?
     
  4. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Sweetpea,

    Zeolite is a remarkable mineral in its structure which is like an intricate cage that can trap and hold ions and 'other stuff'.

    This is a health link for zeolite which is written in mugs' language for we who cant make head nor tail out of the technical sites. The introductory stuff seems pretty correct from my previous readings.

    https://www.zeoliteforyourhealth.com/

    floot
     
  5. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Sorry folks,

    I read on thru that site i posted above and it had me concerned with some of the health claims... the basic zeolite stuff is correct. So I did a google and got this...

    https://www.cqs.com/zeolite.htm

    I could have deleted the original post but sometimes it's nice to catch up with the world, especially, if it is about using zeolite which does have a place in garden/farm set up - just dont eat it.... :D

    floot
     
  6. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I found this description of zeolite and how it holds molecules, which is by the size of the tunnels trapping molecules that fit, regardless of what their chemical compounds are:

    "Zeolites are the aluminosilicate members of the family of microporous solids known as "molecular sieves". The term molecular sieve refers to a particular property of these materials, i.e. the ability to selectively sort molecules based primarily on a size exclusion process. The maximum size of the molecular or ionic species that can enter the pores of a zeolite is controlled by the diameters of the tunnels"


    Wood charcoal, on the other hand, has the property of ADsorption, which is a chemical bond of only gases and liquids, which is why it holds nitrogen so well and helps to stop off-gassing. This is a really big difference, and when we put charred carbon into the soil, what it is going to hold and how it holds it is going to make a big difference in what happens in our gardens.

    Charcoal is 90% carbon, so we know that we are adding a very basic element to the soil which is not likely to tip the balance.


    But when we add Zeolite, here's something else I found:

    "Naturally occurring zeolites are rarely pure and are contaminated to varying degrees by other minerals, metals, quartz or other zeolites. For this reason, naturally occurring zeolites are excluded from many important commercial applications where uniformity and purity are essential."

    I guess I would be very suspicous of adding any form of aluminum to the soil, and if there are other metals that got thrown into the mix when the zeolite was formed, I don't think I want them in there either :)

    And as far as taking it for medicinal reasons, aren't we supposed to stay away from Aluminum because of Alzheimers?
     
  7. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    From what I've read sweetpea, research has proven pretty convincingly that aluminium doesn't cause alzheimers.

    If you google "myth aluminium alzheimers" there's a lot of links to evidence etc.
     
  8. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Actually, the jury is still out apparently:

    https://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_216a.html



    This one says it is, but it isn't, and zinc doesn't look good:

    https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/c ... sk-factors

    Science Magazine:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/a ... 297?ck=nck


    I guess if you include"myth" in your search criteria, you only get the myth opinions, but it seems like there's lots of opinions :)


    But I just am not feeling the love about adding aluminum to my organic soil. I can get great results without kitty litter :)
     
  9. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Sweetpea, did you realise one of those articles is from 1983, another from 1980, while the other (from unknown date) says:


    All the Alzheimers and Dementia information websites list any link between aluminium and Alzheimers as a myth. I think the medical and scientific community is firmly settled on the 'myth' label - at least as far as recent decades go.

    I really don't know enough about adding zeolite to soil to comment on that side of things.

    My grandmother had Alzheimers and I was always under the impression aluminium was a major cause, but my research into it in subsequent years has me firmly in the 'myth' camp.

    But to each their own. :wink:
     
  10. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    OZ TV SHOW ON TERRA PRETA

    Hi All,



    I am very happy to let you know that ABC TV's Catalyst program is presenting a story "Agrichar - A solution to global warming". So be sure to tune in to ABC TV Thursday, August 23 - 8:00pm.



    Although hard to believe, if you have better things to do on Thursday night (or are outside the broadcast range) then you can watch the webcast on their website a few days later. https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst



    Hopefully this will go a long way to raising the profile of this important topic in Australia. So do your bit, tell a friend (or ten) to watch.
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    I was sent some zeolite to play with

    I was sent some zeolite to play with

    It looks like sand.
    It doesn't seem to have any pores like charcoal at all.
    It does not seem to change when you soak it in water.
    If you put it on top of a pot it washes straight into the potting mix when you water your plant.

    I have been sent some technical info in PDF about it but don't know how to post it here. I sent it to the Terra preta list group so Tom may have put it there somewhere with the Clay type info
    ************
    PS
    On eating zeolite intersting but strange -thanks for the link
    You can, of course, buy activated charcoal tablets from the chemist. They are used for IBS and flatulence. They sometimes warn not to take them with medication as they absorb the medication!

    Funny I thought eating charred food was supposed to be carcinogenic.
    ************
    PSS
    On aluminum and Alzheimer's apparently the problem was spray deodorants that contained a lot of aluminum. the aluminum was breathed in straight into the brain;
    although there is some contention about this too.
    See the Hypography Science Forums thread on Alzheimer's. There is some very good research being done in Australia.
    .
    It is a terrible disease-death not just restricted to old people.
     
  12. TropicalRose

    TropicalRose Junior Member

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    Did anyone see the segment on BioChar on Catalyst last night? It explained Terra Preta in a quite understandable way. I was a bit excited to see it covered there.
     
  13. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    me too!! Does anyone know any reason why pyrolysis could not be done via solar power? :idea:
     
  14. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Some people on hyography are trying to make a solar parabolic system.
    see that site for the ins and out and problems.
     
  15. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    thanks a lot Michaelangelica Ive been thinking about this for a while.My dream is to make a parabaloid dish system which can do anything from drying herbs to cooking to heating water to generating electricity to pyrolysis to refrigeration(and killing weeds ,starting fires& pissing off helicopters planes & sattelites LOL)I look forward to reading the hypography site. :)
     
  16. TropicalRose

    TropicalRose Junior Member

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    While originally excited to see a segment on agrichar on Catalyst, I started thinking about it. It seems another way for big business to jump on the bandwagon selling us something we could make ourselves for nothing and using existing infrastructure to deliver it (eg. semi trailers, diesel, etc). Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
     
  17. Greenjack

    Greenjack New Member

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    Greenjack's How To Make Garden Biochar

    Hey Folks,

    I have produced a video called Greenjack's How To Make Garden Biochar I have invented a process of making charcoal out of yard and agricultual debris. The video show how to recycle christmas trees into biochar. I call fill a 55 Gallon drum in 2 hours, a drum treats about 500 sq ft. Many of the migrant workers are burning brush to get rid of it, I have been showing them how to do it. Some of the farmers in this area are catching on. There is a movie trailer on YouTube called Greenjack's How to Make Biochar Trailer. Just enter biochar in the search. There is another clip on ethanol called I Like Corn.

    Greenjack :idea:
     
  18. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Greenjack, your video show's none of the processes involved in making Biochar apart from piles of timber, do you dry it for 12 or more months before burning? be careful in how you present Biochar to the masses, Your video show's an open fire??? there are a few drum burner designs around that burn some of the gases released in the charring process. Even these are frowned upon by many because of the gases released, but they are so much better than open or soil charcoal fires

    The new International Biochar Initiative website is now available for the latest information.

    https://www.biochar-international.org

    I was pretty happy to see my mug on the Catalyst story, here's a link to the story which includes an online video of the story, hopefully it works for non Australian web surfers.

    https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s2012892.htm

    If you do make biochar, put it through your composting systems, don't add it straight onto the soil, or at least mix it up with lime or dolimite and add equal amounts of vermacast and fungi heavy manure or leaf mould.
     
  19. Greenjack

    Greenjack New Member

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    Open Fires-

    be careful in how you present Biochar to the masses, Your video show's an open fire??? there are a few drum burner designs around that burn some of the gases released in the charring process. Even these are frowned upon by many because of the gases released, but they are so much better than open or soil charcoal fires.

    I realize that many don't fully understand what I am proposing. My video depict something similar to what I belive the Amazonians were doing. I understand that there are gases released during combustion. but I think that many fail to see the reality of the situation. Open burning is going on all over the planet to get rid of agricultual waste, whether you or anybody else agrees with it or not. What I am doing is showing people a better way to do things, not the best way to do things. I have designed more sophisticated units that use charcoal to recover the gasses, but people in the Amazon burning down the rainforest, may not have access to brick and mortar, but 55 gallon drums are everywhere, or they could use a clay pot. I belive that people will use this system, because, they have an insentive to do so. The fact is that my system reduces emissions by %50, and sequesters carbon, so to me it is obvious that what I am doing is right, and reflects the reality of the situation we are in. The big picture is that we have a problem with global warming, top soil erosion, dead zones in the ocean, and hunger. I encourage no one to do anything that is illegal, I encourage them to understand their local laws/ordinances, and abide by them. Where I live here in Oregon it is leagle to burn, and I am finding that the farmers, and migrant workers are burning trash also. By talking to them I have been able to stop many from this practice. I am as environmentaly consious as anyone. But the fact of the matter is that no solution to our global crisis is going to be 100% clean, If we wait for perfection, it will be too late. The danger we face is immediate and requires immediate action. "It is better to execute a flawed plan then to not execute a plan at all" FM 22-100 Army Leadership.

    Love

    Greenjack
     
  20. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I went to the Wikipedia site and looked up Zeolite. It isn't just singular, it's plural!

    "Zeolites are minerals that have a micro-porous structure... More than 150 zeolite types have been synthesized and 48 naturally occurring zeolites are known."

    There is a naturally-occurring zeolite called clinoptilolite that is used as a soil treatment:

    "Zeolites can also act as water moderators, in which they will absorb up to 55% of their weight in water and slowly release it under plant demand. This property can prevent root rot and moderate drought cycles.

    "A potting soil with 12% clinoptilolite was shown to harvest morning dew and return it to the plant roots for reuse. The same bed was able to grow a Jerico strain of leaf lettuce in a sub tropical climate without external water and daytime temperatures exceeding 85 °F. This produce did not bolt and went full term before setting seeds. It also has been shown that certain zeolites can reduce nitrates and nitrites to more plant usable free nitrogen by ion exchange."

    That certainly sounds interesting.

    There's more info, including names of the kinds of zeolites, with links to many of them:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeolite

    Sue
     

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