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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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Yes it is in that it creates a lot of smoke, like you home fire, although not quite as bad as that as you are not burning all the wood.
    Pyrolised charcoal is the best environmentally but any charcoal will do
    No, they contain kerosene to help them light quicker. Not advisable for the garden. The burnt ash might be OK to lime your garden.
    Simply not true.
    It would be nice; if available cheaply or free
    Nonsense
    The ideal temp is up to 450 C if you are using hardwood and want to plant some of the bio-oils from the wood with you char. Higher temps than that burn the natural oils in the hardwood.
    If you can get free activated charcoal (up to 1,000 C) go for it. In fact, has much bigger "pores"/porosity.

    This thread may help you
    https://hypography.com/forums/terra-pret ... wbies.html
    part of a bigger discussion
    https://hypography.com/forums/terra-preta.html



    Agreed
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Charcoal is a catalyst; a bit like s Steiner's cow-horn-poo
    It increases biological activity in the soil; protects beneficial bio-organisms; increases soil fertility; decreases leaching of fertiliser and holds water in the soil.
    You need to keep adding a lot of organic matter if you are using charcoal
     
  3. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    [​IMG]
    A layer of rich, black terra preta lies atop a layer of light brown, nutrient-poor rainforest soil near Manaus, Brazil.

    Interesting article on Terra preta
    https://www.geotimes.org/july08/article. ... rends.html

    [​IMG]
    Christoph Steiner, a soil scientist at the University of Georgia, stands in the midst of a field of pepper plants in Brazil. These plants are being grown in terra preta — soil enriched hundreds of year ago with charcoal. The ordinary Amazonian soils do not support such productive agriculture.
     
  4. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    I need an chemical/process answer to a fairly simple question.


    If I wish to produce bio-char: do I burn wood and cover it, or do I pyrolize wood in an oven, and if so, how do I deal with the methane produced.

    My point is, I can 'slash and burn' as indigenous communities do and have done or can I produce methane rich bio-char at home?

    From my readings I do not think there is a simplistic chemical concept. I am happy to create bio-char and fervently wish to do so, but if I am simply releasing methane into the air and producing ash/potash as a by-product. I am verging on being counter-productive.

    This basic chemical question has been asked numerous times on this forum. Is there an answer please?

    cheers,
     
  5. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Try asking your question here:
    https://hypography.com/forums/terra-preta.html

    Modern pyrolysis systems trap most gasses in the charring process. These can then be used as fuel.
     
  6. Woz

    Woz Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    One way is to place the wood to be charred into a sealed container, use an external heat source (eg., a wood fire under the container) to initially heat the wood, and then use the resulting gases to provide the additional heat to complete the process.

    Details here

    Woz
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    This is basically what happens in modern pyrolysis engineering
    But there is a huge amount of energy harvested as well. enough to run a generatotr as at the BEST Ene4rgies demonstration plat at Somersby NSW and return heaps of power to the grid.

    i worry about backyard charcoal making.
    OK the carbon lasts for thousands of years; but what about the initial costs of GHGs ?
    I don't know the answer
    A new book is coming out next year, (jointly edited from Cornell Uni. and Uni of NSW) on this that may answer some of the many questions.

    PS
    I don't think brother Erich would mind me re-posting his post to the biochar list on TP and Global Warming
     
  8. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  9. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    What a wonderful looking organic farm scape.

    I don't know if I have posted this here or not but if you are interested here the the lat and long of Llanos de Mojos

    Using google earth
    13°50'21.34"S
    63°17'16.39"W

    I also noticed ABC's organic gardener magazine has a 4 page write up by Peter Cundall on Biochar, When I get a few free miniutes I will read it.
     
  10. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Hi All

    I thought I would upload some pics of a nice little paddock find. While I have been clearing an area for a new water tank I uncovered and old tree stump which had burnt right down under the ground and over a long peiod of time turned into a 4m2 of black biochar soil, I have moved all this soil into my orchard as it would be wasted sitting under a water tank.

    Here you can see about an 5cm of top soil over 15cm of Biochar
    [​IMG]
    Large version 1200x900
    https://www.biochar.net/webphoto/natural_biochar/top_soil.jpg

    The dark black biochar soil and the normal top soil in the background
    [​IMG]
    Large version 1200x900
    https://www.biochar.net/webphoto/natural_biochar/Biochar_and_topsoil.jpg

    All through out the soil I found small pieces of char from tiny 1mm to 50mm
    [​IMG]
    Large version 1200x900
    https://www.biochar.net/webphoto/natural_biochar/Char_pieces.jpg

    This was one of the onbly solid pieces of char I found
    [​IMG]
    Large version 1200x900
    https://www.biochar.net/webphoto/natural_biochar/solid_char.jpg

    Found all through the biochar was mycorrhizal fungi like this example
    [​IMG]
    Large version 1200x900
    https://www.biochar.net/webphoto/natural_biochar/mycorrhizal_fungi.jpg
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    The 10 big energy myths | Environment | The Guardian
     
  12. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    [​IMG]
    [/quote:2567t16u]
    https://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 79,00.html
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Nothing new or earth shattering but. . .
    https://www.metapress.com/content/w6r53g04kqf662m3/
     
  14. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  15. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Everyone catching up with Terra preta now.

    Even a segment on Drive on ABC radio 702 today
    [​IMG]
    Amazonians? black magic has multiple benefits(ScienceAlert)
     
  16. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Press release

    Soils ain’t soils: NSW DPI on the front foot with carbon sequestration potential in soils.

    13 Feb 2009

    With the potential for carbon sequestration in Australian soils such a hot topic at the moment, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has dedicated two up-to-date and informative web pages to the issue.

    The first web page (www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/research/areas/resou ... il_organic) highlights a 28-page Scoping Paper: Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) Sequestration Potential for Agriculture in NSW, authored in 2008 by NSW DPI scientists Yin Chan, Annette Cowie, Georgina Kelly, Bhupinderpal Singh and Peter Slavich.

    The second web page (www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/research/topics/biochar) provides a comprehensive background to biochar, a carbon-rich material produced from the slow pyrolysis of biomass, which has great capacity to sequester carbon in the soil. This page also outlines the research being conducted by NSW DPI into the potential for this material.

    The web pages highlight the important work being done by NSW DPI to assess and explore the potential for holding carbon in the soil long term, and the benefit this would have in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    The scoping paper says the highest SOC sequestration potential in NSW exists in pasture land in the higher rainfall regions (>450 mm), both as permanent pastures or as ley pasture in the cropping zone.

    "Considerable increases can be achieved by pasture improvement and improved management practices," the paper says.

    "Significant SOC potential also exists in the low rainfall rangelands which comprises nearly 50 per cent of NSW.

    "Promotion of conservation tillage practices (particularly no-tillage) is important to halt further carbon losses from cropping soils (emission avoidance).

    "In addition, SOC can be sequestered by adopting new land conversion and soil amelioration options such as bioenergy crops from perennial vegetation, recycling organics including biochars, and by ameliorating sodic and acid soils.

    "As a rough estimate, total SOC sequestration potential from pasture land, cropping land and rangelands amounts to 4.9 Mt C/yr (18 Mt CO2e/yr), which is equivalent to 11 per cent of the total GHG emission from NSW in 2005.

    "Many of the management practices that are effective in increasing SOC in agricultural soils also improve productivity and profitability, conserve the resource base and protect the environment."

    The Paper says it is important that soil carbon management is in agricultural systems is included in the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), to provide an incentive for land managers to increase soil carbon, both for the mitigation benefits and the resulting improvements to soil health.

    "Inclusion of agricultural soil carbon management in the Australian Emissions Trading Scheme (AETS), whether as an offset or within a covered sector, will require development of cost-effective methods for estimating soil carbon change under changed land management practices."

    The biochar web page says biochar may be an immediate solution to reducing the global impact of farming (and in reducing the impact from all agricultural waste).

    Biochar can store carbon in the ground, potentially making a significant reduction in atmospheric Greenhouse gas (GHG) levels; at the same time its presence in the earth can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity and reduce pressure on old growth forests.

    As well as characterising the qualities and benefits of biochar, the web page outlines a number of NSW DPI projects on biochar, including:

    * Land management to increase soil carbon sequestration in NSW - Annette Cowie
    * Assessment of Biochar for agronomic benefits, improved fertiliser use efficiency, greenhouse gas abatement, and reduced off-site migration of chemicals - Lukas Van Zwieten
    * Soil carbon sequestration and rehabilitation: Landholders develop, implement and assess biochar - Dr Lukas Van Zwieten
    * Benefits of papermill biochar (Agrichar TM ) - Dr Lukas Van Zwieten
    * Assessment of Biochar in Sugarcane cropping systems - Dr Lukas Van Zwieten
    * Characterisation of Biochar by analytical Py-GC-MS - Dr Lukas Van Zwieten
    * Reduction in N2O emmissions from soils ammended with Biochar - Dr Lukas Van Zwieten
    * Nitrogen dynamics of biochar in soils - Yin Chan and Simon Eldridge

    Media contact: Phil Bevan, 02 6626 1350
    https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/news/ ... aint-soils
     
  17. Suzie

    Suzie Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    Wow - I just came back from a fabulously well set up permaculture friend's property after spending an amazing day talking about bio-char. My friend is absolutely hooked on the stuff, not only for improving her garden but for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere - imagine what this could do on large scale!

    Following veggie boy's comment about the method of making charcoal for drawing -
    Also the way they used to make charcoal for fuel in olde England by covering a pile of green wood with peat and earth and burning it slowly for 2 days - Sounds like the same process as bio-char? Except the process for bio-char doesn't let the smoke and fumes escape into the atmosphere - apparently if it is done on a large scale with equipment set up - the gasses can be trapped and used as a fuel source.
    This sounds like the ultimate in waste management and self sufficiency!!!!!

    I am keen to do some experiments in my garden.
    Good luck to everyone else doing same.
     
  18. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: charcoal agriculture - Biochar - Amazonian Dark Earth

    https://alansblog.vox.com/library/post/b ... rvice.html
     
  19. Noz

    Noz Junior Member

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    Re:

    ha ha - but seriously, that is fantastic, because the theory from the dude Steiner related to both charcoal and micro-organisms. We have got to try it in our home gardens!
     
  20. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Re:

    yes all the magic links up.

    I liked this reader's comment
    New research grants are always welcome to the CSIRO, but there is tonnes of research and very little time left.

    https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... pic=latest

    Sunday, 8 March 2009
    Biochar Links From Erich and Info on Biochar
    https://timwaygood.blogspot.com/2009/03/ ... fo-on.html
     

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