John McLaughlin explaining Biochar at Biomass Day sponsored by The Vermont Wood Pellet Co

Video by Emily Peyton

The Biomass Energy Foundation (BEF) announces
BEF Stove & CHAB Camps in 2011
(CHAB = Combined Heat And Biochar).

1. These five-day BEF Camps feature hands-on experience plus theory & instruction on gasifiers of numerous types, but focusing on pyrolytic top-lit updraft (TLUD) technology for cookstoves (and larger devices for thermal energy and biochar at the CHAB Camps).
2. At least eight (8) BEF Camps are being planned, including one on each inhabited continent, and one each in Spanish and Portuguese.

See their web site for conference dates and details!
http://www.tridecca.com/bef/docpdf/BEF-Gasifier-Stove-Camps-announcement...

FoxCoal is an owner of Torrefaction technology and has two production facilities available for production of Biochar.
Available capacity: 15 - 100 kg per hour up to 25 - 30 tons per week.

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Carbon Roots, January 2011

Nicely done introduction to Carbon Roots and their work in Haiti

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Biochar Interest Group, South East Asia, Dr Elmer V Sayre
January, 2011

Dr Elmer V Sayre has been working with the Ecosan project (http://scienceforhumanity.ning.com/group/ecosan ) to use Biochar blended with other organic material and Human Waste to produce fertile soil. More information can be found on their site:
http://sea-biochar.blogspot.com/2011/01/terra-preta-sanitation-project-in.html

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EcoTechnologies December, 2010

Nice video, and a trip up the Amazon to see Terra Preta, Black Earth Soils.
15 minutes, and nicely captioned.

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http://www.slideshare.net/saibhaskar/biocharculture

View more presentations from Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy.

The charcoal use by communities for various purposes is found almost all parts of the world. Majority of this charcoal reached the soil ultimately and with value addition in the process of usage. Biocharculture helps is understanding these processes.
http://biocharculture.com

http://www.slideshare.net/saibhaskar/biocharculture-in-cotton-saibhaskar

BIOCHARCULTURE IN COTTON
Good Stoves and Biochar Communities (GSBC) Project - Supported by GoodPlanet.org, France, implemented by GEO http://e-geo.org

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Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) was first described by Bergius in 1913, and later refined by Berl and Shmidt in 1932.

from http://www.htc-labs.org/en/hydrothermal-carbonisation/

Hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) of biomass is a thermo-chemical process for the conversion of solid biomass matter at elevated temperature and pressure in the presence of water. The resulting product is a coal-water-slurry. The coal fraction can easily be separated and differs significantly in its chemical and physical properties from the starting material.

During the HTC reaction, water, carbon dioxide and other compounds are cleaved from the biomass. Thereby the energy density is raised significantly and the heating value is approximate to that of dry, high quality brown coal. At the same time, the macromolecular structure of the original biomass will be largely to completely destroyed. This provides a porous, brittle and in part dust-like product that is considerably easier to dry and to convert to electricity, heat or fuel than the origin biomass.

BIOCHAR is being used mainly with focus on Agriculture. Before it reaches the soil ultimately, it can be used for many purposes and in the process its value enhances. The Terrapreta was originally a culture in the Amazon, unless we adapt biochar as as culture or "BIOCHARCULTURE" it will not be sustainably adopted and appreciated by communities. At GEO we are using Biochar for different applications as mentioned in this chart. In some countries as part of culture biochar is an important component even today. For details of various applications see BIOCHAR INDIA http://biocharindia.com

During interactions with communities, experiments, field trials, discovering traditional practices in parts of India and in capacity development programs on Biochar, the scope of Biochar has expanded. BIOCHAR term is being used mainly with focus on soil / Agriculture and as well as a carbon sequestration. Biochar has a cultural value in India, like Agriculture, Vermiculture, etc, so it is convenient to explain Biochar as a new product, where as it had been "Biocharculture". The Terrapreta was originally a culture in the Amazon, without being Terrapretaculture as part of Agriculture the good practice would not have been spread covering such large areas. Biochar when it was produced it is called Charcoal (the source and temperature at which it is produced is important), once one has intention to apply as a component for amendment of soils it is Biochar. But whether Biochar reaches directly to the soil from source with direct intention / ultimately or indirectly reaches the soil after use as a secondary product it is Biochar. In parts of India as observed, the Biochar is being used knowingly / unknowingly over centuries. The Biochar use as traditional / cultural practice is there since centuries for various uses including Agriculture. Probably the soils in India remained mostly fertile due to other practices, so there was not much need to apply charcoal in large proportions. Whether the soils are fertile or infertile the Biochar presence in the soils always did only good. This aspect as experienced by farmers made them use it if available. The pottery shards from their use of pottery items also added value, in Indian fields (of more than 100 years old) pieces of pottery shards are common to find which also are part of daily life and culture. Most often the Biochar plus other components like pottery shards, bones even after many uses reaches the field / soil, especially in rural areas. The value of Biochar for application is higher when it reaches the field after its use. The multiple and ultimate use of Biochar as "BIOCHARCULTURE" makes it sustainable, adaptable by communities. Biochar is not an industrial product?! Although many terms have emerged recently to explain the Biochar commercial products by different names. Biochar was not a commercial product in the past and always had more than one value before reaching the fields for improving the soil environment and as well ultimately carbon sequestration too.

Biochar use in the old world is mostly a cultural or traditional practice. Probably Japanese are still using Bamboo charcoal in many ways. Biochar is not some thing suddenly we have innovated, we need to discover its use and also innovate new uses. All farmers can adopt and one need not be in a hurry to apply large quantities in a go to have bumper yield or crop, the annual incremental application would be more sustainable for the farmer as well for the environment.

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Richard Haard, Bellingham, Washington October, 2010

I've been working with Michael Pilarski, Skeeter of Friends of the Trees http://www.friendsofthetrees.net/ , in North Central Washington to produce a series of videos about his work to create sustainable small farming projects. In this set of 12 videos Skeeter demonstrates his method to create a family agroforestry farm under 5 acres. These farms produce much food and some income for operator support. Most important it creates forested, sheltered, self reproducing ecosystem. Two of these videos, Sunny Pine and Whispering Pines illustrate examples 14 and 28 years old that are still producing annual food and medicinal products. Over this period these agroforestry projects have developed into vivid green oasis of cooling shade in this shrub steppe semi-desert ecosystem of his home in north central Washington.

Making sustainable food/forest systems has been become a life long mission for this man. Skeeter is well known to many of us in the Northwestern USA as lecturer on permaculture and organizer of barter fairs and tree exchanges over the last 30 years.

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Creating Biochar, Farming Algae; A dynamic duo that combined gives a superior growth media for plants.
Algosolar, August 2010

David Epstein of algosolar systems comments on using biochar with algae.

See: Algosolar Systems

http://www.algosolar.com/creating-biochar-farming-algae-a-dynamic-duo

Kelpie Wilson, September, 2010

Read Kelpie's full trip report here: http://www.biochar-international.org/terra_preta_field_trip

After the conference, about 50 participants flew to Manaus and boarded the well-appointed riverboat, Helios Gabriel on Thursday evening September 16th, 2010. There were plenty of opportunities to carry on discussions begun at the conference.

The objective of the first day was to visit small farmers growing crops on Terra Preta sites at the Costa Naranjal, the

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Tom Miles, October 2010

IBI 2010 took place over 4 days with numerous oral and poster presentations. The final conference agenda is linked below and they will will be uploading all presentations as they are received.

http://www.ibi2010.org/agendaagenda

Alex Green, September 2010

BIOCHAR as a soil amendment serves to enhance plant growth and sequester carbon.

Green Liquid and Gas Technologies is one of the few U.S. producers of a pyrolysis device to convert biomass into biochar while providing small scale waste-to-energy services for a farm or business.

On October 10, 2010, in coordination with the International Biochar Initiative (http://www.biochar-international.org), GLGT is holding an Open House and Biochar Event. Come learn how biomass
is converted to energy and biochar and the on-site and global benefits.

For more information about Green Liquid and Gas Technologies, see their web site: http://www.greenliquidandgas.com

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On September 1st, 2010, the Illinois Sustainable Technology center (ISTC) hosted the 2010 Biochar Symposium that featured presentations on biochar production, properties, and use in agricultural environments.
Slides and Presentations are available on their web site
http://www.istc.illinois.edu/research/biocharsymposium2010.cfm

Christa Roth, September, 2010

How many sausages can you grill in the process of making
30g of biochar?

Demonstration of Carbon-negative cooking energy solutions at BayCEER Biochar
Symposium 2010 (Bayreuth, Germany) by Christa Roth (FOODandFUEL consultant):

On the 8th July 2010 on the Biochar Symposium 2010 organised by BayCEER (Bayreuther
Zentrum f

Art Donnelly, September 2010

SeaChar.org has been working with South Seattle Community College in testing the effectiveness of Biochar in outdoor Corn test plots. You can see the full story in article by the Seattle Herald:
http://www.westseattleherald.com/2010/09/30/features/seachar-harvests-corn-part-citizen-science-pr

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Biochar Production and Uses is the presentation to discover the uses of Biochar as soil amendment and other uses.

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See the all new 2012 instructions attached:
http://www.biochar.bioenergylists.org/files/ican_weber_conversion.pdf

Jock Gill, It's Summer!

See the attached pdf file for printable Char-B-Que Instructions in Gorgeous Full Color Detail!

Josiah Hunt, Landscape Ecology July, 2010


Biochar Trials

In 2009 Landscape Ecology was awarded a grant to produce biochar amended compost and observe plant growth responses.

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Hugh McLaughlin, July 2010

This is a nice series on growing your food "close to home" which also features Hugh Mclaughlin giving a nice presentation about making biochar and incorporating it into your garden.

Grow More Closer to Home, produced by Barry Hollister

For the complete list of shows, go to the Berkshire Harmonly YouTube page:
http://www.youtube.com/user/BerkshireHarmony

See the Making Biochar video here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/BerkshireHarmony#p/u/1/COPqvVH7jiw

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Josiah Hunt, July, 2010

Josiah has a background in Agroecology and Ecology, and he has been working both in landscaping, and in making Biochar. See his web site for more details http://www.landscapeecology-hawaii.com/

His work is also noted in the July-August 2010 Audubon Magazine Field Notes: Please Smoke

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Ben Discoe, July, 2010

I have now done tests with a pit, and contrasted with the retort.

For information on the retort see: http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/content/small-kilnretort-my-farm-ahualoa-hawaii and http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/biochar/message/11011

Since the retort had issues, i looked for a way to get larger capacity and fewer parts to wear out. The idea: a pit lined with concrete blocks, which can be covered with a piece of sheet metal and soil.

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Larry Kershner/Farm News news editor, July, 2010

When David Laird, standing in a corn test plot, said Tuesday evening that biochar not only repaired damaged soils for crop production, but was also a key component in long term crop sustainability in fertile soils, a murmur rolled through the listeners.

He pressed on.

"The idea of the biochar is to maintain soil quality, while maintaining yield."
(emphasis added)

...

He said biochar is applicable for redemption of sandy, depleted, eroded or damaged soils. He said there is also application for urban areas where bulldozers have compacted the topsoil.

"We anticipated seeing benefits (of biochar) in depleted soils," Laird said, "But we're seeing that in better quality soils, biochar becomes a component in maintaining a sustainable system."

To be used, biochar should be incorporated into the soil of a garden or farm field. It should be mixed in gently so as to prevent killing worms. Biochar could make-up five percent to 10 percent of the soil when the job is done, but it should not all be mixed in at once. Two or three years of adding smaller amounts seem to work better.

Read the Full story here: http://www.farm-news.com/page/content.detail/id/501355/The-next-crop-revolution-.html?nav=5005

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