Biochar

Super Vegetable Garden field Application
Por Natura Pyrolizer
Pro Natura Village Workshops

Pro-Natura has been working in the Ivory Coast with farmers on the edges of the natural parks there to discover ways of helping the farmers cultivate food for local markets and for their families and provide incentives for increased biodiversity.

In the areas where they work, old cocoa and coffee plantations are often not renewed because of of the threats of disease and soil exhaustion. Additionally, full sun cocoa varieties encourage cutting down all of the trees which suppresses biodiversity. (Biodiversity is important to maintaining the health of native species, but it's also important to maintain disease resistance in the crops that these families' lives depend on).

Biochar applied to the topsoil of the trees at the rate of 1kg per square meter have increased crop yields by 50% to 200%. Trials have also shown that trees grown in 5 - 10% biochar soils are more disease resistant, specifically to phytophthora, a family of pathogens that includes Monilia or black pod. Black pod has devastated whole swathes of cocoa growing regions, which has spurred the abandoning of older cocoa plantations.

Country: 

Bill has been working developing TLUD greenhouse and home heaters for a project in Mexico where the plan to use pecan shells for heating applications, and use the biochar to help restore soil fertility. He's done a nice job designing the fan system to detect the heat inside the burner and buzz to remind the user to pay attention to the stove when the fuel canister needs attention.

Bill has also developed a comal style stove top for the TLUD stove that can use pecan shells, wood chips, or other crop residues for cooking.

The TLUD designs that are the basis for the combustion component of this stove are found here: http://www.drtlud.com

The Kon-Tiki was developed by Hans-Peter Schmidt in Switzerland with the Ithaka Institute> based on the MOKI Cone Kiln from Japan.

There is a nice description in the video of air currents around the cone kilns. The Ton Tiki and The Tasmanian version developed by Frank Strie called the Kon-Tiki-Tas. Are both large - vinyard scale cone kilns.

Information about smaller kilns and backyard scale variations can be found at: http://backyardbiochar.net/

ABC Rural recently covered Euan Beamont, co-director of Energy Farmers Australia, they've been making a prototype kiln to create biochar

the original news article:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-19/the-sweet-smell-of-bio-char-produc...

and the video:

He is using the system primarily to make biochar from manure and from wheat, and has done some test fires with box thorn.

More info about Energy Farmers Australia
http://www.energyfarmers.com.au

Country: 

Douglas Clayton has updated his video about making Biochar in the Jolly Roger Oven.

He has a bit of help from Hugh (making jokes about steam activating the char). It's a great video, well worth the watch.

If you are new to the Jolly Roger Oven, Doug has more detail in his first video

more about the the line of thought behind the Jolly Roger biochar method can be found here:
http://www.biochar-international.org/regional/ubi

For those of you in New Hampshire, Doug Clayton and Intuitive Biochar is in Jaffrey, NH 03452

From Living Web Farms in Mills River, North Carolina
http://www.livingwebfarms.org/

Great introduction to making clean biochar lead by Bob Wells, soil scientist Jon Nilsson and Patryk Battle.

Properties: 
Country: 
UC Davis Biochar Wheel Image

The Soils Lab at UC Davis has put together an Online Biochar Database
http://biochar.ucdavis.edu/

he UCD Biochar Database has been established to present an online resource of biochar physical and chemical characterization data. The database exists only as resource, with the specific objectives to:

  • provide an open-access tool for end users interested in biochar as a soil amendment to examine and compare data for a variety of biochar feedstocks;
  • provide a reliable resource for academics and researchers by distinguishing between peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed data;
  • provide a user friendly site for sharing biochar characterization data; and
  • provide a mechanism for biochar manufacturers to present the characterization data of their biochar products to potential end users.

Find them on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/UCDavisBiochar

Country: 

Kelpie Wilson has been playing with the Japanese Cone Kiln for Biochar see the latest on her site: http://www.greenyourhead.com/

She's finding that the Cone Kiln is easier to use than the alternatives and it produces more char too.

in her words:

I love my Japanese Cone Kiln. ... It is basically just a cone-shaped fire ring - a truncated cone. All you do is start a small fire in the bottom, and once that is all burned to glowing coals, you add small stick wood or branches on in layers. Each time the wood gets black and starts to ash, you add another layer. The layers underneath continue to cook out tar and gas, but they don't burn because air is excluded. When the cone is full you quench it with water. If you like, you can throw a grill on it and cook your dinner before you put it out.

Processes: 
Country: 

Method One

From Kelpie's Web site: Green your Head
http://www.greenyourhead.com/2013/04/making-biochar-in-burn-piles.html

Since she wrote the article below, Kelpie discovered another way to make biochar from the brush pile, it's a little easier to do if like me, you get sprinkled on by rain while you're burning your pile.

Country: 
NOVEL TREE CROPS
HEALING THE PEOPLE,
HEALING THE LAND, HEALING THE WATER
TE WHANGI TRUST

29th- 30th April, 2013

The Te Whangai Trust on the Kaiuau Coast is hosting two days of hands on workshops and discussions on the use of trees in novel ways.
Te Whangai Trust is an econursery growing native plants, and was developed by trainees learning new skills to help them find jobs. Te Whangai was a winner of the 2012 Social Innovation Award at the National Sustainable Business Network Awards. Visit the Te Whangi Trust Website http://www.tewhangai.com/

DYI BIOCHAR – IMPROVING TREE GROWTH, REDUCING FERTILISER USE, AND SEQUESTERING CARBON – Barry Batchelor
Barry Batchelor will demonstrate the construction and operation of a simple biochar reactor and discuss the role of biocarbon in sequestering carbon pumped out of the atmosphere by trees, and its value in improving tree growth, and reducing fertiliser use.

Country: 

Pages

Subscribe to Biochar