India

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Biochar in the fields of Uttarakhand (part of Himalayas in Northern part of India) - traditional practices as observed. http://biocharuttarakhand.blogspot.com/ During my recent visit to parts of Uttarakhand : Khatgodam - Almora - Berinag - Ramgarh made the following observations on the biochar. Some of the fields have turned dark due the biochar added to the fields over years, the following are the main source of biochar:
1. Burning of crop residue along with the pine needles and other biomass.
2. Biochar from cook stoves, added along with farm yard manure.
Bichar and ash also found in the forests due to fire. Pine needles accumulated on the forest floor catch fire easily.

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This is a very simple Biochar TLUD kiln recently designed for Sarada Mutt (Holy Mother) named as HOLY MOTHER BIOCHAR KILN http://biocharkiln.blogspot.com/, at Almora, Uttarakhand, India. Bricks and clay is used in the construction. This is a TLUD kiln. The biomass is to be added continuously as the fire continuous. The person adding the biomass to the kiln should be cautious and also use a long stick to keep away from the fire while adding the biomass. The primay air source at the bottom should be open as long as biomass is being added. As the biomass pyrolysis happens it occupies less space and more biomass can be added. It is convenient to operate during calm days i.e., less windy days. As the biomass reaches the level just below the secondary air, the process of adding the biomass should be stopped. The primary air inlet should be closed completely. After waiting for some time water should be sprinkled to extinguish the embers (quench). The biochar can be collected immediately or after some time. This is the simplest of the process of using the wasted / waste biomass to convert into biochar. Here pine needles are used for converting into biochar. Pine needles management is a big task in these parts of Himalayas, as often they lead to forest fires destroying many trees.

Holy Mother Biochar Kiln - Design by Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy, declared as Open Knowledge / OHANDA
http://okgeo.org | http://ohanda.org

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

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From Magh Biochar Retort 2

Magh Bichar retort - 1 is a simple low-cost biochar making retort. In this design a two hundred liter steel drum is used. The top and bottom portions of the drum were cut open. One of the lids is used for covering the open side. The biomass is dumped into the drum and lit at the top and more biomass is added while it is still lit to fill it up to the brim. In TLUD condition the flame continuous. After some time the intensity of the flames lessen. Now the lid is placed over the flames and using soil the lid is sealed, so that no smoke is seen leaking out. Now the smoke appears at the pipe, which is attached through a connecting pit at the bottom of the drum. Leave it for more than 12 hours. The biochar continues to form and also the retort cools down. This second situation is the downdraft condition.

Note: Precaution should be taken to keep oneself as far as possible from the flames. The efficient production of the biochar also depends on the producers experience. For more details see http://maghbiocharretort.blogspot.com/

Magh Biochar Retort is demonstrated to the community under the GSBC Project. GEO is implementing the project with support of GoodPlanet, France.

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1. GEO BIOCHAR URINAL - PVC and 2. GEO BIOCHAR URINAL - CLAY

Biochar / charcoal can be used for tapping the Nitrogen and other useful elements. Simple urinals are designed http://e-biocharurinals.blogspot.com/ for tapping the nitrogen and other useful elements for using as a soil amending material for improving the quality of the soils, increasing crop production, addressing the global warming by reducing the NOx emissions, avoiding artificial fertilizers, keeping the toilets clean and odor free, etc.

Two sets of prototype Urinals - PVC urinal and Clay pot urinal are designed and being used by GEO.

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Munda tribals living in parts of Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal states, in India, use biochar for increasing the crop production. They mix charcoal with farm yard manure (pellets of small ruminants / cattle dung) and add to the red lateritic soils which are other wise less fertile. They cultivate vegetables and green salad in the well fenced plots of about 1 acre in size. The biochar is mostly a byproduct from the biomass cook stoves in use (most often three stone stoves / simple clay earth stoves). They have access to wood from the jungles, which is used as fuel.

For more details see the photos
http://picasaweb.google.com/saibhaskar.geo/TP_Sign_Keonjhor_Orissa#
http://picasaweb.google.com/saibhaskar.geo/TP_Sign_Keonjhor_Orissa?feat=...

and a small video film.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5144451319506748375
Latitude: 21.9722721074 Longitude : 85.2820737194


For more pictures see http://e-terrapreta.blogspot.com/

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A handy kiln for making charcoal from urban leaf litter
Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI), Pune, India www.arti-india.org

Single Barrel Charcoal Kiln

Single Barrel Charcoal Kiln

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In Our state We are having 70% Forest .Mainly Pine forest in every summer it is cause of forest fire . We face huge loss of trees, properties and life too.This is cost to Forest department . We develop the method to convert pine needle into CHARCOAL BRIQUETTE. Which use as cooking fuel. Now they are not cutting the tree for fuel.Save the forest use this method. This low cost method. for rural area. Apart of that it is produce local emplyment. Get the chrcoal with cutting tree.Like

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