Volatile Matter (VM)

Growing plants with charcoal
Richard Haard, Fourth Corner Nurseries, Bellingham, WA, June 27, 2007

Select image to enlarge
This is an image of our charcoal as soil additive study at our nursery. Shown is one of our test subjects a local native shrub that we propagate and sell for riparian restoration projects. Black Twinberry, Lonicera involucrata. This plant was a 2 year old seedling, bareroot harvested and stems clipped to 6 inches before planting in the test bed 7 weeks ago.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1344/634886240_78b8dc7032_o.jpg

and our set of images on the 4CN charcoal project

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rchaard/sets/72157594444994347/

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Images of Pyrolysed Biocarbons (PBCs) and Dielectric relaxation of water adsorbed on wood and charcoal
Alfred Harris to Stephen Joseph, BEST Energies, May 8, 2007

SEM Image 21.1b.1 Charcoal to right

Macademia Shells

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What Factors Influence Charcoal Quality?
Tom Miles, Biomass Cooking Stoves June 18, 2006

Temperature

100C -> Wood drying 19 MJ/kg

220C -> Wood becomes brown
250-270C-> Torrefaction 28% fixed carbon, 72% volatile 23.9 MJ/kg
280C -> Wood becomes deep brown-black

300C -> 68% char 32% volatile 40% yield soft, brown, friable

Processes: 

Standard Test Method for Chemical Analysis of Wood Charcoal ASTM D1762-84

Attached is the ASTM D1762-84. This test method covers the determination of moisture, volatile matter, and ash in charcoal made from wood. The test method is applicable to lumps and briquets and is designed for the evaluation of charcoal quality. The test method employs apparatus that is found in most laboratories and is adapted to routine analyses of a large number of samples.

Dear friends: terra preta is fascinating in part because it involves so many disciplines. My viewpoint is that of a fuel scientist/chemical engineer.

My laboratory produces well-characterized charcoals for a wide variety of research endeavors, including carbon fuel cell studies, metallurgical charcoal applications, activated carbon production, and terra preta research (with my colleagues Dr. Goro Uehara, Dr. Jonathan Deenik, and Tai McClellan in the University of Hawaii

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