Char Research


Biochar / charcoal can be used for tapping the Nitrogen and other useful elements. Simple urinals are designed 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.

Biochar Trial Photos
Empty Planting Trays on Rack Fine Wet Processed Charcoal Settling in Flask Bamboo Feedstock Softwood Chip Feedstock
Empty Planting Trays on Rack Fine Wet Processed Charcoal Settling in Flask Bamboo Feedstock

Bear Kaufmann. Initially posted April 7, 2008. Updated August 5, 2008.

Country: - A New Website for the Promotion of Biochar Research and Experimentation
Chris Braun. February 27, 2008

A new website for the promotion of biochar research and experiments was born !

You can there discover several biochar-related projects, most of them still in active development . If you are performing biochar soil amendmend trials yourself, your contribution to CharDB or to the Field Trial Portal would be highly appreciated!
And if you haven't done it so far but would like to start experimenting, you can also find useful resources, links and contacts to help you.

This website is still in its infancy and any constructive comment, critic, question, advice... is very important for further development ! For that you can use the devoted forum:

Thanks for your contribution!

Sincerely yours,

Cornell University: Bio-Char Projects 2007

Bio-char Projects

Currently (January 2007) we conduct experiments to evaluate the effects of bio-char on nutrient adsorption, nutrient leaching, water percolation, soil water availability and carbon cycling as well as the stability and mobility of bio-char itself with research in our Ithaca lab, in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Kenya.

Improving soils with biochar: General considerations and current research efforts
Julie Major, Seminar Presentation, Cornell University, February 22, 2006

9.2 MB Power point presentation, Reduced pdf file (1 MB) attached.

Learning to use wood charcoal in farming at a Northwestern Washington native plant nursery.
Richard Haard, Fourth Corner Nurseries, Washington, Febuary 20, 2007
My motivation for preparing this post is to be able to use this motivate discussion of charcoal as a soil additive. Trying to do this work at a very busy nursery that is perhaps pushing their production factor too high (over 80%) is rather frustrating as experiments have gotten over ruled by planning changes, wiped out by harvest before I can read the data and the conditions set up for the experiment just do not work. However, I have been encouraged however and I am now using hardwood charcoal as a carrier for natural inocculum as a matter of routine.
Fourth Corner Nurseries is a wholesale supplier of native plant species, located on 77 acres in the coastal lowlands of northwestern Washington, USA. With approximately 40 acres under cultivation, we produce two/three million direct-seeded, field-grown, bare-root native plants annually. Our principal crop is individually seed-sourced, bare-root deciduous trees and shrubs, herbaceous perennials, grasses and emergent species such as sedges, cattails and rushes for environmental restoration purposes. Our mission is to sustainably grow plants while supporting workers and their families who depend on the farm for their economic subsistence. Use of surplus biomass from our willow coppice field and other materials is our alternative energy vision.
Aerial view of our farm

Aerial View of Fourth Corner Nurseries

Aerial View of Fourth Corner Nurseries

Richard Haard: Affinity of fungi and crop plant roots to charcoal
Richard Haard, February 12, 2007

The image below illustrates the affinity of fungi and crop plant roots to charcoal.

Charcoal placed in a fertile garden for a few months showing how crop roots (Swiss chard) and fungi are attached to this medium as habitat
Charcoal placed in a fertile garden for a few months showing how crop roots (Swiss chard) and fungi are attached to this medium as habitat

Cornell University Biochar: Work By others
Johannes Lehmann

Bio-char: Research by our Colleagues

Groups that are very active in exploring bio-char as a soil amendment through greenhouse and field experiments (not comprehensive, please excuse any important omissions):

- Marco Rondon: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia

- Bruno Glaser: Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, Germany

- M. Ogawa: Kansai Research Institute, Japan


Subscribe to Char Research