Soil quality

Biochar generated as a by-product of combined heat and power gasification is classified as waste, for which the UK does not currently have a safety protocol for use in the open environment. The UEA is working with the Environment Agency to determine environmental tolerance limits, in order to assess potential environmental risks (ex: PAH contamination). My preliminary study aimed to measure any negative plant growth effects by amended soil with high concentrations of biochar under controlled laboratory conditions.

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Arborists in Chicago are studying the results of biochar on trees growing in urban soils that are typically hostile to trees. This research is part of a larger urban-soils study that includes applications of biochar in greenhouse and field plot settings at The Morton Arboretum. The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories have also been testing adding biochar to the soil mix when planting trees. More information and media coverage of this study about biochar and urban tree care can be found on the Bartlett Tree Experts web site.

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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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