what is BIOCHAR?

Collection by Brian Cartwright

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Biochar is a new word for an old idea: producing charcoal and adding it to the soil to make it more productive. I have a separate pinboard "Wood Gasification" which is related; volatile compounds in biomass may be gasified for energy, but you only get biochar if combustion air is closed off. This board was made in 2012-13 and I have not been adding to it since then, but I try to be sure the links are still active. Click through!

Brian Cartwright
Making Biochar to Improve Soil. By making biochar from brush and other hard to compost organic material, you can improve soil — it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer.

Making Biochar to Improve Soil | MOTHER EARTH NEWS

By making biochar from brush and other hard to compost organic material, you can improve soil — it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer.

The Hidden World of Soil Under Our Feet - we are facing the sixth great extincti. - Biology and Nature - Plants Katie Scott, Organic Soil, Green Monsters, Plant Drawing, Nature Plants, Animal Species, Botany, Permaculture, Ny Times

A teaspoon of soil may have billions of microbes divided among 5,000 different types, thousands of species of fungi and protozoa, nematodes, mites and a couple of termite species. How these and other pieces all fit together is still largely a mystery. [..] “The greater the soil diversity, the fewer diseases that emerge in plants,” said Eric B. Nelson, who studies soil and disease ecology at Cornell.

Organic Solution, situated 30 miles outside of Los Angeles. is a boutique vermiculture operation creating worm castings in three different ways.

Startup Meets Los Angeles' Demand for Worm Castings

Organic Solution, situated 30 miles outside of Los Angeles. is a boutique vermiculture operation creating worm castings in three different ways.

"The facility turns straw into biochar and wood tar, cleaner-burning alternatives to diesel fuel. It also produces wood vinegar out of straw -- a liquid that makes nonarable soil grow crops. The facility captures a large quantity of combustible gas from the process to meet its own energy needs and to heat a nearby hotel and a public bathroom -- a popular facility in rural China."

CLEAN TECHNOLOGY: Rural China tries to break its coal addiction by using straw

SHANGQIU, China -- This is not the equivalent of Silicon Valley. There isn't a lab in sight or a high-tech industrial park in the area. What attracts most of the attention is a two-floor factory building with a signboard that reads "Shangqiu Sanli New Energy Demonstration." Still, this is a noteworthy place. It is healing one of China's long-standing headaches. That headache is straw, basically an agricultural waste collected from nearby farms.

Nando gives an illustrated introduction to the construction and use of the CarbonZero Experimental Biochar Kiln.

Small scale biochar production

Photos and descriptions that show how to make and operate a biochar kiln using a 200 liter (55 gallon) steel barrel inside an insulating firebrick enclosure.

We propose the function of biochar as an “electron shuttle” that facilitates the transfer of electrons to soil denitrifying microorganisms, which together with its liming effect would promote the reduction of to

Biochar and denitrification in soils: when, how much and why does biochar reduce N2O emissions?

Agricultural soils represent the main source of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Recently, interactions of black carbon with the nitrogen cycle have been recognized and the use of biochar is being investigated as a means to reduce N2O emissions. However, the mechanisms of reduction remain unclear. Here we demonstrate the significant impact of biochar on denitrification, with a consistent decrease in N2O emissions by 10–90% in 14 different agricultural soils. Using the 15N gas-flux method we…

From Forbes Magazine, mainstream business attention: "Cool Planet: A Company That Makes Biochar And Gasoline"

Cool Planet: A Company That Makes Biochar And Gasoline

Cool Planet has some serious investment money behind it from big-name companies, and a grandiose plan: create gasoline from non-food biomass at low cost, while creating biochar that can increase crop yields with less water and fertilizer. If the are successful, the implications are enormous.

In Mexico, I saw how biochar fit into a regenerative agricultural demonstration. Via Organica is an educational organic farm located just outside San Miguel.

Biochar Bob Goes to Mexico - Via Organica

Bob Cirino is "Biochar Bob". In a visit to the Via Organica Ranch near San Miguel, Mexico, he interviews Rachel Kastner and local farmers who are learning and applying ideas of regenerative agriculture, growing lots of healthy food in small spaces, and incorporating biochar in innovative ways like under turkey bedding where it controls ammonia and produces a rich composted product.

Dolph Cooke demonstrates biochar making for farm scale with the Moxham open barrel kiln. The "pyrolysis front" of flame consumes any unburned gases coming from the charring biomass at the bottom.

Biochar making for farm scale with the Moxham.

A short video about making biochar with the Moxham Biochar making unit. Cheap low tech easy to make. Biocharproject.org Australia shows the way. Please give ...

New England Biochar

New England Biochar

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Paper mill byproducts made into biochar serve in 'totes' as filtration media for heavy metals in roof and storm water runoff. Efficiency is greater than expected: of zinc and of copper removed.

Paper mill 'biochar' may help filter Port water

Paper mill byproducts made into biochar serve in 'totes' as filtration media for heavy metals in roof and storm water runoff. Efficiency is greater than expected: 99% of zinc and 95% of copper removed.

Biochar quiets microbes, including some plant pathogens—Synthetic biologists at Rice probe biochar’s impact on microbial signaling

Biochar quiets microbes, including some plant pathogens

In the first study of its kind, Rice University scientists have used synthetic biology to study how a popular soil amendment called "biochar" can interfere with the chemical signals that some microbes use to communicate. The class of compounds studied includes those used by some plant pathogens to coordinate their attacks.

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Biochar - helping trees stand strong when every carbon capturing leaf counts | Carbon Gold

Those who plant and protect trees know the active role they and their trees play in mitigating climate change, and this is certainly recognised by decision-makers, if not yet budgeted for by all. DEFRA is halfway through its Big Tree Plant, which aims to plant a million trees by 2015. A handful of UK cities …

Jock Gill has developed the iCan, illustrated here on his web page about Improved Biomass Cooking Stoves

Gill | Improved Biomass Cooking Stoves

Knowledge Of Nitrogen Transfer Between Plants And Beneficial Fungi Expands -- ScienceDaily

Soil Biology - CharGrow

It's all about the biology. Now there's a management tool that can rejuvenate the biodiversity of soils and replace the essential organisms that were lost. There is simply no better way to grow quality crops.

when the temperature gets above 350 degrees, the high-molecular-weight hydrocarbons, the resins and asphaltenes, undergo a series of cracking and condensation reactions to form solid char, similar to the petroleum coke produced in refineries.

This hot process revives soil after oil spills - Futurity

Scientists are using a process called pyrolysis to clean soil contaminated by oil spills. The method saves energy and reclaims the soil's fertility.