Perchigation is a means of creating a shallow aquifer using biochar for irrigation.
The advantages are:
It is highly suitable for semi-arid and arid areas to prevent evaporation of water.
Prevent water going deeper into the aquifers there by the ultimate water reaching the plants is limited.
Some of the advantages in this system.
Biochar would absorb the water and other soil nutrients from losses.
The harmful pesticides and chemicals from the soil are taken by biochar
The rainwater is harvested in the ‘biochar aquifer’ created.
The water can be recycled through recovery.
The water gets purified due to biochar in the areas where polluted water is used for irrigation.
Highly suitable for the cultivation of vegetables, tubers, cereals, chillies, cotton, etc.
Suitable for adoption in the fields, green houses, polyhouses, etc.
For details see: http://perchigation.blogspot.in/
For any suggestions and comments contact: Design by Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy, firstname.lastname@example.org http://e-geo.org
Perchigation is a means of creating a shallow aquifer using biochar for irrigation.
The Re:Char team did a nice job synthesizing the results of the second test year on their plots in Bungoma County, Western Kenya.
All test plots are managed by local Kenyan farmers according to local customs and all plots have similar light and rainfall. The study is not scientific or peer reviewed, but it's a good on the ground demonstration of actual farming techniques practiced in that area of Kenya, and can be considered a practical model of biochar inputs.
In this part of Kenya, some farmers use chemical fertilizer, which helps the crops grow, but not as much as manure. However, the cows in this part of the world tend to be open grazed, and it's difficult and time consuming to clean up the manure.
Good straightforward video - small scale system for making biochar from pellets.
Also watch Biochar video 2 for improvements to the system:
Tips on the Korean farming techniques he mentions can be found on the web site: http://www.prokashi.com/videos/
In the Indian project ( http://www.soilfertilityproject.com/Soil_Fertility/Indian_Project.html). The participants started by using the Anila stove to product biochar, but found that it was unworkable. Now they are using a digestor to process wet waste, get some energy, and use the slurry for fertilizer. They are also using a small BiG Char unit to process green waste into biochar.
James Cook University in Australia are working on a research project where biochar is specifically mixed in at an early stage of the composting project, COMBI-mix, to determine the impact on carbon sequestration and model the impacts on the agricultural impacts.
TESS project leader: Michael Bird
More information about the International Biochar Initiative Standards and Testing effort:
The pdf of the current standards:
Hope Mine was one of the first, and certainly the largest, whole-mine reclamation project using biochar. Hope Mine was formerly a silver mine and it's situated close to Aspen, Colorado.
The USFS took charge of it in 2003, and the grey rock taillings had no vegetation and posed a potential threat to Castle Creek, Aspen's water supply. With this project, there was no evidence of heavy metals leeching, but the the bare rock didn't support vegitation, and could potentially pose a threat to the aquifer.
the results are quoted:
The project proved to be incredibly successful. xx test plots were created to study different levels of biochar,compost, and mycorrhizal fungi mix. The preliminary year-one results showed:
In their study in Honduras, the authors carefully mixed rice hull char (made in a TLUD stove) with cassava chips and foliage and fed that to cattle, while doing a careful control, and measuring the health of the cattle as well as their methane emissions. The results are encouraging.
Twelve local “Yellow” cattle with initial live weight ranging from 80 to 100 kg were assigned in a completely randomized block design to a 2*2 factorial arrangement of four treatments with three replications. The factors were: biochar at 0.6% of diet DM or none; and potassium nitrate at 6% of diet DM or urea at 1.83% of diet DM. The basal diet was cassava root chips fed ad libitum and fresh cassava foliage at 1% of LW (DM basis). Sodium sulphate and sodium chloride were added to the diet at the rate of 0.4% and 0.5% in the DM. The trial lasted 98 days following a 21 day adaptation to the diets.
Antioch University's Seattle campus is hosting two more weekend workshops in making Biochar:
- November 17 and 18, 2012
- April 27 and 28, 2013
In the last workshop in August, AUS students and alumni made 6 biochar stoves out of 55 gallon drums.
They used himalayan blackberry and reed canary grass as feedstocks and made some biochar that they use dot amend the soil around several of the cherry trees on the farm. This would be a fun workshop to learn about making and using biochar.
For more information visit the Antioch University web site:
Eric Debner for Iowa State Daily.com
In his article Biochar an Investment in Soil, Mr Debner briefly describes biochar, and describes it as in soil amendment that can help restore fertility and improve crop yields in damaged soils. That's a nice description, and the full article is a good introduction to the topic of biochar.
From the Ithaka journal, "Biochar in poultry farming "
This is a practical article that provides simple advice for using biochar to help manage disease in commercial poultry operations. The authors point out that many birds end up spending time in direct contact with their manure and suggest blending 5-10% by volume biochar into the bedding or silage used to in the coops and poultry houses can help the birds resist diseases in addition to helping filter the ammonia and reducing the impacts of the bird wastes.
The primary article also gives specific recommendations for using biochar in feed to help prevent intestinal diseases, and they recommend the following studies:
Jason advocates for biochar, growing your own food, and buying locally manufactured goods as ways to reduce total carbon impact of our activities.
Kansai Corporation of Japan has developed an Automated Rice Husk Carbonizer to create biochar out of rice husks. Rice husk charcoal has been used in Japan to improve soil fertility, to improve plant products and filter and retain nutrients in the soil.
MASS Laboratory has a great description of the work here:
Using a Zeiss 5LIVE microscope, a 3D projection of a lettuce root (blue), fungal hyphae(blue), and bacteria (green) colonization is visualized.
Dyes: Syto 13, Calcofluor white
Property of Robert Cirino
Bioimaging Center, Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Delaware
Below are a few photos of a novel, at least to me, use of draft deflectors in
combination with a secondary air gap and a mixing chamber above the feedstock,
but below the secondary air gap.
This design is typically yielding abut 22% of the feedstock's weight as biochar.
Passes all of the usual simple tests. Run times in the larger tuna fish cans are in the
42 minute range with 500 grams of soft wood pellet feedstock. I load the bottom
can, of the feedstock chamber, to only about 50% of capacity. This leaves the top
half of the can as a mixing chamber into which the draft is deflected. This creates
thorough mixing of the combustible gases with the secondary air. The result is very
clean stack gas. I wish the many small diesels out there burned nearly as cleanly.
Presentations from the Biomass Conference:
Join us at the
July 29 - August 1, 2012
at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California
The 2012 US Biochar Conference is designed to advance our understanding of the economic, science and policy issues related to biochar as both an amendment for soils as well as an agent to sequester carbon. California’s reputation for progressive policy and venture capital resources provide an excellent setting to showcase new innovative technologies like biochar. The conference is focused on practical results, especially regarding biochar use in agriculture.
For more information see the web site: http://2012.biochar.us.com/
A Presentation by Dr. Jerry Whitfield
Thursday May 24 at 3pm
At the Coach Barn at
Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont
Dr. Jerry Whitfield (Whitfield Biochar LLC), inventor of the pellet stove in the early 80’s, is developing a continuous flow, pyrolitic technology that converts numerous biomass types to elemental carbon (biochar) and clean, renewable syngas. The syngas is typically used onsite to create carbon negative thermal energy. The Biochar co-product has many valuable attributes for improving soil fertility and water quality.
Anyone interested in biochar and carbon negative energy is welcome.
Please forward this notice to others you know who may be interested. There is no fee for attending, but please email Julia Penca (email@example.com) with biochar in the subject line, or call 802 985 0341 if you plan to attend.
We look forward to seeing you on May 24th.
Traditional methods of making charcoal in the Philippines, can be inefficient, and the Village Coco Project would like to improve that, as well as creating a fair trade certified coconut char product, that they could sell to help improve life for the coconut farmers in Palawan.
The Village Coco Project has just built their First High Efficiency Kiln, and they look forward to testing the new kiln between now and the end of May.
The Elsevier Journal, Soil Biology and Biochemistry has a special online issue on Biochar this month:
(smaller link to the same place) http://bit.ly/HZjf6d
Caroline Masiello with Rice University and her team of researchers has recently published a paper that studies the effect of the temperature used to create the biochar on field capacity and hydrophobicity.
In the study, they made biochar out of tree leaves, corn stalks and found that wood chips, and found that it was the pyrolisis temperature that had the biggest impact on field capacity and hydrophobicity. Their study recommends a pyrolisis temperature of 400 °C–600 °C.
This is a quick summary of the work:
The journal article is here:
(support your local college and/or technical library, or contact the authors for a copy of the article).