Grass Tablet Biochar
Grass Tablets
Grill modified with an iCan reactor

The grass tablet biochar (pyrolytic carbon) shown above was made in an iCan TLUD
with a variable speed blower. This charcoal was air quenched and is thus bone dry.
When wet, it is very soft and can be formed to fit a variety of shapes. I have found, for
example, that grass tablet biochar saturated with cold water is effective at reducing the
pain of burns.

The following pages illustrate some of the ways the above biochar was made.
Note: Grass biochar will be ashy as grass has considerably more ash content that
wood

Grass tablets broken into short sections prior to being loaded into the fuel chamber of
the iCan reactor.
These tablets were made from field grass about 3 years ago in Shelburne, VT. Note
that the longest fibers are about the length of the diameter of the tablet. Shorter is
better.
These tablets are about 4 cm in diameter.

Download the attached Grass Tablet Biochar How To for detailed Reactor photographs and answers to questions posed to Jock by the stoves community.

Country: 

From "Shifting Paradigms on Biochar: Micro/Nano-structures and Soluble Components are Responsible for its Plant-Growth Promoting Ability”, S Joseph, ER Graber, C Chia, P Munroe, S Donne, T Thomas , Nielsen S, C Marjo, H Rutlidge, G X Pan, Xiaorong Fan, P Taylor , A Rawal, J Hook, Carbon Management, Vol 4, No. 3 (2013).

From Wired Science:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/12/satellite-sensing-black-earth-...

Light reflected by the Amazon rainforest’s vegetation could help an orbiting satellite find the elusive fertile patches of soil known as terra preta — or ‘black earth’ — that mark archaeological sites where pre-Columbian populations settled.

Finding these rich patches of earth has been a challenge. They’re sprinkled throughout the enormous Amazon basin, hidden beneath an impenetrable forest, and embedded in a land with few roads.

So a team of scientists is testing whether satellite measurements of the light reflected by tree canopies could help researchers panning for black soil gold...

Biochar Tree
tractor-powered (PTO) spray equipment with water tank
root-injection sonde

We tried several different methods, but ended-up having to develop our own equipment and techniques. A couple of these methods show promise for commercial-scale work, I believe. Basically our approach involves a few components:

  • tractor-powered (PTO) spray equipment with water tank, pressure adjustments
  • root-injection sonde (available commercially, but we ended-up making our own)
  • slurry tank with a Venturi pump, mixing equipment
  • various hoses and connections
  • a lot of trial and error…

A lot of the success of this type of method is related to the choice of biochar and the formulation of the slurry. We’re continuing work this summer to try to improve these methods for larger scale commercial work, but are also evaluating, of course, whether the use of biochar applied in this manner will have any effect on the crop quantities or quality.

Barry Husk
President
BlueLeaf Inc. http://www.blue-leaf.ca

Country: 

North American Biochar Symposium Register Now http://symposium2013.pvbiochar.org/

October 13, 2013 - October 16, 2013
7:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Eastern Time Zone

at
University of Massachusetts
One Campus Center Way
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
413-265-3892

For more information: http://symposium2013.pvbiochar.org/

Biochar blends
Biochar blends is for creating value added products using biochar and different types of matter (living and non-living) for soil amendments and also multiple uses before ultimately reaching the soil. This is a simple chart to explore the possibilities of using biochar considering diversity of conditions in the field such as soils, types of crops, environments, climatic conditions, availability of raw materials, socio-economic, cultural, traditional, etc.
http://www.slideshare.net/saibhaskar/biochar-blends

Country: 

This is a great process flow Diagram from Super Stone Clean International, you can learn more about their biochar maker on their web site: http://superstoneclean.com/iwamoto-mineral-biochar-machine/

Super Stone Clean International
Osaka City
Minato Ward
Chikko 4-3-20
552-0021
Japan

Tel: (81) 6-6556-6326

Country: 

Interview with a Kenyan after she viewed a clean charcoal demonstration with the Cookswell Clean Charcoal retort

for more information about the Cookswell retort:
http://kenyacharcoal.blogspot.com/

Country: 

Proceedings of the The 1st FOREBIOM Workshop:
Potentials of Biochar to mitigate climate change
are posted to their website: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/forebiom/conference.htm

On the 4 -5 April, 2013 the Austrian Academy of Science hosted a Workshop exploring the responsible use of biomass energy, and the potential for using biochar to mitigate climate change.

their description:

Country: 
UC Davis Biochar Wheel Image

The Soils Lab at UC Davis has put together an Online Biochar Database
http://biochar.ucdavis.edu/

he UCD Biochar Database has been established to present an online resource of biochar physical and chemical characterization data. The database exists only as resource, with the specific objectives to:

  • provide an open-access tool for end users interested in biochar as a soil amendment to examine and compare data for a variety of biochar feedstocks;
  • provide a reliable resource for academics and researchers by distinguishing between peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed data;
  • provide a user friendly site for sharing biochar characterization data; and
  • provide a mechanism for biochar manufacturers to present the characterization data of their biochar products to potential end users.

Find them on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/UCDavisBiochar

Country: 

Kelpie Wilson has been playing with the Japanese Cone Kiln for Biochar see the latest on her site: http://www.greenyourhead.com/

She's finding that the Cone Kiln is easier to use than the alternatives and it produces more char too.

in her words:

I love my Japanese Cone Kiln. ... It is basically just a cone-shaped fire ring - a truncated cone. All you do is start a small fire in the bottom, and once that is all burned to glowing coals, you add small stick wood or branches on in layers. Each time the wood gets black and starts to ash, you add another layer. The layers underneath continue to cook out tar and gas, but they don't burn because air is excluded. When the cone is full you quench it with water. If you like, you can throw a grill on it and cook your dinner before you put it out.

Processes: 
Country: 

Meghana Rao attends Jesuit High School and spoke to President Obama about Biochar in the 2013 White House Science Fair

From Tom Miles:
John Miedema and I have been mentoring her biochar projects for about three years. She did her basic research as a high school freshman at Oregon State University under Dr. Markus Kleber with a graduate student in soil science. She won regional competitions and went to the nationals in the Intel Science competitions as a Freshman. She presented that work in Kyoto in 2011 and at Sonoma 2012. That is also the work she described to the President.

http://2012.biochar.us.com/sites/2012.biochar.us.com/files/presentations...

Last summer she did an internship at the Joint Bioenergy Institute at Berkeley. http://www.jbei.org/

Country: 

WHEN:
Monday, June 10, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:
University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, 98195

For more information:
http://climatesolutions.org/programs/NBI

The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative is galvanizing the region’s top biocarbon innovators – farmers, foresters, community leaders, and thinkers – to demonstrate the essential role that natural systems can play in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to ensure long-term climate stability.

Method One

From Kelpie's Web site: Green your Head
http://www.greenyourhead.com/2013/04/making-biochar-in-burn-piles.html

Since she wrote the article below, Kelpie discovered another way to make biochar from the brush pile, it's a little easier to do if like me, you get sprinkled on by rain while you're burning your pile.

Country: 
Pot in the flue as was done in the Swiss Volcano Stove.
Detail of the deflectors above the secondary air ports.
 Detail of secondary air port.

I revisited an earlier secondary air concept that used 3 triangular ports at 120 degrees around the fuel can. Importantly, the the third side of the triangle was bent down into the fuel can to create a vane to increase turbulence.

What I did today was to add three deflectors above the secondary airports/vanes. The deflectors were positioned midway between the ports and just below the top of the fuel can. Thus when the draft can was added, there was effectively no secondary air gap at all.

While this is only one run to see if the would work, the results were very good. Lots of turbulence. Some good flame noise. At the 15 minute mark I put on a 19 oz can of very cold tap water to boil. It boiled in 15 minutes. After about 30 minutes over the flames and in the flue, there was only a small amount of soot on the "pot". The pot bottom was NOT black. Ambient air temp was about 45f. Little to no wind.

A few pictures:

There are some real Jewels in the Ithaka journal's article 55 uses for Biochar

http://www.ithaka-journal.net/55-anwendungenvon-pflanzenkohle?lang=en

Mr. Schmidt makes a good point that biochar provides more value when it's used for other purposes before it is worked into the soil, and then he does a nice job of laying out the pathways to do so.

One of my favorites

Cascading uses of biochar in farming with animals.

Country: 

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.
Carbon sequestration.
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, saibhaskarnakka@gmail.com http://e-geo.org

Country: 
 Biochar + sanitized human urine produced the highest yields of sorghum

The Re:Char team did a nice job synthesizing the results of the second test year on their plots in Bungoma County, Western Kenya.
http://www.re-char.com/2013/01/24/the-longterm-impact-of-biochar-in-soil...

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/

The Soil Fertility Project is an interesting project that attempts to use biochar to address soil fertility and climate change both in Wales in weed eradication projects.

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.

Country: 

Please do read the full report, these are highlights:

Kardinia College Trail
A comprehensive small-scale trial was implemented at Kardinia International College to investigate if biochar soil amendments have an effect on the aboveground biomass and growth response of a selection of native species indigenous to the Geelong region.

Rainfall was almost non-existent and average summer temperatures were the warmest on record from establishment (spring 2012) until autumn 2013. Addition of biochar appears to have had a positive effect on the growth response (canopy and height measurements) of Yellow Gum in this scenario. Data for Drooping Sheoak and Blackwood are encouraging with respect to seedling height, but not for canopy diameter to date (this will be monitored over time).

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.

direct link:
https://plone.jcu.edu.au/researchatjcu/research/tess/Projects/australia/...

TESS project leader: Michael Bird

Country: 

More information about the International Biochar Initiative Standards and Testing effort:
http://www.biochar-international.org/characterizationstandard

The pdf of the current standards:
http://www.biochar-international.org/sites/default/files/Guidelines_for_Biochar_That_Is_Used_in_Soil_Final.pdf

Pages

Subscribe to BioEnergy Lists: Biochar Mailing Lists RSS