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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.

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Biochar innoculated with Compost Tea:

Easy Compost Tea Recipe

Look for more shared experience on CompostJunkie.com
http://www.compostjunkie.com/compost-tea-and-biochar.html

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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:

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Jason advocates for biochar, growing your own food, and buying locally manufactured goods as ways to reduce total carbon impact of our activities.

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MASS Laboratory has been working with Bartlet Tree Experts on an series of plot tests, and field tests to study the use of biochar in caring for trees, particularly urban street trees.

MASS Laboratory has a great description of the work here:
http://www.masslaboratory.org/arbochar---arboriculture-and-biochar.html

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Student set up using two 15 oz cans and a larger outer can for safety and to protect the fire from wind gusts.
Outer can removed. The secondary air gap is about 1.2 cm
This shows the three 3 cm washers used to create draft deflection back into the mixing chamber in the top half of the bottom can.
Botom can as it will be used.
4 lbs tuna fish can used as the feedstock can, or the bottom can, standing on its three small angle brackets. The primary air gap is about 2 cm
The simple draft can, both ends removed, is supporting the Feedstock can for this photo.
Smaller cans are being used inside this larger grill

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.

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2012 US Biochar Conference, http://2012.biochar.us.com/

Presentations from the Biomass Conference:
http://2012.biochar.us.com/299/2012-us-biochar-conference-presentations

Join us at the

2012 US Biochar Conference

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/

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Contamination of drinking water sources by synthetic organic compounds (SOCs – e.g. pesticides, pharmaceuticals, fuel compounds, etc.) is a growing worldwide problem. Many of these chemicals accumulate in the human body and cause cancer, birth defects and diseases of the reproductive system, and disrupt endocrine and neurological systems. However, few low-cost, sustainable and appropriate treatment technologies are available to rural and developing communities for SOC removal.

Water filtration using charcoal is an ancient practice that continues today in non-industrialized regions around the world, though it has not yet been rigorously demonstrated for removal of modern industrial pollutants. Unfortunately, charcoal production by traditional kiln systems is often a resource-intensive and highly polluting process, and kiln processes are typically not optimized for production of good water filter char. Low cost, energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and scalable local production of optimal water filter char can be accomplished with biomass gasification (e.g. cookstoves and larger units using the TLUD design).

The video and print resources available on the Aqueous Solutions website (www.aqsolutions.org) are intended to

  1. summarize current results of collaborative field and laboratory research pertaining to the use of traditional kiln charcoals and gasifier chars in decentralized water treatment that targets SOCs,
  2. provide instructional materials for construction and operation of small- and intermediate- scale gasifier char production units using local materials, and
  3. provide instructional materials for integration of biochar filtration into a multi-barrier small- and intermediate- scale water treatment systems constructed from inexpensive and widely available materials.
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David Yarrow, Four Oaks Farm

sunday we conducted our 18th test burn with our TLUD biochar burn barrel.
this time brad mostly loaded wood chips in the barrel.
this burn ran over 95 minutes, quietly, smoothly
and produced over 15 gallons of solid, dense biochar,

for more details see: http://www.dyarrow.org/18thBurn/

monday brad did two more wood chip burns.
the first ran 90 minutes.
the second ran over 2 hours.
we like burning wood chips!!

REMINDER:
this weekend is our first biochar workshop at four oaks farm.
saturday at 10am, sunday at 1pm, and monday at 6pm

http://www.dyarrow.org/biochar/

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