Jock Gill, IBI, USBI, Biochar Northwest and NASA

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A lesson for Students Grades 9 - 12 in Biochar:
This is an interdisciplinary activity for grades 9 – 12, revolving around use of biochar to mitigate climate change and promote sustainable agriculture / horticulture. It involves climate science, plant science, and chemistry. Advanced students will also encounter some elementary combustion science and thermodynamics, soil science, and botany. The activity includes hands-on construction and use of a device to make biochar, as well as planning and conducting a controlled experiment to test the effects of biochar on plants in their native soil.

Charcoal, made from wood pellets, and seaweed, were the two additives
Pot tests were run outside, using pots made from tires with one sidewall cut
Tests were run in triplicate as follows:
1: Seaweed only
2: Control soil, no additives
3: Seaweed + charcoal
4: Charcoal only.

Corn was planted in each pot, and watered regularly. Height of corn plant
measured after 30 days. Average plant heights after 30 days were as

1: Seaweed only 55 cm
2: Control soil, no additives 31 cm
3: Seaweed + charcoal 51 cm
4: Charcoal only 23 cm

Results were disappointing, with the charcoal test yielding least height gain. It is felt that the disappointing results were a result of the charcoal absorbing some of the nutrients
that were limiting plant growth, with the result being even less growth potential

Thanks, and Best Wishes,

In the recent past Biochar has become popular among local media. The vernacular media is taking note and recognized the importance of biochar. We are happy that more farmers are showing interest to adopt biochar for management of their soils. About 200000 kgs of biochar compost is adopted by about 200 stakeholders in parts of India, including small and marginal farmers, tribals for horticulture, organisations, institutes and universities. This had been a seven years old Jounery for Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy: learning, understanding, designing technologies for charcoal production, biochar compost preparations, research, studies and developing methods of application. With the support of, France the process of research and dissemination accelerated. Now biochar has become 'biocharculture' with integrated wider applications for co-benefits and value addition.

CNN Biochar coverage

From saibhaskar press

Biocharcoal helps check global warming

From saibhaskar press
From saibhaskar press
From Sai Bhaskar in Press
From Sai Bhaskar in Press
Sornam Alagarsamy

we at Dr MGr Jatropha Biodiesel Project are now engajed in Jatropha oil manufacture
and also we plant bamboosa Vulgaris Bamboo
we have plans to convert all the Bamboo to Charcoal and supply to the world

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Douglas Clayton and Hugh McLaughlin

Hugh McLaughlin and I have been working on describing our retort over TLUD char maker, which Hugh has christened the Jolly Roger Oven or " J-RO". The current draft of our paper The “Jolly Roger Ovens” family of Biochar-making devices in pdf, and attached to this story

From the YouTube notes:
A 30 gallon retort heated by a 55 gallon TLUD is the basic idea. I've been a biochar enthusiast for 5 years now and riding the learning curve on how to make and use biochar at home. This device can run very cleanly. The cleanest I have seen for a simple batch device.

From Karl J. Frogner,Dacember, 2011

6 Dec ‘11

E, Kelpie, aloha kaua-

It is nice to see your interest in JR Ovens and particularly in getting them on the open source page. I think that they are destined to become the arch-typical biochar oven (Biochar ovens And I think they are destined to play a big role in meeting biochar’s potential in climate change mitigation from thinly distributed feedstock ( July update). I would hate to see any commercial impediments do to profiteering holding back implementation, though it would be nice to see some well made ‘back yard’ ovens on the market for urban/suburban yard trimmings.


by way of Xiavier, and Crispin

Peracod, has an excellent Dossier in French:

Dossier : le Biocharbon, une alternative durable au charbon de bois

Extrait du magazine Vert - Information Environnementale "Vie" n° 11 mai-juin 2009 1.7MB pdf

Dossier Biocarbon

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Paal Wendelobo, from Africa, November, 2011

A common Miombo forest in Africa will give about 3 ton wood per ha a year. 3 ton of dry wood will give 800 kg of charcoal. A household of 5 consume 2-3 kg charcoal a day or about 800 kg a year. To produce 3 kg of charcoal you need 10-12 kg of dry fire wood in a common kiln. That will give one day cooking on a charcoal stove, and almost no biochar. 10-12kg dry chopped wood will give 3 days of cooking on a TLUD-ND or another FES and 2.5 kg of biochar

Energy forestry using just the sprouting every year can give up to 10 ton wood per ha a year, easy to cut to appropriate fuel for TLUD-ND’s or other types of FES. By adding some biochar to soil of bad quality 20-30 % increased yields can be obtained, which will give more food, more household energy, more jobs, better economy, better health for women and children and saving the forest. It can probably be as simple as this and is that not some of what we are looking for and need?

We know some changes have to take place on the household energy sector and we have to start somewhere. Why not start with small scale farmers on sandy soil, and from there develop the new household bio-energy strategy for developing countries. Probably also with the charcoal business, they have the whole infrastructure intact and can easy change from charcoal to alternative biomass like chopped wood or pellets from agriculture and forestry related waste.

For more information about this cooking stoves project see:

W. Bogale, Published in the Ethiopian Journal of Education and Sciences, Vol 5, No 1 (2010)

Mr. Bogale has been working in Ethiopia, and has developed a carbonizer that would allow a small land-holder to make charcoal out of agricultural residues and then dry and package that charcoal either for their own use, or for sale.

His paper has a very good table that helps make the case for the carbonizer, extruder system and it is available online through African Journals Online:

the abstract:



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