⚉|⚇|⚉ Bathroom Stall Prophets

The Stalls of Higher Thought

Biochar: Improves Soil Fertility, Captures Carbon.

with 2 comments

Biochar is charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass. The resulting charcoal-like material can be used as a soil improver to create terra preta, and is a form of carbon capture and storage. Charcoal is a stable solid and rich in carbon content, and thus, can be used to lock carbon in the soil. Biochar is of increasing interest because of concerns about mitigation of global warming being caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

bspcommentThis could be one of several farming methods that help save our world from the effects of excess carbon in our atmosphere. How much energy is required to produce the Biochar?

Advertisements

Written by mattliving

February 15, 2009 at 8:29 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Biochar Soil Technology…..Husbandry of whole new orders of life

    Biotic Carbon, the carbon transformed by life, should never be combusted, oxidized and destroyed. It deserves more respect, reverence even, and understanding to use it back to the soil where 2/3 of excess atmospheric carbon originally came from.

    We all know we are carbon-centered life, we seldom think about the complex web of recycled bio-carbon which is the true center of life. A cradle to cradle, mutually co-evolved biosphere reaching into every crack and crevice on Earth.

    It’s hard for most to revere microbes and fungus, but from our toes to our gums (onward), their balanced ecology is our health. The greater earth and soils are just as dependent, at much longer time scales. Our farming for over 10,000 years has been responsible for 2/3rds of our excess greenhouse gases. This soil carbon, converted to carbon dioxide, Methane & Nitrous oxide began a slow stable warming that now accelerates with burning of fossil fuel.

    Wise Land management; Organic farming and afforestation can build back our soil carbon,

    Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, ( living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.

    Biochar, the modern version of an ancient Amazonian agricultural practice called Terra Preta (black earth), is gaining widespread credibility as a way to address world hunger, climate change, rural poverty, deforestation, and energy shortages… SIMULTANEOUSLY!
    Biochar viewed as soil Infrastructure; The old saw, “Feed the Soil Not the Plants” becomes “Feed, Cloth and House the Soil, utilities included !”. Free Carbon Condominiums, build it and they will come.
    As one microbologist said on the list; “Microbes like to sit down when they eat”. By setting this table we expand husbandry to whole new orders of life.

    Senator / Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar has done the most to nurse this biofuels system in his Biochar provisions in the 07 & 08 farm bill,

    http://www.biochar-international.org/newinformationevents/newlegislation.html

    Charles Mann (“1491”) in the Sept. National Geographic has a wonderful soils article which places Terra Preta / Biochar soils center stage.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/soil/mann-text

    It’s what Mann hasn’t covered that I thought should interest any writer as a follow up article;

    Biochar data base;

    http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/?q=node

    NASA’s Dr. James Hansen Global warming solutions paper and letter to the G-8 conference, placing Biochar / Land management the central technology for carbon negative energy systems.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf

    The many new university programs & field studies, in temperate soils; Cornell, ISU, U of H, U of GA, Virginia Tech, JMU, New Zealand and Australia.

    Glomalin’s role in soil tilth, fertility & basis for the soil food web in Terra Preta soils.

    Given the current “Crisis” atmosphere concerning energy, soil sustainability, food vs. Biofuels, and Climate Change what other subject addresses them all?

    This is a Nano technology for the soil that represents the most comprehensive, low cost, and productive approach to long term stewardship and sustainability.

    Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.

    Cheers,

    Erich J. Knight

    Shenandoah Gardens

    540 289 9750

    Erich J. Knight

    February 16, 2009 at 1:58 am

  2. Hopefully all the Biochar companies and academic efforts will coordinate with Dr. Jeff Novak’s soils work at ARS;
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/people/people.htm?personid=24434

    Amazing utility of fungi, (doesn’t involve biochar, but demonstrates the exponential power of fungi husbandry)
    Paul Stamets – Bioremediation with Fungi

    Biochar Studies at ACS Huston meeting;

    Most all this work corroborates char soil dynamics we have seen so far . The soil GHG emissions work showing increased CO2 , also speculates that this CO2 has to get through the hungry plants above before becoming a GHG.
    The SOM, MYC& Microbes, N2O (soil structure), CH4 , nutrient holding , Nitrogen shock, humic compound conditioning, absorbing of herbicides all pretty much what we expected to hear.
    578-I: http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2008am/webprogram/Session4231.html

    579-II http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2008am/webprogram/Session4496.html

    665 – III. http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2008am/webprogram/Session4497.html

    666-IV http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2008am/webprogram/Session4498.html

    Research:
    Proliferation of Microorganisms in Compost by Addition of Bamboo Charcoals (Shuji Yoshizawa, Michio Ohata, Satoko Tanaka)

    SEM photograph of microorganism in bamboo charcoal.
    In Japan, charcoal and compost of biomass waste have been used for a long time as soil improvers in farms. Wood and bamboo charcoals have pores of several microns or several ten microns which are suitable for microorganisms grown for composting the biomass waste.
    It was observed as shown in the photograph (left) taken by scanning electron micrograph (SEM) technique that the microorganisms proliferated on the charcoal powder and in the pores of the charcoal.
    http://acer.meisei-u.ac.jp/doc/acernews2/index_en.html

    Johannes Lehmann recent work;
    Mycorrhizal responses to biochar in soil – concepts
    and mechanisms
    Daniel D. Warnock & Johannes Lehmann &
    Thomas W. Kuyper & Matthias C. Rillig
    http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/lehmann/publ/PlantSoil%20300,%209-20,%202007,%20Warnock.pdf

    Transect graph showing plant benefits decline beyond to 30% Char;
    Submitted by ursine on Wed, 2008-08-06 01:11

    Box Plots Showing Effect of Composition Across Three Transects
    Figure 1. Box Plots Showing Effect of Composition Across Three Transects

    Nice Crop Pictures;
    http://www.biochar.info/biochar.biochar-overview.cfml

    Education
    Here, you can freely register your biochar soil amendment trials in a standard format, CharML (Charcoal Markup Language), browse the registered trials and reuse parts of them to create new protocols.
    http://terracarbona.org/chardb/index.php

    Company News & EU Certification

    Below is an important hurtle that 3R AGROCARBON has overcome in certification in the EU. Given that their standards are set much higher than even organic certification in the US, this work should smooth any bureaucratic hurtles we may face.

    EU Permit Authority – 4 years tests
    Subject: Fwd: [biochar] Re: GOOD NEWS: EU Permit Authority – 4 years tests successfully completed

    Doses: 400 kg / ha – 1000 kg / ha at different horticultural cultivars

    Plant height Increase 141 % versus control
    Picking yield Increase 630 % versus control
    Picking fruit Increase 650 % versus control
    Total yield Increase 202 % versus control
    Total piece of fruit Increase 171 % versus control
    Fruit weight Increase 118 % versus control

    There is list of the additional beneficial effects of the 3R FORMULATED BIOCHAREU DOSSIER for permit administration and summary of the results from 4 different Authorities who executed different test programme is under construction
    I suggest these independent and accredited EU relevant Authority permit field tests results will support the further development of the biochar application systems on international level, and providing case evidence, that properly made and formulated (plant and/or animal biomass based) biochars can meet the modern environmental – agricultural – human health inspection standards and norm, while supporting the knowledge based economical development.

    We work further on to expand not only in the EU but in the USA as well. My Cincinnati large scale carbonization project is progressing, hopefully the first industrial scale 3R clean coal – carbon plant will be ready in 2009.

    Sincerely yours: Edward Someus (environmental engineer)
    HOMEPAGE 3R AGROCARBON: http://www.3ragrocarbon.com

    http://www.terrenum.net
    EMAIL 1: edward@terrenum.net
    EMAIL 2: edward.someus@gmail.com

    Also:
    EcoTechnologies is planning for many collaborations ; NC State, U. of Leeds, Cardiff U. Rice U. ,JMU, U.of H. and at USDA with Dr.Jeffrey Novak who is coordinating ARS Biochar research. This Coordinated effort will speed implementation by avoiding unneeded repetition and building established work in a wide variety of soils and climates.
    http://www.EcoTechnologies.com

    October 28, 2008
    U.S. Department of Agriculture to Evaluate CQuest™ Biochar
    Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement Signed
    The objective of the biochar research is to quantify the effects of amending soils with CQuest™ Biochar on crop productivity, soil quality, carbon sequestration and water quality. Field trials will involve incorporation of biochar in replicated field plots and on-farm strip trials with monitoring of crop yields, soil quality, water quality, emissions of greenhouse gasses, and soil carbon sequestration. Laboratory studies will involve amending soils with biochar and quantifying changes in soil quality and microbial activity during incubations.

    Biochar will be shipped from Dynamotive’s West Lorne facility to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) locations in Iowa, South Carolina, Idaho, Washington, and other ARS locations. Initial results are expected during the 2009 growing season.
    http://www.dynamotive.com/en/biooil/biochar_tests.html

    My standard TP / Biochar Propaganda:
    Biochar Soil Technology…..Husbandry of whole new orders of life

    Biotic Carbon, the carbon transformed by life, should never be combusted, oxidized and destroyed. It deserves more respect, reverence even, and understanding to use it back to the soil where 2/3 of excess atmospheric carbon originally came from.

    We all know we are carbon-centered life, we seldom think about the complex web of recycled bio-carbon which is the true center of life. A cradle to cradle, mutually co-evolved biosphere reaching into every crack and crevice on Earth.

    It’s hard for most to revere microbes and fungus, but from our toes to our gums (onward), their balanced ecology is our health. The greater earth and soils are just as dependent, at much longer time scales. Our farming for over 10,000 years has been responsible for 2/3rds of our excess greenhouse gases. This soil carbon, converted to carbon dioxide, Methane & Nitrous oxide began a slow stable warming that now accelerates with burning of fossil fuel.

    Wise Land management; Organic farming and afforestation can build back our soil carbon,

    Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, ( living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.

    Biochar, the modern version of an ancient Amazonian agricultural practice called Terra Preta (black earth), is gaining widespread credibility as a way to address world hunger, climate change, rural poverty, deforestation, and energy shortages… SIMULTANEOUSLY!
    Biochar viewed as soil Infrastructure; The old saw, “Feed the Soil Not the Plants” becomes “Feed, Cloth and House the Soil, utilities included !”. Free Carbon Condominiums, build it and they will come.
    As one microbiologist said on the TP list; “Microbes like to sit down when they eat”. By setting this table we expand husbandry to whole new orders of life.

    Erich J. Knight

    February 17, 2009 at 12:23 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: