September 26, 2008 at 3:56 am #370273SandiMember
Sandi, Did you mix it into compost or compost teas before adding to your garden beds?
Yes, bazman, I’ve added it to the compost pile and turned it through! It wasn’t a huge amount but I’ll add it to each batch of compost I make from now on…. Thanks. 🙂
Off to follow your other link now.September 26, 2008 at 4:22 am #370274SandiMember
Me again! :shy:
Great article bazman- impressed with those swales too!
The Peter Cundall article is actually on that site too! It makes for interesting reading also… (and I didn’t have to buy the magazine!) 😆
Sorry, don’t know how to make that a live link! 😐 I should learn! I know there is a tutorial somewhere!October 7, 2008 at 3:58 am #370275kiwimamaMember
Does anyone know where I could buy some biochar in Melbourne? I will be “breaking in” my new allotment this weekend, and I’d be keen to try it.
🙂October 7, 2008 at 4:43 am #370276
Sorry I don’t know where to buy it, could try a good nursery, be careful it’s not BBQ coal as it has adding chemicals sometimes.
I’m trying to source smoke free biochar makers/cookers that you can cook on, might try to get a bulk deal if they ever get back to me.October 7, 2008 at 5:43 am #370277sunflowerMember
Is that the flanastove, Bazman? I’ve had no response to my email seeing info as yet. I need a small smokeless set-up for the backyard or the neighbours panic and complain.October 7, 2008 at 6:34 am #370278WozMember
I’ve been using Garden Charcoal from Bunnings and giving it a good soak in Fish Emulsion and Seasol a la Peter Cundall for pots and the likes. Not the cheapest option but for small areas not too bad.
WozOctober 7, 2008 at 6:41 am #370279
Yes, Robert Flanagan’s flanastove, one day he might get back to me.October 7, 2008 at 6:51 am #370280
Hi, bazman – my son has just bought 5 acres half of which is a wooded area hit several times by fire, so there is a lot of charred wood around. Will this fit the bill? I haven’t read the links yet but did read Peter Cundall’s article. My main question is – are any gases/pollutants going into the atmosphere at all? Where are commercial makers sourcing their timber?October 7, 2008 at 7:16 am #370281
Commercial makers are using green rubbish or farm trash, the off cuts from pine forests, sugar cane trash. The system called pyrolysis uses the gas produced and burns it off or uses the flammable gas to create electricity.
These guys have a test plant in Sydney.
Re: Charred wood, gather it up, smash it into small bits and add it to your compost, don’t just add it to your soil.October 7, 2008 at 7:28 am #370282
Thanks, bazman. Have since read the links, but I’m still uncertain if the “burning off” of the gas leaves any residue in the atmosphere. By the by, the info on the South American soils is fascinating stuff (I’m a frustrated anthropologist/archaeologist:metal:October 7, 2008 at 7:51 am #370283
but I’m still uncertain if the “burning off” of the gas leaves any residue in the atmosphere.
Depends on how it’s done, you can flare most of the gases in a drum burn and most of the carbon is left as Biochar. When biomass rots down most the carbon is released back into the atmosphere as C02 if the off cuts from a renewable pine forest were charred and turned into energy and then the biochar turned into the soil the C02 is then held in place in that soil for 1000’s of years.
This can also be done to the world food crops trash, rice husks, sugar cane, corn trash, wheat trash, not only would you get C02 locked up but those farm soils would need less fertilisers and would retain water better plus you get massive reductions in N20 (nitrous oxide) which is 100’s times worst as a green horse gas, this gas is released in massive amount on large scale farms using nitrogen fertilisers.
This is a little text written by a friend Sean K. Barry
Charcoal in soil (biochar) is not decomposed by microorganisms and does not release CO2. It also does not release Methane-CH4 when it is in an anaerobic state under water. Charcoal is not soluble. Charcoal is not used as a source for nutrients by plants, nor by soil microorganisms as an energy source like many “decomposable carbohydrates are. Charcoal is highly resilient in soil. Charcoal found in Terra Preta soils has been carbon-dated as far back as 7000 B.P. The half-life of charcoal in soil is estimated in millennia.
Other forms of biomass carbon, carbohydrates do decompose and gas off as CO2 and CH4, as you suggest. But, conversion of biomass into charcoal and investment of that charcoal into the soil will last in that soil for many 1000s of years. It also can change the properties of that soil and make it more fertile. Using charcoal made from recent growth plant feedstocks and charcoal-in-soil (biochar) as a carbon sequestration mechanism is a very good way to remove CO2 quickly from the atmosphere, sequester it for a very long time, and improve degraded soils.October 7, 2008 at 7:54 am #370284
Some more reading if your interested.October 7, 2008 at 8:05 am #370285
thanks, that answered my question :tup:October 7, 2008 at 11:27 am #370286Kookaburra DreamingMember
Thanks for the link to the Peter Cundall article, Sandi. I take back what I said about lack of detail.
Our wood burning stove can be set to let very little air in and we often have a fair bit of charcoal in there in the mornings. I’ve started putting that into the compost. Next winter I might save it up and use it as Peter suggests for my sweet corn.
PNovember 3, 2008 at 12:29 am #370287
Here’s some more good info on Biochar
Amidst growing documentation of global warming and its dangers, a simple method of carbon sequestration has been quietly demonstrating potential to play an integral role in the fight against climate change.
Far from the spectacular engineering of most sequestration methods or industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) capture systems, focus instead lies on very simple ingredients: waste organic matter, a kiln and chunks of charcoal. Interest in how this can not only fight climate change, but also soil degradation, soil toxicity and poor crop yields, continues to build rapidly around the world.
Professor Tim Flannery told the gathering that even if we shut down every coal plant and stop all emissions of greenhouse gases from industry worldwide, the dangerous warming of our planet would continue for centuries. â€œThat is the point at which you realize that biochar is really, really important,â€ he said.
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