“If you could continually turn a lot of organic material into biochar, you could, over time, reverse the history of the last two hundred years…We can, literally, start sucking some of the carbon that our predecessors have poured into the atmosphere down through our weeds and stalks and stick it back in the ground. We can run the movie backward. We can unmine some of the coal, undrill some of the oil. We can take at least pieces of the Earth and – this is something we haven’t done for quite a while – leave them Better Than We Found Them.” Bill McKibben
PHLUSH researcher Jeff Holiman summarizes biochar’s benefits and its contribution to TPS as follows: “Biochar can be a beneficial for a variety of reasons: potential to provide habitat for soil bacteria and fungi, improve water retention, requiring less irrigation, improve cation exchange properties, binds up some heavy metals (Cu, Ca, Zn), sequesters carbon, etc… It really depends on what type of feedstock is being charred and the conditions of pyrolysis. Because of its affinity for nutrients, it is important to “charge” it with compost. Dr. Ralf Otterpohl et al. outline in Terra Preta Sanitation, acid fermented human excreta and bio-waste is perfect for adding nutrients and life to biochar. In this process waste is transformed into substrates that can further build life in the soil. Compared to aerobic decompostion (thermophillic compost), this process avoids immediately losing much of the carbon in the form of carbon dioxide gas.”
Biochar 1-page introductory overview with good illustrations.
Biochar Origins, Markets, Products and Processes. Interesting slide presentation by T.R. MIles.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Biochar: implications for agricultural productivity. Jessica Sparkes and Peter Stoutjesdijk Research by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. Technical Report 11.06 December 2011
￼IBI Developing Country Biochar Systems Survey: Methodology and Results. Prepared for the World Bank 11 May 2011 By Kelpie Wilson IBI Project Development Director.
SeaChar.Org The Seattle BioChar Working Group is a grass-roots, 501c3 nonprofit organization. SeaChar.Org’s global mission is to develop, promote and share positive tools for carbon negative living. 603 Stewart Street, Suite 906, Seattle, WA 98101. See also Facebook page.
BioChar in Schools Makes available How to make the Dome School Biochar Stove , a six-page illustrated instruction manual from a primary school in Cave Junction, Oregon. Click on the link below to download the file. Air Terra http://www.airterra.ca/ Calgary based not for profit
Prairie Fires & Earth Mounds: The Ethnoecology of Upper Chehalis Prairies Linda Storm [Published in the Washington Native Plant Society journal Douglasia 28(3):6-9 – Summer 2004] Evidence that Mima Mounds in Thurston County WA are anthropogenic.
Biochar kiln video. 7-min vid of high school students building and using a biochar kiln
Lists and online groups
Discussion lists on Biomass Cooking Stoves, Gasification, & Terra Preta
A new growth industry? Biochar could enrich soils and cut greenhouse gases as well. The Economist. Aug 27, 2009.
According to the YS Biochar Initiative, Biochar is sold as a soil amendment for up to $500 per ton or $12.50/50 lbs plus shipping