[Market-farming] Charcoal Production - Was: Loss of Soil Carbon After Tilling

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Fri Oct 30 07:34:27 EDT 2009


Allan

No I do not.  I am trying to write up some proposals to prove that its  
a viable substitute for certain agriculture amendments but I am way  
out of my element and am looking for contacts to work with.

I saw your post on one of the biochar forums and would be curious to  
hear what sort of feed back you got.  I've been looking for folks but  
not getting much in return.  They all seem focused on the developing  
world.

In a nut shell I have a 45 acre dry gravel pit that has just be  
reclaimed.  The soil is no longer stable, being a mix a clay, shale,  
and orginal farm soil overburden and I am looking at ways to bring it  
back into Ag use.  Right now its seems the best way to go is cover  
crops and animals, cover crop, mow and subsoil...repeat.

Biochar looked interesting, especially given our Emerald Ash borer  
problems here.  Its estimated that our county alone will lose 10 to  
12% of ALL trees (which happen to be ash) and we need to have a couple  
options on what to do with that organic matter.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com
rstewart at zoomtown.com



On Oct 29, 2009, at 10:41 PM, Richard Stewart wrote:

> Tom
>
> That does not mean making biochar is not impossible.  There are lots  
> of thoughts on the matter including several commercial ventures.  It  
> is possible to produce char without the polluting gasses in the  
> quantities discussed here.
>
> Again, I am no expert on this and have not yet tested anything.
>
> http://news.cnet.com/greentech/?keyword=biochar
>
> Richard Stewart
> Carriage House Farm
> North Bend, Ohio
>
> An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855
>
> (513) 967-1106
> http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com
> rstewart at zoomtown.com
>
>
>
> On Oct 29, 2009, at 1:20 PM, TMcD wrote:
>
>> --- On Wed, 10/28/09, Wiener, Benjamin L CPT NG NG FORSCOM <benjamin.l.wiener at us.army.mil 
>> > wrote:
>>
>>> Tom, what do you intend to use as a
>>> heat source to char the wood that doesn't use carbon?
>>> Nuclear? solar? hydro?  At best, in the most efficient
>>> designs, 40% of the carbon used in the process remains as
>>> biochar.  then add in the fuel costs for transporting
>>> the wood and then distributing the char, and then you can
>>> see that it really isn't as "green" as you imagine.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thank you very much for replying to my post.  I had no sooner  
>> posted my first message when I realized that someone would probably  
>> mention the CO2 emissions from the fuel used to heat the wood.  I  
>> can't argue with that. Also, I've since found out that the fuel  
>> used is often produced from the pyrolysis of the wood, so the CO2  
>> emissions from the fuel burning actually do come from the wood  
>> itself.  This pretty much reduces my post to a technically true  
>> statement from a narrow point of view that fails to be helpful to  
>> anyone.
>>
>> Sorry if I have wasted anyone's time.  I'll do way better in the  
>> future, I promise.
>>
>> Thanks to Richard Stewart and Ben Wiener for their very astute  
>> responses.
>>
>> Tom
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>
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