Thursday, August 20, 2015

Biochar Making Process

Hello, today I am going to give the knowledge about biochar making. I think someone knows about this and someone doesn’t know. Anyway I... thumbnail 1 summary
Hello, today I am going to give the knowledge about biochar making. I think someone knows about this and someone doesn’t know. Anyway I will give a full guide from an introduction of making biochar to usage of them and also their benefits.

Actually biochar is a name for charcoal when it is used as a soil amendment. This biochar also make by pyrolysis as other charcoals. But the difference is they are not fully burnt. The biomass is not directly burn in fire. Instead of that they are burn in a barrel and fire gives around it. Actually ash cannot be available form this method. Let’s look at about the history of biochar usage.

The history of biochar is going beyond more than 2000 years. Terra preta soil is firstly discovered in Latin Americans countries like Brazil in 1870 by James Orton and his crew. They saw large black color patches in this gray and acidic soil. And it was very fertile. In 1879 a scientist examined the soil and find decomposed organic materials. So this was the turning point. Whether it create by human activities or not? Because, the natural soil in those countries were very poor in nutrition. But terra preta soil can be absorb and keep more nutrients than other soils.


Normal soil                              Terra preta

Further discoveries found some clues of ancient civilization in this area. It gave strength to the idea that it is created by human activities. By doing more experiments, the result was very fascinating. Actually terra prata soil can be given four times bigger yield than in normal soil. In 1966 scientists wanted to find what the reason behind that is. They found key ingredient “carbon”. Terra preta soils contained up to 9 per cent carbon, compared with 0.5 per cent in surrounding soils. So this was the reason to dark color of this soil. High-carbon char changes the chemical behavior of the soil, facilitating its retention of nutrients such as calcium, thereby improving growing conditions. It is not yet clear whether carbon was added accidentally or deliberately by the people.

Anyway this biochar now has been world famous. Specially in organic agriculture they are used extensively.

What are the advantages of biochar?

1.    They can absorb the toxic materials in the soil. So prevent the absorption by the plants
2.    Detoxification of insecticide and other chemicals
3.    Increase soil air circulation and make more soil colloids
4.    Increase the activity of microbes and enhance the nutrients that can be absorbed
5.    Resistant to diseases form the soil
6.    Increase the root formation
7.    Increase the water retention ability in the soil. It helps to survive in drought periods
8.    Water purification by filtering and avoid toxic mixing to ground water

When you add 1Kg of biochar to the soil, it will be taken 400 years to ba 1/2 Kg. So you should not need to add season to season like fertilizer adding.

How to create?

First you have to create a structure like below picture. There are three barrels. See the pictures and make them as same. No need to get special dimensions. But structure should be like this. The main purpose of this structure is to control oxygen.

Biocahr making tunnel

After creating these structures, they should be arranged like below. Dried Wood chips are put in to the bottom barrel and make a fire. other barrels are kept on like in the picture.

biochar making

After few hours we can check either wood chips are burnt or not. If it is ok we can stop the fire and cover the barrel with a lid for a 10 minute. After that get all of them out and spread some water to avoid the burning of them. If not they could be ash. That is all about biochar making now you can apply them to your field or flowers. Thank you. Your comments are welcome.