Friday, December 5, 2008

Biocharcoal helps check global warming

DOWN TO EARTH - SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MAY 15 2008
Biocharcoal helps check global warming
ESHA SEKHAR

.........According to N Sai Bhaskar Reddy of the Geoecology Energy Organization, Hyderabad, using biochar is cost effective. Farmers can be trained to make charcoal from the biomass available in their fields and surroundings, he adds. During the traditional slash and burn method used in India, a lot of “accidental charcoal” is produced. However, not enough charcoal is produced since the process is not controlled, he says.

Reddy also refers to “charcoal fertilizers” as a novel way of improving the fertility of all kinds of soils. This prevents wasteful burning of millions of tonnes of biomass in the open fields after harvesting. Charcoal should be supplemented with soil microbes, vermi compost, mulch, micro-nutrients, sand, gypsum, fertilizers, silt, etc, he says.

Using biochar is not restricted to the Amazon basin. People have been using biochar knowingly or unknowingly in many parts of the world. The need is to create more awareness about the technique, says Reddy.

4 comments:

Erich J. Knight said...

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!

Modern Pyrolysis of biomass is a process for Carbon Negative Bio fuels, massive Carbon sequestration,10X Lower Methane & N2O soil emissions, and 3X Fertility Too.
Every 1 ton of Biomass yields 1/3 ton Charcoal for soil Sequestration, Bio-Gas & Bio-oil fuels, so is a totally virtuous, carbon negative energy cycle.

Charles Mann ("1491") in the Sept. National Geographic has a wonderful soils article which places Terra Preta / Biochar soils center stage.
I think Biochar has climbed the pinnacle, the Combined English and other language circulation of NGM is nearly nine million monthly with more than fifty million readers monthly!
We need to encourage more coverage now, to ride Mann's coattails to public critical mass.

Please put this (soil) bug in your colleague's ears. These issues need to gain traction among all the various disciplines who have an iron in this fire.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/soil/mann-text

I love the "MEGO" factor theme Mann built the story around. Lord... how I KNOW that reaction.

I like his characterization concerning the pot shards found in Terra Preta soils;

so filled with pottery - "It was as if the river's first inhabitants had
thrown a huge, rowdy frat party, smashing every plate in sight, then
buried the evidence."


Biochar data base;
http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/?q=node

I also have been trying to convince Michael Pollan ( NYT Food Columnist, Author ) to do a follow up story, with pleading emails to him

Since the NGM cover reads "WHERE FOOD BEGINS" , I thought this would be right down his alley and focus more attention on Mann's work.

I've admiried his ability since "Botany of Desire" to over come the "MEGO" factor (My Eyes Glaze Over) and make food & agriculture into page turners.

It's what Mann hasn't covered that I thought should interest any writer as a follow up article and your transition team

The Biochar provisions by Sen.Ken Salazar in the 07 & 08 farm bill,
http://www.biochar-international.org/newinformationevents/newlegislation.html

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, New Zealand and Australia.

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

The International Biochar Initiative Conference Sept 8 in New Castle;
http://www.biochar-international.org/ibi2008conference/aboutibi2008conference.html

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.

Michael Pollan is well briefed about Biochar technology, but did not include it in his 8000 word, "Farmer & Chief" NYT's article to President Obama, but I'm sure Biochar will be his 8001th word to you.

Erich
540 289 9750

Erich J. Knight said...

Below is an important hurtle that has been 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.

Hope to hear from you soon

Erich J. Knight
540 289 9750


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.

Tks.

        
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

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