slowly but surely biochar is been mastered. this podcast deals with how it amends soil carbon.
I have been on to this since 2007 and really since 1990 when i researched zeolites. This led directly to solid crystaline acids and recognition that activated carbon is part of it all. That opened an obvious commercial prospect made impossible bt the dierct coast of necessary field trials and i set it aside.
Thus is was pleasently surprised that we had at least two thousand years of direct field trials in the Anazon in 2007. We now have fifteen additional years of applications investigation by industry players all reassured by those known field trials in the rainforest.
Today we can assert.
1 Best soil carbon content is around 7% This is not necessarily biochar and normally is not at all.
2 I have thought out a useful serties of working protocols that can easily be implimented with hardware at hand:
FEEDSTOCK; All forms of chopped dried plant material. minus one inch even for wood chips. We have the hardware and this keeps hte energy cost down.
KILN: We try too hard. The ancients used corn root pads and stalks to form mud kilns like beehives. This was also used for charcoal making using larger chunks of wood. Today it is simple enouth to feed a side mounted steel drum having a side opening around a foot wide. Once the fire is started, one shovels in a covering of chips and keep doing this until the drum has topped up with a ash cap. Then flood in order to nicely float the carbon.
BLENDING AND CHARGING: The chart is not convenient to use yet. Add in a one to one soil blend at least and then run it all through a simple trommal. The rotation helps break down the brittle carbon while mixing. Nutrient can also be added here as it all makes a superior application system for your soils.
HILL PLANTING. To conserve product and to optimize effect, use planting hills as much as possible or even row application.
What i just described is wonderfully scalable but certainly runs a somewhat open burn but still much subdued against a fully open burn to destruction.
The wood chips is important. Tree takedown produces four wood streams:
a sawn wood or saw logs
b Three inch branch pieces as mushroom logs
c split wood for fire wood
d Wood chips from all else.
A local wood processing operation is today easy to set up as the industry has responded with ample harware. A hundred acres of woodland produces around 15000 tons of wood fibre per year. A third to half of that can be wood chips or then reduced to at least a thousand tons of biochar if not a lot more. This provides a lot of useful soil dressing and amendment.
This turns out to be a lot larger than you could imagine.
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