[Gasification] Charcoal, soil and tars. O.T.

doug.williams Doug.Williams at orcon.net.nz
Sun Apr 17 16:25:22 PDT 2011

Hi Dr Karve,

In your response to Rolf  you suggest:

The tars from a gasifier contain a group of chemicals called
pyroligneous acids, which can be degraded by soil micro-organisms. So,
they should serve as food for the soil microbes.I do not know what
happens to the rest of the tar in the soil.

In my reply and suggestion to Rolf that you can use tar a briquette charcoal binder, it was in the context of using the char for a combustion application, not soil enhancement. It would seem a waste of effort to briquette fine chars then break them down again for soil applications. I was advised of an instance only last week, of a char trial that killed the crop, so it's not as simple as one might think. 

I am working in association with a number of people who are designing chars for soil applications, and there is some evidence that charcoals made for cooking and heating, are less appropriate for soils, excluding those used for carbon reefs for sequestration, as these are not for soil improvement. There is also evidence that chars need selection for soil types, and as a discussion, better suited to one of the other forums facilitated by Tom Miles.

Doug Williams,
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