[Gasification] Biochar - Carbon Negative?

Luke Gardner lgardner at wwest.net
Thu Apr 21 01:44:47 MDT 2016

Thank you.
Sometimes the big crayons draw a better picture that conveys more than a 
number 2 pencil.
It would seem as though burning biomass and claiming carbon negative due to 
the bio char effect, only becomes true after the biomass is allowed to be 
regrown, until then, its as though it’s a loan on being carbon negative.  It’s 
a borrowed Carbon Negative.   Once the biomass is regrown, then it would 
seem ethically correct to repeat this act to once again to  achieve more 
carbon carbon negative fruitful activity.  One could even go as far as to 
say... this is a good thing- ramp up the volume!  But the reality exists 
that the time spent while repaying the carbon debt  "lag"  we spend this 
time with more carbon in the air that there would have been, had the burn 
not happened to start with.  It becomes a bit of a paradox.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Doug Williams
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 4:35 PM
To: Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Biochar - Carbon Negative?

Hi Luke and Peter,

On Wed, 20 Apr 2016 10:19:11 -0700
"Luke Gardner" <lgardner at wwest.net> wrote:

>I think its safe to say that we collectively agree that interfering
>with the long cycle like we have is bad.   The question I pose is
>this.  By how many years is it acceptable to short circuit the short cycle?

Your long and short cycle explanation is very easy to understand and
will be appreciated by many who have English as a second language.
Those on this Forum are already committed to finding ways, so all
comments fall on fertile ground.

Cranking up short term cycle  biomass consumption of say
flax,hemp,straws,etc, would be useful if the clothing industry was
motivated to use more Viscose type materials, along with cotton and
wool. Polyesters seem to be the greatest waste of fossil carbon, and
clothing manufactures need greater insentives to use more "natural type
fibre". If you consider how long a good quality garment would last, it
extends the annual cycle out for quite a few years.

On Wed, 20 Apr 2016 14:33:15 -0500
"Pete & Sheri" <spaco at baldwin-telecom.net> wrote:

> Well, from what I read, about 25% of all petroleum goes into non-fuel
>uses;  eg: plastics.  To the degree that they don’t biodegradable, doesn’t
>that put a LOT of carbon bearing material back into your “long cycle”,
>taking it totally out of the “short cycle”?

>From what we see of plastics in the sea, excluding Landfills, they
degrade at varying rates probably right back down to carbon molecules
again. This may be speeded up once into the food chain via fish, then
filter feeders,then plankton, and then bacteria. From reports that I
have watched on TV, this could happen within ten years extending out,
depending on the grade of plastic. I'm seeing a lot of plastics now
that crumble within a year if left in the Sun.

>Is't the whole forest thing in a state of equilibrium already, except
>for CHANGES in forestation practices?

Not sure what you mean by equilibrium. Rain forest is being cleared at
an ever increasing rate, replaced with rape and palm oils. We need
bio-diversity if we want to return to using plant derived medications,
plus plants that have stood the test of time.

I cannot speak for Foresters, but it appears that by selective seed and
cloning practise trees can grow faster and bigger. New Zealand’s Radiata
Pine is an example I know of first hand. My own interest is to see the
evolution of a "Super Tree", but need to clone myself first!

Doug Williams,

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