Carefreeland at aol.com
Carefreeland at aol.com
Wed Dec 4 09:26:12 CST 2013
Hi Tom, all,
Biochar has it's place growing plants. Like everything else, there is
no one consistent solution for soil problems. It takes testing and
balancing soil to the environment and plants grown to achieve success. Sometimes it
seems more art than science because it is not always easy to collect
complete data in a real world environment. Weather and climate are always
changing. Where soils are the most in need of improvement, the cost and
availability of lab tests are often prohibitive. Trial and error experiments may
often be the best solution. Why cook charcoal from lower quality and green
feedstocks when composting can make better use of it?
While the study, experimentation, and use of biochar for plants is
worth while, it should not be a distraction from the best large scale use for
The guaranteed best use for char is to replace rock coal dug from the
ground. Even if you dispute climate science theories, you cannot dispute:
total environmental destruction, depletion of coal reserves, heavy metal and
radiation leaks, methane releases, toxic ash and coal dust piles,
dangerous occupations, and collapsing mine tunnels.
On the positive note, char can be made from waste, reducing methane
and CO2 releases, reducing landfill space. Even the production of char can be
energy producing. Also gases and valuable chemicals can be produced. This
is the way of the future. I don't think we will find large accumulations of
fossil hydrocarbons outside our planet anytime soon.
Maybe this helps sum it up.
In a message dated 12/4/2013 9:54:44 AM Eastern Standard Time,
linvent at aol.com writes:
Bio Char has limited and spotty benefits to the soil. If the soil is
deficient in zinc, adding a carbon plus other materials other than zinc merely
dilutes the zinc and hurts the plant, other nutrients suffer similarly.
Nitrogen is another victim of the use of bio char as the carbon in it depletes
the nitrogen while it is being consumed and converted by the microbes in the
The low cation exchange of bio char or compost also limits the nutrient
releasing to the plant.
It is unfortunate that low carbon conversion gasifiers or pyrolyzers may
have to dispose of a major energy source, fixed carbon, in the use of bio
char, as it represents some 30% or more of the input energy as fixed carbon
to a conversion system.
Leland T. "Tom" Taylor
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