[Gasification] Bio-Char

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. 
    Dan Dimiduk 
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
Thermogenics  Inc. 

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