[Gasification] Bio-Char

Erin Rasmussen erin at trmiles.com
Wed Dec 4 12:24:53 CST 2013

I think biochars need to be used carefully, to take advantage of the
strengths of the material.  It's a useful co-product of other processes that
can deliver heat (and or power) and even though it's a small part of the
total energy available from biomass, it can be a product that can provide a
lot of benefits.    

Some strategic uses of biochar:

- Urban water filtration: takes advantage of the adsorption capacity and use
a smaller fraction of biochar in a larger filter system and strategically
capture pollutants that are from roof run-off and other drainage systems.

- Animal Husbandry: Feed small amounts of char to help grow healthier
animals.  Biochar can help ruminant animals get more nutritional value from
their food and can decrease methane and other emissions from pastures, and
barns. Keeping animals healthy avoids a cascade of current problems in the
food supply chain.

- Agricultural:  use it together with compost to retain nutrients in the
composted material and help deliver those effectively to the plants while
improving soil carbon.

-  Remediation:  Current remediation practices are costly and inefficient
(often involving a lot of trucks removing soil) - using biochar with compost
and other techniques has allowed soil scientists and others to dramatically
improve polluted and degraded soils in place - at fraction of the cost of
other methods.


These are just the applications that leap to mind.  There are more good
ideas out there - Ithaka Journal keeps a fairly comprehensive list:

Erin Rasmussen

erin at trmiles.com 

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