[Gasification] Biochar et al.

Jeff Davis jeffdavis0124 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 8 23:09:35 CST 2013


I really hate to ask this but how does one make rock dust? Kind of 
sounds like clay. Could I dig clay out of a pond and spray it on my 
compost pile?

What's your thought on Hugelkultur?


On 12/07/2013 11:15 PM, David Murphy wrote:
> Joe, you might find it of interest to look up John D. Hamaker on the 
> net.  He was an American Mechanical Engineer who turned his mind (and 
> subsequently devoted his life) to improving soil by the addition of 
> rock dust.    He saw global warming as a precursor to the next ice 
> age.  He saw an ice age as essential refurbishment of the earth's 
> resources.     His argument has a lot of good solid logioc to it and 
> it's worth adding to your store of knowledge on the general topic.     
> If he's proven right, then we're in a lot of trouble !    If you want 
> to study it further I have a DVD I made from a tape he produced I 
> could let you have.
> Rock dust is a storehouse of minerals, all of which are essential to 
> growth.    First to plants and then to the animals which eat them - 
> including us humans.   Rock dust is insoluble to water but not to 
> enzymes which are produced by soil benevolent bacteria - bacteria 
> which are present in soil with good OM and in compost.     Many 
> readers of this string will be aware of it's benefits when used as 
> fertiliser.
> Seeking to remedy climate change purported to be caused by 
> anthropomorphic global warming is an extraordinarily complex 
> question.   And seeking to make a contribution by sequestering carbon 
> as charcoal is in itself another complex range of issues.     The 
> charcoal must be first ligneos carbon - wood - and it is probably 
> almost as good to lock up some of that carbon in timber for building 
> houses or making furniture.
> I'd promote the first step by making the sequestration of the carbon 
> as part of a broader program of building building soil organic matter 
> OM.   This includes animate carbon as well as vegetative.     At least 
> get it up to 5% to plough depth, say 10 inches (250mm) as a minimum, 
> aiming at 20%.   That in itself locks away a lot of carbon, but of a 
> different nature, in that it's available to contribute to plant 
> growth, growth without the need for chemical or artificial fertilisers.
> Every 1% increase in soil OM (world wide) would be a lockup of around 
> 30 billion tonnes of carbon in  a world which generates now (probably) 
> 20 million tonnes annually.    Just for the record, the biggest 
> emitter of CO2, bigger than every other agency combined - every 
> factory, airplane, car truck tractor etc and so on - is the soil of 
> the earth as it respires.    So, the more land we put down under crop 
> to feed the increasing billions, the more CO2 we produce and put into 
> the atmosphere.
> So, it's a race against a proven runner - so called mother Nature - 
> and she's a proven stayer.
> On the other hand, some of the wise owls are now saying it's not CO2 
> at all, but PCB's causing the damage.   Maybe they're right - who 
> knows _for sure ?_    Nobody I'm aware of despite what they say.    
> It's all conjecture, some of it soundly based, but still conjecture 
> relying on historical info compiled over a geological blink.
> Using charcoal and zeolite together is a bit like wearing belt & 
> braces with self-supporting trousers.     It certainly works !
> The easy and less costly way is to just get the OM into the soil and 
> plant stuff to grow and suck up all the CO2 and N.
> But whatever you do, don't stop the good work.
> David Murphy.

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