[Gasification] Biochar et al.

Robert Deutsch robdeutsch at online.com.kh
Sun Dec 8 23:22:50 CST 2013

Rock dust is a by-product of rock crushing plants, I think granite is
preferred dust for Ag use (could be wrong on that point).


From: Gasification [mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On
Behalf Of Jeff Davis
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 12:10 PM
To: Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Biochar et al.



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.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.bioenergylists.org/pipermail/gasification_lists.bioenergylists.org/attachments/20131209/2430049e/attachment.html>

More information about the Gasification mailing list