[Gasification] Cool Planets and biochar

Mark Elliott Ludlow mark at ludlow.com
Mon Mar 9 01:12:07 CDT 2015

Hi Rex,
In an ordinary situation (sans mycorrhizae) where the soil is drying-out,
it's easy to see where the char would attempt to maintain an equilibrium
with its environment by transporting water to the surrounding soil matrix.
It's much tougher for me to visualize the admix of minerals being
transported as part of this same phenomenon. Their vapor pressure in this
situation would be much lower.
If the soil and the char were saturated with water one would expect
transport of minerals, given that the molal concentration of target minerals
in the soil moisture was less than that in the saturated pores of the char.
But as a vapor phase transport? I think the minerals would remain in the
Best regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: Gasification [mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On
Behalf Of Rex Zietsman
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2015 10:19 PM
To: 'Doug Williams'; cranio4u at hotmail.com
Cc: gasification at bioenergylists.org
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Cool Planets and biochar


We have a gentleman in our village who has a biochar business. Pore size in
the biochar is apparently important though I have not pried into why this is
so. My suspicion is that it has something to do with the uptake and
"holding" of minerals so that fertilizers can be absorbed. As the water
partial pressure reduces as the soil dries out, the pores slowly give up
their water and the minerals at the same time. At least, I think that this
is the case. I once worked on a polymer plant where this polymer could
absorb something like 5x its own weight in water when immersed (read when it
is raining and the soil is sodden). It then gives up the water as the soil
dries out. A wonderful product for arid regions.

What my friend does differently from Cool Planet is that they add
mycorrhizae to the biochar. This kick starts the improvement in soil health
tremendously. If you go and research what mycorrhizae do, you will see that
they improve the delivery of minerals and water to plant roots. A
mycorrhizae count will tell the agronomist the state of the soil's health.

Have fun!

Rex Zietsman
Principal Consultant
Mobile:   +27 82 457 7311

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Williams [mailto:doug.williams.nz at gmail.com]
Sent: 08 March 2015 09:06 AM
To: cranio4u at hotmail.com
Cc: gasification at bioenergylists.org
Subject: [Gasification] Cool Planets and biochar

Hi Bren,

It was nice to hear from you and a nice surprise.

My Web Page is www.fluidynenz.250x.com  The latest File is the "Shasta
Gasifier and Charmaker" of my visit at the end of January.

Tom Miles the Consultancy I work with in Oregon is   www.trmiles.com 

Tom owns these Specialist Group Forums and they are linked to his other
gasification at bioenergylists.org      

You can also search out Terra Preta which Tom also runs a Forum for, so
plenty to research.

I will also send a couple of Papers I received last week on biochars, but
remember why I said about the differing production methods affecting
outcomes, because few researchers have any real appreciation regarding the
differences between char groups.

This article below was sent only this week to me, and what they say about
the benefits are basically true. Read the comments after the article as it
offers some interesting other uses for charcoal.


Hope this is of interest,

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