---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul Olivier
Date: 5 May 2017 at 13:42
Subject: on biochar and how its made
Biochar in a fermentation mix provides surface area for the formation of biofilm by fermentation microbes, and it enhances the efficiency of the fermentation process. When poultry and animals eat fermented biomass containing biochar, biochar helps to prevent the volatilization of N-compounds from fecal matter. When biochar is incorporated into animal bedding, biochar helps to prevent the escape of N-compounds from urine that flows into the bedding. When poultry and animals eat fermented feed containing biochar, biochar provides surface area for their gut microbes and enhances poultry and animal growth. When black soldier fly larvae eat the fresh fecal matter of poultry and animals containing biochar, biochar provides surface area for their gut microbes and accelerates larval growth. When red worms eat larval residue containing biochar, biochar provides surface area for their gut microbes and accelerates red worm growth. When vermicompost is formed in the presence of biochar, the surface activation of the biochar takes place. Vermicompost is rich in humic and fulvic acids that effect biochar activation. Vermicompost formed in the presence of biochar is, undoubtedly, the finest fertilizer that exists.
When vermicompost with biochar makes its way into the soil, biochar retains moisture and provides surface area for the proliferation of AM fungi that shuffle nutrients to plants. Biochar provides surface area to many other beneficial soil microbes, such as N-fixing and P-solubilizing microbes. In this context, the growth of fruit and vegetables can increase anywhere from 30% to 400% relative to soil fertilized with chemical fertilizers. As indigenous earthworms ingest biochar and transport it deep down into the soil, biochar is made available to additional groups of soil microbes that enhance the growth of deep-rooted plants such as orchard trees. The idea of putting biochar directly in the soil is somewhat short-sighted, since biochar can fulfill so many important functions before it makes its way into the soil. Biochar should always be understood in terms of its cascading multi-functionality.
Furthermore, the idea of making biochar in dedicated kilns where all of the gas and heat get wasted is also short-sighted. The demand for high-grade heat is enormous, and insofar as possible (even in developed countries), high-grade heat should not be produced from fossil fuels, electricity or the combustion of woody biomass. As one cooks a meal or boils water, one should be making biochar. As one dries, parches or roasts agricultural products, one should be making biochar. As one fry-cooks waste biomass or co-cropped biomass into feed, one should be making biochar. As one distills alcohol or essential oils, one should be making biochar. As one keeps houses and greenhouses warm in winter time, one should be making biochar. As one boils bone to make soup broth, one can make an extraordinary phosphorous-enriched biochar using pellets made from biomass and finely ground boiled bone derived from a previous boiling of bone. One can make broth and bone char/biochar at the same time. Bone char/biochar can be incorporated into a fermentation mix to enhance the fermentation process as well as the nutrient value of the fermented feed and all that cascades down from it. The list of such combined processes goes on and on.
Since biochar adds value at each step in a cascade, since biochar is worth more than the biomass from which it is derived, one has high-grade heat at a cost less than zero. High-grade heat is a by-product of making biochar, and biochar is a by-product of making high-grade heat. Why focus only on the production of high-grade heat as in the direct combustion of biomass? Or why focus only on the production of biochar in biochar kilns? In one simple process, preferably a low-cost batch process, one has both.
In conclusion, we should try to view biochar from the point of view of its cascading multi-functionality, and we should make that biochar in combined heat and biochar systems.
Paul A. Olivier PhD
27/2bis Phu Dong Thien Vuong
Louisiana telephone: 1-337-447-4124 (rings Vietnam)
Mobile: 090-694-1573 (in Vietnam)
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