Sunday, 15 April 2012

Grow More Food & Fight Climate Change: Black Revolution

A few things can be high-lighted from this link to Re-char...
  • nice little video on biochar
  • Jason is an great example of young entrepreneurial talent, emerging from the biochar community
  • they seem to be getting great results in tropical soils
  • kickstarter seems to have worked well for their small-scale funding needs - I wonder if small project funding is possible in SEA?

Rice husk charcoal marketing from Vietnam

For those interested in biochar market development and pricing, Tom Miles has posted the following at

“We producing rice husk charcoal in large quality want to find buyer. Our product can be formed in every shape as we make it as powder.
Please let us know if you want to have sample. Our EXW price fix at USD 450/ton. main port Haiphong”

There is currently no established market yet for biochar in SEA so pricing can either be set by international demand (the target of the marketing effort, above) or by other existing market values for the products of pyrolysis. The value of charcoal in SEA can vary a lot depending on,
  • type of biomass used (& its location and value)
  • biomass pre-processing (cost of drying, grinding, chipping, palletizing, etc)
  • pyrolysis production system (& the quality of the resultant charcoal)
  • charcoal form & post-processing (lump, natural, powdered, briquette, pellet)
  • target market (retail, fossil fuel offsetting, industrial carbon such as reduction processes, activated carbon, specialist markets and applications).
I suggest that the most conservative valuation you can currently place on biochar (when you want to value it for commercial scale project economics) is to value it for is energy content. Charcoals should have similar CV to coal, so I suggest that the least you could ever value biochar is the equivalent price /tonne for local coal. In Malaysia, this is ~US$200 /T.

I believe its value to agriculture and the environment will prove to be much higher in the future but this is still to be demonstrated in the field(s).

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Indonesian biochar application research - Recent publication

The Effect of Biochar on the Growth and N Fertilizer Requirement of Maize (Zea mays L.) in Green House Experiment

Widowati, W. H. Utomo, B. Guritno, L. A. Soehono


Greenhouse experiments were carried out to study the effect of biochar and other organic amendment (Chicken Manure, CM; and City waste compost, CW) using on the growth and N fertilizer requirement of maize. The first experiment was carried out to study the effect of biochar application to maize growth, and then continued to study the residual effect of biochar. The second experiment was carried out to study the effect of biochar application on nitrogen fertilizer requirement. The results show that the first season of maize biomass of organic amendment of treated soils did not significantly different from no organic amendment. However, organic amendment improved soil fertility status, especially increasing C-organic, N, K and CEC. The biomass of the second season maize of biochar of treated soil was higher compared to the other treatments. The second experiment shows that biochar application decreased N fertilizer requirement. To produce 3.23 Mg ha-1 biomass, it required 90 kg ha-1 N for 15 Mg ha-1 CM biochar treated soil, and 160 kg ha-1 for the non treated soil.