Thursday, 28 March 2013

Biochar related publication from Malaysia...

Characterization of Local Mill Rice Husk Charcoal and Its Effect on Compost Properties
Rice Husk Charcoal (RHC) is a by-product of rice processing mills which can be found in very large quantities in these mills. This industrial waste is largely unutilized, causing environmental pollution especially in the state of Kelantan. In order to increase its utilization, RHC was characterized and investigated for its potential in enhancing the composting process. Physico-chemical properties of RHC such as pH, nutrient content, ash content, CEC, adsorption kinetics, surface area, functional groups, surface structure and pore sizes were studied. The composting treatments were carried out by mixing 4% (wt/wt) and 6% (wt/wt) RHC with organic substrates and with no RHC amended as control. Parameters such as daily temperature, CO fux, nutrient content, pH, moisture and total microbial count were measured during the composting process. Results showed that RHC is a highly alkaline material (pH 8.9) with a carbon content of 16% (wt/wt dry basis), CEC of 17cmol kg-1 soil, BET surface area of 401 mg g-1 and a methylene blue adsorption capacity of 38.8 mg g-1. The presence of C=O carboxyl-C, ketones and ester, aliphatic C=H, C=C benzene ring and C-H aromatic hydrogen suggests that RHC mainly comprises amorphous char, a random mixture of thermally altered molecules and aromatic polycondensates.The addition of RHC to organic matter accelerated the composting process through higher decomposition rates due to higher microbial population at the thermophilic stage with RHC acting as a bulking agent, as well as higher moisture and nutrient retention during composting. N losses were found to be lower with RHC composting

Also published, some initial findings coming from the MPOB BEK work...

Production and physico-chemical characterization of biochar from palm kernel shell
Related reports...

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Northen Vietnam biochar program update

North Vietnam Villagers Develop Strategies to Help Combat Global Warming and Improve Household Health; Results of First 18 months Of Village Biochar Program 

Dr Stephen Joseph has provided a detailed report on his work in Northern Vietnam, first reported in my March 2012 post. The 10 page report can be downloaded from here...

(... for group members, at least. Please let me know if you have any access problems - I can forward a copy)