Sunday, 7 September 2014

the Biochar Journal

Ithaka Institute have been busy. Here is a link to a new biochar journal that is in beta test mode this month. Hans-Peter has pulled together a great team of experts from around the world. Check out the list of existing and planned articles. It launches with an article by Kathleen Draper on biochar paper… exciting stuff.

My previous report on some of their work can be seen here...

I have not reported here on my recent visit to the Ithaka Institute and a commercial operation in Switzerland as these focused mainly on temperate climate agriculture. But do get in touch if you are interested. 

Friday, 5 September 2014

New biochar related article from Paul Olivier in Vietnam

Biochar is frequently discussed in this broad ranging, entertaining and enlightening article.

An Unconventional Way Of Raising Pigs, Chickens and Cows

Four levels of waste transformation are adapted and applied to the raising of pigs, chickens and cows. Farmers ferment waste into feed (Level 1). They feed fecal matter to the larvae of the black soldier fly, they feed larval residue to red worms, and they fertilize their crops primarily with vermicompost (Level 2). They house pigs, chickens and cows on a soft mesophilic bedding (Level 3) sprayed each day with probiotic liquids. They add biochar from top-lit, updraft gasifiers to the fermented feed and to the bedding, and they use syngas for household cooking (Level 4). The bedding has no odor. There are no flies. At no point in their lives are antibiotics or any other pharmaceuticals administered to pigs, chickens and cows raised in this unconventional way. Just about all of the behavioral and physiological needs of animals and poultry are met. Instead of inhumane confinement or free-range, we propose a third way: confinement in a clean, spacious and odorless setting that accords comfort and dignity to animals. High levels of productivity are achieved, not by means by over-crowding, antibiotics, growth hormones or chemical fertilizers - but by lining up multiple, interdependent waste transformation cycles that all reduce cost and generate income. These waste transformation technologies can even be extended to include the recycling of bone, human waste and biodegradable household waste. Through the wise and efficient transformation of waste, farmers buy nothing from feed, fertilizer, pharmaceutical, and fuel companies. Strong and self-reliant, farmers no longer depend on the fragile infrastructure of global trade. Large international corporations that enslave small farmers through the sale of unsustainable inputs are shut out, along with traders peddling cheap subsidized products that devastate local economies. In this way a lot more jobs are created and a lot more money is made at the local level. The social upheaval caused by the migration of young people to large cities is eliminated. Poor people, especially poor women, are empowered as never before. Food production increases. Food security, along with national security, is enhanced. Trade figures improve. Human health is not endangered. The environment does not suffer. And neither do pigs, chickens and cows.

Dr. Paul A. Olivier and Dr. Nguyen Van Ket and Todd Hyman
Empowering the Poor Through Waste Transformation

Paul Olivier's work in Vietnam with TLUD stoves has been covered previously in this website...
10 Aug 2013
Dr Paul Olivier visits Malaysia - regional TLUD development. The following comments are Co/ Dr Paul Olivier, cut from a recent post to the "Improved Biomass Cooking Stoves" discussion list (you may need to sign up to ...

04 Mar 2012
If you are interested in biomass stoves (TLUD) or the multiple applications for small scale biomass gasification then I highly recommend a review of Dr Paul Olivier's work in Vietnam with rice husk biomass. His 10 page report ...