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View Diary: The Establishment of Soil Carbon as the Universal Measure of Sustainability (22 comments)

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  •  I've wanted to play with biochar for a while, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    but what's missing is a simple "how to:"

    1) How much per square foot? How to till it in - into the top x inches? As an x inch layer y inches down? What size pieces? etc.

    2) Some simple designs for homebrew small scale pyrolysis devices. Instructions for same, what are decent feedstocks and what aren't, etc.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 12:57:29 PM PDT

    •  the literature says (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      5 - 15 metric tons per hectare, or up to 7 US tons per acre.  The feedstock is also an important consideration, as wood has a higher charcoal value than herbs.
      One way that i've seen suggested is to dig a row, 6 inches deep, fill it in, cover it, and then plant to the side of it. That way roots will arrive to the char laterally from both sides.
      It is possible for biochar to elevate the soil pH above what certain plants prefer.  Try to keep your soil at pH 6.5

    •  Home Made, Low Tech, Clean Biochar; (0+ / 0-)

      One of the best home made TLUD (Top Lit Up-Draft) stove designs to make biochar. TLUDs control air flow so must have porous/loose/dry feedstock, the primary air must travel through. They burn like a match, the flame protects the wood from oxygen combustion to ash as the hydro-carbon gas burns and the char remains;
      JRO; TLUD / Retort hybrid;
      http://www.youtube.com/...

      The simplest can-in-can retort;
      http://holon.se/...

      •  Umm, Erichj . . . (0+ / 0-)

        that second link is dead.  And the error message is in a Scandinavian language.  I'm afraid you're dealing with Americans here; very few of us are linguistically competent outside of English or maybe Spanish.

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