Visit the International Biochar Initiative Visit the Bioenergy Lists Visit Dr. Paul Taylor's 'The Biochar Revolution' site Biochar for Environmental Management: Science, Technology and Implementation Visit Dr. TLUD - be inspired! The Aprovecho Sustainability Education Center - home of the famous 'stove camp' Clean Cooking Catalog - most comprehensive catalog of cookstoves on the internet IWA Tiers of Performance Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy's GEO portal Read about 'Charmaster Dolph's' biochar exploits Learn about important biochar research in Oz Biochar Industries - biochar for sale in NSW Carbon farming (eg. biochar) for direct action? The secret of El Dorado - a must see The Japan Biochar Association The Ithaka Institute Illinois Biochar Backyard Biochar Finger Lakes Biochar Aqueous Solutions - Biochar for water filtration Kon-Tiki: The democratisation of biochar production Dr Paul Taylor's youtube channel The Kon-Tiki in pictures Dr Hugh McLaughlin's NextChar biochar resources Digital Commons - explore free full-text articles Dr Bruce Logan's portal for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) Hemp for Supercapacitors - carbonisation of hemp bast fibres (into carbon nanosheets) for supercapacitors Hemp for Supercapacitors - the video Biochar activated by oxygen plasma for supercapacitors 'Biochar activated by oxygen plasma for supercapacitors' - additional info in the free online patent application 'The secrets of El Dorado viewed through a microbial perspective' - ties together the importance of electron transfer in the biochar substrate -relates to previous MFC and supercapacitor research The Geobacter Project - maybe used for an inoculant for the biochar-compost fuel cell A quick overview of phytoliths Comparative analysis of the microbial communities in agricultural soil amended with enhanced biochars or traditional fertilisers Effects of Enriched Biochars Containing Magnetic Iron Nanoparticles on Mycorrhizal Colonisation, Plant Growth, Nutrient Uptake and Soil Quality Improvement A Combination of Biochar–Mineral Complexes and Compost Improves Soil Bacterial Processes, Soil Quality, and Plant Properties
Encyclopedia of Life Appropedia - Appropriate Technology projects and more Plants for a Future database - awesome search and extensive links Practical Plants - built on top of Plants for a Future database but rarely updated Permies: a big crowd of permaculture goofballs Permaculture Global - permaculture projects from around the world Milkwood Permaculture The Food Forest StreetBank Ripe near me Resilience - Articles about sustainability The Australia Institute Beyond Zero Emissions Degrowth Wiki about renewable energy - very extensive though still in beta Climate Debate Daily Hemp for Victory - the original video Office of Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis (SA) Industrial Hemp Association of South Australia A diverse look at food security and sovereignty Lots of interesting links to go with 'The Carbon Farming Solution' by Eric Toensmeier Vineyard Agroecology - lots of links and research papers A great general resource for agroecology UN: Only Small Farmers and Agroecology Can Feed the World Australian Institute of Agroecology ResearchGate - open access to scientific literature Grow your own nutrition - Brix An extensive medicinal and culinary herb reference Another handy medicinal and culinary herb reference A carbon-based photovoltaic (PV) cell Iota - a low-powered/low carbon footprint virtual/cryptocurrency for goods and service exchange in IoT - decentralised distributed ledger in the 'Tangle' - not hackable by a quantum computer ZapGo - a startup on the forefront of C-ion technology for energy storage solutions Suaoki G500 - a well-designed solar generator - woud be even better with Carbon ion tech! Allpowers 21W solar generator with battery - great value! (just add graphene) The future of broadband internet The Level Market | Relief & Humanitarian Supplies - heaps of awesome tech and room for improvement
The Flat-Tiki 'Carbon' V2. Modifications made to V1 (see below): 2mm hot rolled mild steel has been upgraded to 3mm HW350 'weathering' 'corten' steel - which doubled the cost but is not pickled, can be left assembled outside in the weather for a semi-permanent installation (gains a rusty patina but will not rot to the core) and has a higher tensile strength (450-550 ts) . So, the kiln should last much longer without any warping issues compared to V1. The key/slot system has been simplified from 3 keys/slots to 2 keys/slots per panel side - seems to assemble much more easily compared to V1. The keys are now more robust - longer and wider. Slot size is more generous in width with some wiggle room to allow easy key insertion and handle the increased width of 3mm steel. The panels have been reversed in assembly with the double folds now on the outside - this enables an anchor point for using star pickets to stabilise the panels during assembly. Assembly requires that the kiln is surrounded by soft ground in order to anchor the star pickets (using a sledge hammer) but the surface beneath the kiln needs to be level so that all panels lock in correctly. This can be achieved using a 2mm hot rolled steel 1200mm x 1200mm base (approximately 23kg). The base will also increase the temperature of the fire by reflecting heat back into it and also create better insulation for the baking process following a burn. Prototyping begins on May 1, 2018. I will probably prototype for 3 months and if all goes well, produce a couple more kilns and provide a rental service for $150/kiln per day with free weekly demonstrations (weather permitting).
The Flat-Tiki 'Carbon' V1- a hexagonal flat-packable biochar kiln. Panels (13.5kg each) can be transported in the back of a station wagon, trailer or moved around in a field. Perfect for vinyeyard use. Volume is 1438L. Built with 2mm hot rolled and pickled steel (not recommended - 2mm is too thin - the kiln warped at the base and pickling offers no increase to tensile strength plus it uses an acid bath which is environmentally toxic).
'Catch and store energy', 'Obtain a yield' and 'Produce no waste'. Forestry waste sun dried over Spring, processed and ready to burn!! Previous feedstock dried in a drying shed. The small stuff gets hand-processed, the medium stuff processed with a battery-powered circular saw (hopefully next-gen will have a graphene or graphene-like substance battery storage) and the large stuff processed with a medium-sized chainsaw (preferably Stihl - love that fossil fuel! Wood used in an indoor combustion heater for space heating over the cooler months).
Final/third snuff layer - I added another 20cm of soil on top, spread out evenly. I also added soil around the base, mainly at the panel edges to prevent spontaneous recombustion since there were minor air leaks (an issue with flatpacked designs). The soil at the base will also insulate the biochar during the baking process which should last at least one day.
Inoculation baths - built from IBCs that have had their top cut off (subsequently used for wicking beds) and outlet (on the inside of the IBC) siliconed with fibreglass flywire mesh for coarse filtration. Remove as much of the snuff layer as possible and transfer to a Permafert midden (see below). The remainder biochar mix can be shovelled into a wheelbarrow and transferred into one of these baths. Water added (eg. from a rainwater tank off the roof of a drying shed) to a level near the top then add whatever you want depending on what plants you want to grow in what conditions (in winery terminology, it's called the 'terroir') eg. Neutrog GoGo juice (probiotic bacteria), Nutritech Platform (fungus -apprently 95% dormant, waiting for 'Response' produced in Oz by a Kiwi), Seasol/Microtech Organics liquid kelp (or any liquid kelp), Nutritech NPK 'Hotmix' (a high temperature produced liquid compound made of NPK - better than your standard NPK), worm castings (from a worm farm - preferably yours), worm wee (from a worm farm - preferably yours), rock dust (more minerals), molasses (bacteria food), Nitrogen/urea, indigenous micro-organisms (IMO) from a soil sample from the site that you want to put the Permafert to grow plants, etc. Soak brew for a couple of days, stirring a couple of times each day, then siphon off the liquid into a bucket and bucket/transfer into the second empty inoculation bath ready for the next batch of biochar mix (thereby using less additional ingredients for the next batch). In other words, you will alternate between the two baths for each consecutive batch and will top up with water and additional ingredients. Double the number of inoculation baths if the volume from the burn is above approximately 600L (which is the case for the 'Carbon'), so two baths will become four baths. After siphoning off the liquid, tip over the bath to empty contents then shovel inoculated mix into a wheelbarrow and transport to a Permafert midden. The advantage of using an inoculation bath V adding the biochar mix from the kiln straight onto the Permafert midden and using a weed sprayer backpack for liquid ingredients is a higher rate and deeper penetration of ingredient inoculation (in particular microbes) into the 3D biochar matrix.
Permafert midden - similar to that used by the original Amazonian Indians to make Terra Preta de Indio. Add Jeffries veggie soil, granular bentonite clay, biochar - from the kiln PLUS whatever was in the inoculation bath OR if not using an inoculation bath, whatever can be poured into a large weed sprayer backpack (say 15 litres) and sprayed onto the midden eg. Neutrog GoGo juice (probiotic bacteria), molasses (bacteria food), Seasol (or liquid kelp - for minerals), worm wee (from a worm farm - preferably yours), nitrogen/urea (from the 'ol piss bucket), Nutritech NPK 'Hotmix' (a high temperature produced liquid compound made of NPK - better than your standard NPK), Nutritech Platform (fungus -apprently 95% dormant, waiting for 'Response' produced in Oz by a Kiwi), rock dust (from the local quarry - minerals), indigenous micro-organisms (IMO) from a soil sample from the site that you want to put the Permafert to grow plants AND add (without the weed sprayer backpack and in addition to what was in the inoculation bath): earthworms (from your local supplier), worm castings (from a worm farm - preferably yours), aged manure (eg. cow, chicken, pig, horse, goat, etc.), grape marc (from a local winery - full of minerals, nutrients, bacteria and fungus), etc. Once again, what you add to your Permafert midden depends on which plants you want to grow (and what they need to grow) and the 'terroir'. I also add organic kitchen scraps to the midden and dig them in to add organic matter. You could also use a separate worm farm for the scraps which has the benefit of worm castings and worm wee as byproducts which can then be added to the midden (see above). When I add the contents of the ol' piss bucket, I make a depression at the top of the midden and pour in the contents so that it distributes through the centre of the pile. Now is a good time to water down the pile if the moisture content is too low in order to dilute the urea and keep the midden moist and turn every day or two - this will distribute the midden contents more evenly and ensure moisture gets to the bacteria, fungus, earthworms and the general 'soil food web' that you are trying to kickstart. If the midden gets too large to enable easy turning, I make another one. If that gets too big, I make a third one and so on...
*Taylor, Dr. Paul (ed.), 'The biochar revolution: Transforming agriculture and environment', 2010, Global Publishing Group, Australia
*Woods, William I. (ed.) et al, 'Amazonian Dark Earths: Wim Sombroek's Vision', 2009, Springer, USA
* Lowenfels, Jeff and Lewis, Wayne, 'Teaming with microbes: A gardener's guide to the soil food web', 2006, Timber Press, USA
*Lowenfels, Jeff, 'Teaming with nutrients: The organic gardener's guide to optimizing plant nutrition', 2016, Timber Press, USA
*Author unknown, 'Great garden formulas: The ultimate book of mix-it-yourself concoctions for your garden', 2006, publisher and place unknown
*Reddy, Rohini, 'Cho's global natural farming', 2011, SARRA, South Korea
Many more to mention plus google searches for 'soil' and 'compost' will reveal lots of links...
Fenugreek (front) and Dill (back) seedlings using biochar in a fancy potting mix with sphagnum moss and peat. Note that biochar has a higher water holding capacity (WHC) than the original potting mix. Adding it increases the overall WHC. I also add a low concentration of Seasol and GoGo Juice to the irrigation water from my 15L weed sprayer backpack in order enhance root growth and potting mix microbial activity.
Closed loop for traditional farmers in SE Asia
Harvest bamboo/rice straw/rice husk-->chop up bamboo/dry bamboo/rice straw/rice husk feedstock-->cook taro on TLUD gasifier/cogeneration via biochar kiln->add the biochar to the animal feed (+ use biochar for water filtration)-->feed to water buffaloe/cow/pig-->livestock shits->take the manure/biochar complex and add to biodigester (biochar also reduces smell)-->collect the gas for cooking/electricity-->take the biodigester effluent/byproduct and add to soil-->grow the taro/rice/bamboo-->harvest (back to the start)
Can use microwave tech from Kiwis on biomass eg. agricultural waste, and produce a Graphene-like substance to replace expensive and less sustainable Graphene.
Could hemp grow in the desert?
The idea I am proposing involves growing acacias, coppicing them, making biochar, creating a biochar fertiliser called Permafert (inc. Response), digging swales slightly off contour (to avoid 'wet feet'), adding subsurface irrigation to bottom of swales, adding the fertilser to the bottom of the swales on top of the irrigation, growing hemp (using an appropriate cultivar) then using the hemp for more biochar, housing (using hempcrete and replacing the lime with biochar: 'hempcharcrete'), food (hemp seed, hemp protein, hemp oil), biodiesel (as a last resort) and many other uses. I would also like to trial biochar filtration for groundwater from a bore and investigate water quality as a result of the filtration - used for subsurface irrigation of the hemp plants. Irrigate when the swales have a below optimal moisture content determined by swale cores and moisture meters. Start with a 1 hectare trial. Anyone interested?