Re: Biochar, charcoal and wood ash #biochar #charcoal #ash

Stephen Joseph

Dear Goodfellow

The best biochars for  soils are made agricultural residues and animal manure (combined both is best).  For improved cation exchange capacity keep your temperatures to around 450C.  If u make in a pit or mound like traditional charcoal making you will be in the best temperature range.  We encourage people to use low emissions kilns but sometimes you have to start with low cost traditional methods until you can establish a market for the biochar.
From an economic standpoint you are best to  make  biochar by mixing straw manure with wood residues that come from sustainable tree production  (or even better from woody weeds from invasive species) sell the lump charcoal for fuel and use the  fine biochar material in a fertiliser mix.  Mike has lots of good recipes for this.

Having worked in parts of Africa for 30 years I am against charcoal production from cutting trees from native forests.


On Wed, Apr 15, 2020 at 2:47 AM Environmental Industries <licusociety@...> wrote:
Dear Mike,

Thank you for the tip on Biochar processing from hard charcoal.

In Malawi, garlic is produced in mass by small and commercial farmers. Unfortunately, tumeric not a favored crop in Malawi. There is very little produced for subsistence purposes mostly. The harvest time for garlic is from May to August annually.

For consistent supply you need to book with the farmers before the rains. Rains start in October and end in March.

Thank you for your time.

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 6:33 PM mikethewormguy via < wrote:

The first batch of char that I used many years ago was hardwood lump charcoal.  I bought 10 bags of lump charcoal a nd a friend and I hammer milled it in his garage.  We screened the milled char material and used the different fractions in my garden.  NOTE  I would not recommend hammer milling charcoal in a  closed space unless one desires to coat every bit of inside surface with char dust. The experience was memorable enough that we only did it once.

What is the state of garlic or turmeric production in Malawi ?   


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