Re: Charging Biochar with Urine - Hole in Ground - Simplest Method #urine


I have done a small application at my farm of char charged with urine.  I'm not sure how long before I see some results.  I pee in 14 liter pails of processed to 1/8 minus char.  I would say it's correct to assume there would be no leaching, because there is absolutely no smell.


David R Derbowka                   owner

Passive Remediation Systems Ltd.
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On Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 1:48 AM d.michael.shafer@... <d.michael.shafer@...> wrote:

I like the idea (not surprisingly) and especially the idea of peeing on the hole nightly.

As long as the char goes in first, I don't think that you have to worry about leaching. The whole point of combining the biochar with traditional urine fertilization is that the char ought to hold the N and other valuable minerals from the pee. 

I think that you are going to have to get the whole family out there peeing if they are planting any reasonable amount of corn. You might want to suggest that they collect pee for a few weeks in advance (especially if they can evaporate it some).

The idea of peeing on the holes multiple times is a good one. I have been told by some that you cannot "load" char by, for example, soaking it in water mixed with NPK. Despite that, we like to add as much pee as possible to our char, dry it in the sun and then add more on the notion that if you dry off the water, you leave the good stuff behind and ought to be able to add more. I am sure that there is a limit set by total cation locations, but if your pee is rich enough to max them out, you may not need to be peeing on your holes personally.

You might suggest to folks that they look to their diets when preparing pee. You tend to pee out excess stuff, so if you can get them to eat lots of dark greens, for example, you might be able to up the amount of X, Y or Z that they are peeing out.


Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart

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On Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 8:31 PM Kevin McLean <info@...> wrote:
I'd like to know the absolute simplest method to charge biochar - a method that will be simple to train and implement. My goal is not perfect but "good enough".  (A Michael Shaferism.)

Sun24 hopes to partner with the Catholic and Anglican Churches in Africa to train smallholder farmers to make and use biochar. Most farmers do not have easy access to manure.   In Uganda, a maize planting is in a few weeks.  I want to test this with several farmers.
Please give your thoughts on this charging method:
1.  Dig a hole in the ground.
2.  Put the char in the hole either as a batch or by regularly adding small amounts.
3.  Urinate daily on the char.
4.  If the farmer has access to manure, it can be mixed in at a 50:50 ratio.  

I hope Steps 1-3 can stand on their own.  In the upcoming maize planting we will only charge with urine.  Step 4 especially needs vetting.

Trainers can easily be trained on this method and families can easily learn and implement it.

Christa Roth recommended that the hole not be outside to avoid leaching.  If the hole is outside, a mound should be built around it to keep surface water from flowing into it.  Is leaching a significant concern?

Must the char be crushed to a certain size?  Any other thoughts on effectiveness or improvements?  

Thank you,

Kevin McLean, President
Tampa, Florida, USA
+1 (813) 505-3340


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