Date   

Biochar for Livestock Odor Control

Tom Miles
 

We have been working with agencies to determine if incentive programs can be used for biochar used for odor control in poultry, beef and other livestock operations. What documented information exists about how much biochar is needed with litter or manure management and what the impact is on odor control? Does odor reduction correlate with a measured property of biochar like surface area?

 

Thanks


Tom

 

Tom Miles

Executive Director

U.S. Biochar Initiative

"Promoting the Sustainable Production and Use of Biochar"

www.biochar-us.org

@USbiochar

Facebook US Biochar Initiative

USBI Logo - Copy (420x176) 

 

 


Re: Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

Hugh McLaughlin
 

Hello K, et al.

The Soap Test serves several purposes - it identifies materials being sold as biochar that are just fines or crushed material originally intended as charcoal for cooking. Cooking charcoal needs tars and volatiles to assist in lighting the material to get the carbon hot enough to initiate char gasification - the red color of the carbon directly reacting with the air on the surface of the char.

For char that is not being bought, the soap test serves to identify material that is headed for the soil (passes) and material that might be used as "brands" in the next burn cycle because of the easier lighting aspect discussed above.

Biochar that fails the soap test may inhibit plant growth, especially if there is a burnt or tarry odor, or it may just have water soluble sugars that dissolve into the groundwater - becoming soluble organic carbon, which is readily used by soil microbes. Unfortunately, the same microbes use any available nitrogen in the groundwater, which will impact plant growth until the microbes consume the excess soluble organic carbon.

For makers of biochar, failing the soap test means the biochar did not get hot enough as you made it to drive off the tars. It also helps to sort the batch into good versus recycle.

It is a fast and easy guide that helps with the biochar maker's learning curve.

- Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE

PS: I have attached a pdf of Chapter 8 of the 2011 book "The Biochar Revolution". It has additional tests for biochar properties. The guidance is ten years old and some advice may be outdated, but it is a start. I wrote it, but I will not defend it if it clashes with newer guidance. It is ten years old, as am I.

On Monday, April 5, 2021, 9:30:49 AM EDT, K McLean <kmclean56@...> wrote:


Hugh, my colleagues in Africa have tried the "Soap Test".  After crumbling the char from three stone in their hands, they can wash the black off their hands with just water.  Here is a video.  Char from my backyard fire pit also passed the soap test.  What does this tell us?  The char should work as biochar?  Most of the tars have burned off?  Should we do other simple tests?  Thanks.

On Fri, Apr 2, 2021 at 9:03 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Hello Many Different Groups, with many different priorities,

Ron has kicked several issues into my court to see if I will take the bait. I will to the extent of offering my thoughts, but I will decline the offer to convince the world I am right. You can lead a horse to water - the rest is up to the horse and whether it is sufficiently thirsty.

When it comes to biochar quality - it is easier to assess the material after it is made and cooled down than to predict/indemnify it based on how it was made or deserves to be good. It is like food: It is good unless it is bad for one of many reasons. The most basic criteria for biochar is the "Soap Test" - good char will not leave a black coating on the hands that will not be removed by cold water (mostly removed - it is a qualitative criteria and requires experience with other biochars. If soap is required to remove the biochar from one's hands, that is because of tars and the biochars is inferior and/or charcoal.

Good biochar does not have any significant burnt odor - or taste! - and wets out when dropped into water after being ground into a powder. Oh - if is friable - easily crushes into smaller particles and even collapses into a powder. Additional pluses, but not necessary, are a silvery reflection.

And, any contamination entering with the biomass will remain in the biochar - unless actual analytical measurements prove the contamination is not longer present. Hard to do, expensive, and not justified when one looks at the exhaustive list of clean biomass sources.

As for handles and letter combinations - I don't care and will not get into the fray.

My favorite disclaimer is BOHICA - which is obvious to those who have encountered it and better kept a secret for the others.

- Hugh

On Friday, April 2, 2021, 12:21:45 AM EDT, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:


Two lists  and cc Kevin and  Hugh Mclaughlin

See inserts below.


On Mar 31, 2021, at 8:37 PM, K McLean <kmclean56@...> wrote:

Stoves list, biochar list, cc Ron Larson


Have any of you actually used embers/char from an open-fire cookstove (eg 3-stone) or campfire as biochar (soil amendment)?  Did it work?  

African women can get plenty of char from three stone while cooking.  But will the char work as biochar?

Ron and I have been discussing this with others.  We all have ideas on why it should or should not work.  But we cannot find anyone who has actually tried it.
 
[RWL1:    I’m firmly in the ’should work’ camp.  I’ve been privileged to see more than Kevin's cites below and seen a lot of char produced with scientific knowledge of their measured chracteristics.  So I am pretty sure this char should have the large surface area we usually desire. - as in this famous graph from this early non-fee  Johannes Lehmann paper.


Hugh   what can you recommend for Kevin’s associates in rural African towns where this work is occurring?  (Hugh being the biochar expert I trust most on such measurements)


We want to train women on smallholder farms to collect, quench and crush embers and then charge the char and apply it to their fields.  I think this training can happen at scale with relatively little expense.  With hundreds of millions of families cooking over open fires, the potential is enormous.

[RWL2;  Kevin’s use of the word “charged” refers to urine.

Kevin has had great success using women’s auxiliaries in local churches to spread the word about adding rock beds under 3-stone fires to significantly improve stove efficiency.   Costs for adding one new rock bed user is pennies. The same likely here - with char removal. The difference from many such stove education programs is that this one will involve biochar.  We know that much more care has to be taken when the char is scheduled for the field rather than cooking a meal.

Using tongs to remove embers, women can make 300-800g of char daily.  Because they've reported that firewood usage does not increase, SNV did a simplified WBT and, counterintuitively, SNV found only an insignificant increase in fuel usage.

[RWL3:  I’ve. reviewed this SNV work (in Viet Nam) and have asked for the raw data as well as the finished reports.  

But I can believe the results. - because the embers that are being collected (by SNV and by women being paid for the char) had already mostly given up its hydrogen.  The fallen ember necessarily came from near the bottom of the fuel bed - where it was not contributing much to water boiling.

Kevin’s note is just the beginning of the study of what could be revolutionary for converting any 3 stone fire into a char producer.  Kevin and I have been discussing other features of a small modification of 3 stones that will only cost a few dollars and significantly improve efficiency.    I am quite sure we can go from a Tier zero performance to Tier 2 or 3 - with a lot of char.

I have Kevin’s permission to offer one possible name for his stove - a B-CHER. (“Cher” being pronounced as the French word for “Dear” - meaning premium or precious,).    The BC comes from being biochar itself shortened to BC or here B-C.    HER is short for “Hot Ember Removal”.   Only two syllables in B-CHER - as in “T-LUD.    Other thoughts?

Coming  are more details on how to make (locally) a Tier 2-3 stove for a few dollars.  I believe there are then billions who can find those few dollars if they are making char with little or no extra effort.  And they can first make char with no dollars invested.

This is why I am excited about Kevin’s newest work.


But will the char be effective?  Who has tried char made this way as biochar?

[RWL4:    I couldn’t recall any char or biochar papers along these  3-stone. lines.   But I told Kevin that I would look up some of the earliest biochar papers. (Before the name ‘biochar” was adopted).  They used char purchased along a rural road. Almost certainly this char was made in a mud covered mound - and therefor was  a low temperature char - much lower than char made in a. 3-stone fire.

A key way to think of Kevin’s approach is that all combustion (burning)) of wood starts with a pyrolysis phase.  The ‘HE” - hot ember will presumably have the low H2 we desire, simply because we know it went through a red phase - and. Kevin’s workers see no white ash.  Also I think virtually impossible for a “HE” hot ember to have broken off of the larger size pieces used in 3-stone fires, until it was indeed s usable char..

So I’m looking for Hugh M’s thoughts on HER and B-CHER.  

And others?

Ron


Kevin McLean, President
Sun24


Re: One of Earth’s iant carbon sinks may have been overestimated - study

Albert Bates
 

Strengthens the argument for using biochar WHEN planting trees.

Sent with a Spark

On Apr 5, 2021, 12:00 AM -0500, Kim Chaffee <kim.chaffee2@...>, wrote:
In a nutshell, this meta research paper finds that significant increases in atmospheric CO2 will increase forest and grasses growth rates, but not necessarily the amount of carbon in the soil. Forest soil carbon actually declines after a certain amount of increase in atmospheric carbon. The article has a link to the paper’s abstract.
Does this strengthen the argument for making biochar vs planting trees?
Kim

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/24/soils-ability-to-absorb-carbon-emissions-may-be-overestimated-study






Re: Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

K McLean
 

Hugh, my colleagues in Africa have tried the "Soap Test".  After crumbling the char from three stone in their hands, they can wash the black off their hands with just water.  Here is a video.  Char from my backyard fire pit also passed the soap test.  What does this tell us?  The char should work as biochar?  Most of the tars have burned off?  Should we do other simple tests?  Thanks.


On Fri, Apr 2, 2021 at 9:03 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Hello Many Different Groups, with many different priorities,

Ron has kicked several issues into my court to see if I will take the bait. I will to the extent of offering my thoughts, but I will decline the offer to convince the world I am right. You can lead a horse to water - the rest is up to the horse and whether it is sufficiently thirsty.

When it comes to biochar quality - it is easier to assess the material after it is made and cooled down than to predict/indemnify it based on how it was made or deserves to be good. It is like food: It is good unless it is bad for one of many reasons. The most basic criteria for biochar is the "Soap Test" - good char will not leave a black coating on the hands that will not be removed by cold water (mostly removed - it is a qualitative criteria and requires experience with other biochars. If soap is required to remove the biochar from one's hands, that is because of tars and the biochars is inferior and/or charcoal.

Good biochar does not have any significant burnt odor - or taste! - and wets out when dropped into water after being ground into a powder. Oh - if is friable - easily crushes into smaller particles and even collapses into a powder. Additional pluses, but not necessary, are a silvery reflection.

And, any contamination entering with the biomass will remain in the biochar - unless actual analytical measurements prove the contamination is not longer present. Hard to do, expensive, and not justified when one looks at the exhaustive list of clean biomass sources.

As for handles and letter combinations - I don't care and will not get into the fray.

My favorite disclaimer is BOHICA - which is obvious to those who have encountered it and better kept a secret for the others.

- Hugh

On Friday, April 2, 2021, 12:21:45 AM EDT, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:


Two lists  and cc Kevin and  Hugh Mclaughlin

See inserts below.


On Mar 31, 2021, at 8:37 PM, K McLean <kmclean56@...> wrote:

Stoves list, biochar list, cc Ron Larson


Have any of you actually used embers/char from an open-fire cookstove (eg 3-stone) or campfire as biochar (soil amendment)?  Did it work?  

African women can get plenty of char from three stone while cooking.  But will the char work as biochar?

Ron and I have been discussing this with others.  We all have ideas on why it should or should not work.  But we cannot find anyone who has actually tried it.
 
[RWL1:    I’m firmly in the ’should work’ camp.  I’ve been privileged to see more than Kevin's cites below and seen a lot of char produced with scientific knowledge of their measured chracteristics.  So I am pretty sure this char should have the large surface area we usually desire. - as in this famous graph from this early non-fee  Johannes Lehmann paper.


Hugh   what can you recommend for Kevin’s associates in rural African towns where this work is occurring?  (Hugh being the biochar expert I trust most on such measurements)


We want to train women on smallholder farms to collect, quench and crush embers and then charge the char and apply it to their fields.  I think this training can happen at scale with relatively little expense.  With hundreds of millions of families cooking over open fires, the potential is enormous.

[RWL2;  Kevin’s use of the word “charged” refers to urine.

Kevin has had great success using women’s auxiliaries in local churches to spread the word about adding rock beds under 3-stone fires to significantly improve stove efficiency.   Costs for adding one new rock bed user is pennies. The same likely here - with char removal. The difference from many such stove education programs is that this one will involve biochar.  We know that much more care has to be taken when the char is scheduled for the field rather than cooking a meal.

Using tongs to remove embers, women can make 300-800g of char daily.  Because they've reported that firewood usage does not increase, SNV did a simplified WBT and, counterintuitively, SNV found only an insignificant increase in fuel usage.

[RWL3:  I’ve. reviewed this SNV work (in Viet Nam) and have asked for the raw data as well as the finished reports.  

But I can believe the results. - because the embers that are being collected (by SNV and by women being paid for the char) had already mostly given up its hydrogen.  The fallen ember necessarily came from near the bottom of the fuel bed - where it was not contributing much to water boiling.

Kevin’s note is just the beginning of the study of what could be revolutionary for converting any 3 stone fire into a char producer.  Kevin and I have been discussing other features of a small modification of 3 stones that will only cost a few dollars and significantly improve efficiency.    I am quite sure we can go from a Tier zero performance to Tier 2 or 3 - with a lot of char.

I have Kevin’s permission to offer one possible name for his stove - a B-CHER. (“Cher” being pronounced as the French word for “Dear” - meaning premium or precious,).    The BC comes from being biochar itself shortened to BC or here B-C.    HER is short for “Hot Ember Removal”.   Only two syllables in B-CHER - as in “T-LUD.    Other thoughts?

Coming  are more details on how to make (locally) a Tier 2-3 stove for a few dollars.  I believe there are then billions who can find those few dollars if they are making char with little or no extra effort.  And they can first make char with no dollars invested.

This is why I am excited about Kevin’s newest work.


But will the char be effective?  Who has tried char made this way as biochar?

[RWL4:    I couldn’t recall any char or biochar papers along these  3-stone. lines.   But I told Kevin that I would look up some of the earliest biochar papers. (Before the name ‘biochar” was adopted).  They used char purchased along a rural road. Almost certainly this char was made in a mud covered mound - and therefor was  a low temperature char - much lower than char made in a. 3-stone fire.

A key way to think of Kevin’s approach is that all combustion (burning)) of wood starts with a pyrolysis phase.  The ‘HE” - hot ember will presumably have the low H2 we desire, simply because we know it went through a red phase - and. Kevin’s workers see no white ash.  Also I think virtually impossible for a “HE” hot ember to have broken off of the larger size pieces used in 3-stone fires, until it was indeed s usable char..

So I’m looking for Hugh M’s thoughts on HER and B-CHER.  

And others?

Ron


Kevin McLean, President
Sun24


Pyrolysis Excess Energy Utilization

eko sb setyawan
 

Biochar list,

Whether any informations (persons, company, article etc) about pyrolysis excess energy utilizations ?

Regards
Eko


Re: Pull embers from three-stone cookstove to use as biochar.

d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

Hi, Ronal, long time.

Sorry about being away for a bit. Too many meetings on too many topics.

See my responses below in all caps (my usual). Consider them also in answer to Paul Anderson's lengthy and accurate dissertation on "char" with which I disagree in this context, as i do to Kevin's reference to my often used phrase "good enough."

M

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

+1 732-745-9295 | +66 (0)85 199-2958 | d.michael.shafer@...

www.warmheartworldwide.org | Skype: live:d.michael.shafer53

61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand

On Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 1:09 PM Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:
Michael and.6 Ccs: - and adding “stoves' - as Kevin started a cookstove - related thread; and adding Paul

1.  I apologize for missing your message below until just now.

2.  Paul Anderson has also addressed the “excited” sentence below.   

3.  I know that you are doing excellent biochar field work using char produced via corn cobs charred in TLUD type fashion in 200 liter drums.   This qualifies as biochar for me.   Your char/biiochar work is great.
Can you further clarify this last “excited’ sentence?  That is - I am “excited" about both your char/biochar and Kevin’s char/biochar.  I like Kevin’s because it uses (cooking) the energy that most 200 liter drum’s can’t.  And for the multiple reasons I gave earlier today on why 3-stone fires remain so successful (zero cost, non-batch,  less fuel preparation,  etc..  Kevin could be making a major change in the way three-stone fires will be used - and his idea (and self-funding) is only a few weeks old.    To the climate benefit of us all.

IN A SENSE, I MUST AGREE. THE ENERGY CAPTURE ASPECT OF THE EMBERS APPROACH IS GREAT AND SOLVES THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH TLUDs, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MAKING USE OF THE HEAT PRODUCED UNDER ALL BUT THE RAREST OF CONDITIONS.

IN GENERAL, HOWEVER, I AM NOT BOWLED OVER. WHY? FIRST, IN MOST TRULY POOR AREAS, THINGS LIKE CORN COBS AND OTHER FUELS EASILY PYROLYZED IN A TLUD ARE SELDOM AVAILABLE. RATHER, MOST BIOCHAR IS MADE BY DIGGING A TRENCH IN THE GROUND TO PYROLYZE HAY, STALKS, STEMS, AND STRAW AS WELL AS HARD TO MANAGE STUFF LIKE BRANCHES AND BAMBOO THAT OTHERWISE REQUIRE A LOT OF ENERGY TO CUT TO SHAPE.

SECOND, WHAT IS EXCITING ABOUT WHAT I REFER TO AS BIOCHAR, THAT BASIC STUFF PRODUCED BETWEEN 450 AND 550 C IS THE NEAT ARRANGEMENT OF THE C INTO CIRCLES AND ALL THE REST THAT SEEM TO PROVIDE BIOCHAR MADE AT THIS TEMPERATURE ITS VERY LONG LASTING AND AMAZING SOIL ENHANCEMENT PROPERTIES. CONVERSELY, THE LOWER TEMPERATURE STUFF THAT CONTINUES TO CONTAIN LOTS OF AROMATICS DOES HAVE IMMEDIATE VIRTUES. MOST IMPORTANT, THESE "HUMICS" AS I BELIEVE THEY ARE CALLED. SPEED GERMINATION AND WHAT NOT FOR APPROXIMATELY A YEAR UNTIL THEY ARE EXHAUSTED. WHILE THIS IS PERFECT IF YOU ARE MAKING A FERTILIZER AND WANT REPEAT CUSTOMERS, IT IS NOT GOOD FOR USE IN GARDENS FOR THE LONG-TERM.

I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT EMBER CHARS OTHER CAPABILITIES - ITS ABSORPTION AND ADSORPTION CAPACITIES THAT MAKE BIOCHAR SO VALUABLE IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND IN POLLUTED SOILS. THESE, HOWEVER, FIGURE VERY IMPORTANTLY AMONG THE REASONS FOR WHICH I AM "EXCITED" BY WHAT I REFER TO AS "BIOCHAR" (TEMP RANGE SPECIFIED) AND WORRY THAT DEFLECTING EFFORTS TO TRAIN POOR FARMERS TO MAKE BIOCHAR FROM AVAILABLE AG WASTES THAT WILL OTHERWISE BE BURNED IN NOT A GOOD IDEA. ALL OF WHICH LEADS BACK TO MY FINAL QUESTION: "WHY ARE WE SO EXCITED ABOUT BIOCHAR WHEN THE ALTERNATIVE OF USING CHARCOAL IS SO CLOSE AT HAND?"

4.  So to repeat. - I am not understanding your last sentence - seeming to make a distinction where I see little..

Ron



On Mar 28, 2021, at 2:39 AM, d.michael.shafer@... wrote:

Ron,

Would be very interested in results. My understanding is that the problem with charcoal is that it never gets hot enough (a) to burn out all of the tars and other aromatics and (b) to form the carbons into the necessary sheets of ring structures. If this is not true, why are we so excited about biochar when the alternative of using charcoal is so close at hand?





photo
Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart
www.warmheartworldwide.org | Skype: live:d.michael.shafer53
61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand
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On Sun, Mar 28, 2021 at 8:18 AM Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:
Michael,  cc Kevin

It should be fairly easy to test with seed sprouting at a kitchen window.

RWL;  I have excised five more messages below going back to March 11 - mostly between Kevin and myself -  all related to what I have begun calling. BC-HERS, but not related to Michaels above short message

<snip>


One of Earth’s giant carbon sinks may have been overestimated - study

Kim Chaffee
 

In a nutshell, this meta research paper finds that significant increases in atmospheric CO2 will increase forest and grasses growth rates, but not necessarily the amount of carbon in the soil. Forest soil carbon actually declines after a certain amount of increase in atmospheric carbon. The article has a link to the paper’s abstract.
Does this strengthen the argument for making biochar vs planting trees?
Kim

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/24/soils-ability-to-absorb-carbon-emissions-may-be-overestimated-study


Re: Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

Nando Breiter
 

The snarky patent comment was most helpful. Thank you!


CarbonZero
+41 76 303 4477 cell / WhatsApp / Signal (https://signal.org/)


On Mon, Apr 5, 2021 at 12:59 AM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Ron requests the following clarifications:

Is your dirty hand test directly related to the very steep rise in surface area (between 450 and 550 C) shown in the Lehmann diagram retained below. Or different physical effects?

It is really a measure of whether the biochar has enough mobile matter or tars to cause problems when introduced in the soil with a plant growing in it. The surface area rise is due to increased microporosity, and the two are generally incompatible, but not both caused by the same phenomena.

 Could biochar users say they always want to be above 550?  Or just “usually”.

I make all my biochars below 400C and can match the desirable properties of any biochar from any other conditions. How, I hear you thinking - read the patent application.

RWL2:  Can you comment further on the term “wets out": hydrophilic instead of hydrophobic - if you put water on the biochar, do the drops bead up or "wet out" as in merge into the biochar.

Hope that helps, except for the snarky patent comment. - Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE





On Friday, April 2, 2021, 11:07:38 PM EDT, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:


Hugh and ccs

Thanks.  Just what I was looking for.

First clarifying question. Is your dirty hand test directly related to the veyr steep rise in surface area (between 450 and 550 C) shown in the Lehmann diagram retained below. Or different physical effects?  

 Could biochar users say they always want to be above 550?  Or just “usually”/

one more below.

On Apr 2, 2021, at 7:03 PM, Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1@...> wrote:

Hello Many Different Groups, with many different priorities,

Ron has kicked several issues into my court to see if I will take the bait. I will to the extent of offering my thoughts, but I will decline the offer to convince the world I am right. You can lead a horse to water - the rest is up to the horse and whether it is sufficiently thirsty.

When it comes to biochar quality - it is easier to assess the material after it is made and cooled down than to predict/indemnify it based on how it was made or deserves to be good. It is like food: It is good unless it is bad for one of many reasons. The most basic criteria for biochar is the "Soap Test" - good char will not leave a black coating on the hands that will not be removed by cold water (mostly removed - it is a qualitative criteria and requires experience with other biochars. If soap is required to remove the biochar from one's hands, that is because of tars and the biochars is inferior and/or charcoal.

Good biochar does not have any significant burnt odor - or taste! - and wets out when dropped into water after being ground into a powder. Oh - if is friable - easily crushes into smaller particles and even collapses into a powder. Additional pluses, but not necessary, are a silvery reflection.

RWL2:  Can you comment further on the term “wets out"

<snip>


Ron



--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

Hugh McLaughlin
 

Ron requests the following clarifications:

Is your dirty hand test directly related to the very steep rise in surface area (between 450 and 550 C) shown in the Lehmann diagram retained below. Or different physical effects?

It is really a measure of whether the biochar has enough mobile matter or tars to cause problems when introduced in the soil with a plant growing in it. The surface area rise is due to increased microporosity, and the two are generally incompatible, but not both caused by the same phenomena.

 Could biochar users say they always want to be above 550?  Or just “usually”.

I make all my biochars below 400C and can match the desirable properties of any biochar from any other conditions. How, I hear you thinking - read the patent application.

RWL2:  Can you comment further on the term “wets out": hydrophilic instead of hydrophobic - if you put water on the biochar, do the drops bead up or "wet out" as in merge into the biochar.

Hope that helps, except for the snarky patent comment. - Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE





On Friday, April 2, 2021, 11:07:38 PM EDT, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:


Hugh and ccs

Thanks.  Just what I was looking for.

First clarifying question. Is your dirty hand test directly related to the veyr steep rise in surface area (between 450 and 550 C) shown in the Lehmann diagram retained below. Or different physical effects?  

 Could biochar users say they always want to be above 550?  Or just “usually”/

one more below.

On Apr 2, 2021, at 7:03 PM, Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1@...> wrote:

Hello Many Different Groups, with many different priorities,

Ron has kicked several issues into my court to see if I will take the bait. I will to the extent of offering my thoughts, but I will decline the offer to convince the world I am right. You can lead a horse to water - the rest is up to the horse and whether it is sufficiently thirsty.

When it comes to biochar quality - it is easier to assess the material after it is made and cooled down than to predict/indemnify it based on how it was made or deserves to be good. It is like food: It is good unless it is bad for one of many reasons. The most basic criteria for biochar is the "Soap Test" - good char will not leave a black coating on the hands that will not be removed by cold water (mostly removed - it is a qualitative criteria and requires experience with other biochars. If soap is required to remove the biochar from one's hands, that is because of tars and the biochars is inferior and/or charcoal.

Good biochar does not have any significant burnt odor - or taste! - and wets out when dropped into water after being ground into a powder. Oh - if is friable - easily crushes into smaller particles and even collapses into a powder. Additional pluses, but not necessary, are a silvery reflection.

RWL2:  Can you comment further on the term “wets out"

<snip>


Ron



Toxicity of biochar from treated ash trees

Dick Gallien
 

Winona, Mn. (27K) has been treating for the emerald ash bore, then burning the dead, since the DNR has charged only $5 a yr. for a burn permit since 1993, giving no incentive to make bichar from millions of dead ash.

In applying to become their compost site, I'm asking $10 a truck load for all city trees to be dumped at this farm, where I'll stack them with a log truck to dry some, wishing I could afford a vole splitter on an excavator. 

For 20 yrs. they've paid $10 a load to dump 400 street leaves a yr. here, because wet leaves don't burn.

My question for Hugh, etc. is, the toxicity must be in the ash leaves, what negative impact could one expect from the treated leaves and biochar from their wood?  Thanks, Dick

First I've seen in Mn..  Wrote them, with no response. 
 
Dick Gallien 
22501 East Burns Valley Road
Winona  MN  55987
dickgallien@...  [507] 312 0194
www.thefarm.winona-mn.us

Prison bars do the confining, allowing the prisoner a mental freedom not possible in schools, where an endless barrage of assignments, lectures, questions and tests, serve the same purpose, under the guise of education, while distracting as efficiently as the cracking of whips, keeping the imprisoned from discovering and pursuing their passions, or noticing that there are no real bars------and by the time they might realize the purpose of their confinement, it is too late.


Johannes Lehman's Medium Article: Leading the Soil Carbon Revolution

Kim Chaffee
 

All,

IMHO, this short article is one of the best endorsements of biochar. Perfect for forwarding to soil science and CDR nerds who may not be on the biochar bandwagon yet.

Kim

https://medium.com/@CornellResearch/leading-the-soil-carbon-revolution-25ca76018715


Re: Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

Ron Larson
 

Hugh and ccs

Thanks.  Just what I was looking for.

First clarifying question. Is your dirty hand test directly related to the veyr steep rise in surface area (between 450 and 550 C) shown in the Lehmann diagram retained below. Or different physical effects?  

 Could biochar users say they always want to be above 550?  Or just “usually”/

one more below.

On Apr 2, 2021, at 7:03 PM, Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1@...> wrote:

Hello Many Different Groups, with many different priorities,

Ron has kicked several issues into my court to see if I will take the bait. I will to the extent of offering my thoughts, but I will decline the offer to convince the world I am right. You can lead a horse to water - the rest is up to the horse and whether it is sufficiently thirsty.

When it comes to biochar quality - it is easier to assess the material after it is made and cooled down than to predict/indemnify it based on how it was made or deserves to be good. It is like food: It is good unless it is bad for one of many reasons. The most basic criteria for biochar is the "Soap Test" - good char will not leave a black coating on the hands that will not be removed by cold water (mostly removed - it is a qualitative criteria and requires experience with other biochars. If soap is required to remove the biochar from one's hands, that is because of tars and the biochars is inferior and/or charcoal.

Good biochar does not have any significant burnt odor - or taste! - and wets out when dropped into water after being ground into a powder. Oh - if is friable - easily crushes into smaller particles and even collapses into a powder. Additional pluses, but not necessary, are a silvery reflection.

RWL2:  Can you comment further on the term “wets out"

<snip>


Ron



Re: Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

Hugh McLaughlin
 

Hello Many Different Groups, with many different priorities,

Ron has kicked several issues into my court to see if I will take the bait. I will to the extent of offering my thoughts, but I will decline the offer to convince the world I am right. You can lead a horse to water - the rest is up to the horse and whether it is sufficiently thirsty.

When it comes to biochar quality - it is easier to assess the material after it is made and cooled down than to predict/indemnify it based on how it was made or deserves to be good. It is like food: It is good unless it is bad for one of many reasons. The most basic criteria for biochar is the "Soap Test" - good char will not leave a black coating on the hands that will not be removed by cold water (mostly removed - it is a qualitative criteria and requires experience with other biochars. If soap is required to remove the biochar from one's hands, that is because of tars and the biochars is inferior and/or charcoal.

Good biochar does not have any significant burnt odor - or taste! - and wets out when dropped into water after being ground into a powder. Oh - if is friable - easily crushes into smaller particles and even collapses into a powder. Additional pluses, but not necessary, are a silvery reflection.

And, any contamination entering with the biomass will remain in the biochar - unless actual analytical measurements prove the contamination is not longer present. Hard to do, expensive, and not justified when one looks at the exhaustive list of clean biomass sources.

As for handles and letter combinations - I don't care and will not get into the fray.

My favorite disclaimer is BOHICA - which is obvious to those who have encountered it and better kept a secret for the others.

- Hugh

On Friday, April 2, 2021, 12:21:45 AM EDT, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:


Two lists  and cc Kevin and  Hugh Mclaughlin

See inserts below.


On Mar 31, 2021, at 8:37 PM, K McLean <kmclean56@...> wrote:

Stoves list, biochar list, cc Ron Larson


Have any of you actually used embers/char from an open-fire cookstove (eg 3-stone) or campfire as biochar (soil amendment)?  Did it work?  

African women can get plenty of char from three stone while cooking.  But will the char work as biochar?

Ron and I have been discussing this with others.  We all have ideas on why it should or should not work.  But we cannot find anyone who has actually tried it.
 
[RWL1:    I’m firmly in the ’should work’ camp.  I’ve been privileged to see more than Kevin's cites below and seen a lot of char produced with scientific knowledge of their measured chracteristics.  So I am pretty sure this char should have the large surface area we usually desire. - as in this famous graph from this early non-fee  Johannes Lehmann paper.


Hugh   what can you recommend for Kevin’s associates in rural African towns where this work is occurring?  (Hugh being the biochar expert I trust most on such measurements)


We want to train women on smallholder farms to collect, quench and crush embers and then charge the char and apply it to their fields.  I think this training can happen at scale with relatively little expense.  With hundreds of millions of families cooking over open fires, the potential is enormous.

[RWL2;  Kevin’s use of the word “charged” refers to urine.

Kevin has had great success using women’s auxiliaries in local churches to spread the word about adding rock beds under 3-stone fires to significantly improve stove efficiency.   Costs for adding one new rock bed user is pennies. The same likely here - with char removal. The difference from many such stove education programs is that this one will involve biochar.  We know that much more care has to be taken when the char is scheduled for the field rather than cooking a meal.

Using tongs to remove embers, women can make 300-800g of char daily.  Because they've reported that firewood usage does not increase, SNV did a simplified WBT and, counterintuitively, SNV found only an insignificant increase in fuel usage.

[RWL3:  I’ve. reviewed this SNV work (in Viet Nam) and have asked for the raw data as well as the finished reports.  

But I can believe the results. - because the embers that are being collected (by SNV and by women being paid for the char) had already mostly given up its hydrogen.  The fallen ember necessarily came from near the bottom of the fuel bed - where it was not contributing much to water boiling.

Kevin’s note is just the beginning of the study of what could be revolutionary for converting any 3 stone fire into a char producer.  Kevin and I have been discussing other features of a small modification of 3 stones that will only cost a few dollars and significantly improve efficiency.    I am quite sure we can go from a Tier zero performance to Tier 2 or 3 - with a lot of char.

I have Kevin’s permission to offer one possible name for his stove - a B-CHER. (“Cher” being pronounced as the French word for “Dear” - meaning premium or precious,).    The BC comes from being biochar itself shortened to BC or here B-C.    HER is short for “Hot Ember Removal”.   Only two syllables in B-CHER - as in “T-LUD.    Other thoughts?

Coming  are more details on how to make (locally) a Tier 2-3 stove for a few dollars.  I believe there are then billions who can find those few dollars if they are making char with little or no extra effort.  And they can first make char with no dollars invested.

This is why I am excited about Kevin’s newest work.


But will the char be effective?  Who has tried char made this way as biochar?

[RWL4:    I couldn’t recall any char or biochar papers along these  3-stone. lines.   But I told Kevin that I would look up some of the earliest biochar papers. (Before the name ‘biochar” was adopted).  They used char purchased along a rural road. Almost certainly this char was made in a mud covered mound - and therefor was  a low temperature char - much lower than char made in a. 3-stone fire.

A key way to think of Kevin’s approach is that all combustion (burning)) of wood starts with a pyrolysis phase.  The ‘HE” - hot ember will presumably have the low H2 we desire, simply because we know it went through a red phase - and. Kevin’s workers see no white ash.  Also I think virtually impossible for a “HE” hot ember to have broken off of the larger size pieces used in 3-stone fires, until it was indeed s usable char..

So I’m looking for Hugh M’s thoughts on HER and B-CHER.  

And others?

Ron


Kevin McLean, President
Sun24


Re: [Stoves] [Biochar] Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

Ron Larson
 

Lists;

Five additions to yesterday's message re. Kevin’s work on HER = hot ember removal.

a.   Another name possibility:  BC-HERS. - with added S for stove
 I now prefer, even though we add a syllable,  and I liked “CHER"
BC will remind of biochar much better than B
HERS should better sell such stoves to main target audience for any improved stove
Women (different meaning of “hers") can better claim the added soil benefits and income from char making

b.  Six reasons why making char in a "3-stone” could be accepted more than TLUDs have been

1.  Low first cost. (even zero cost in simplest form)
2.  Not batch
3.  Less time in fuel prep;  can use larger fuel sizes
4.  Larger and smaller power levels are possible. 
5.  One less stove to ’stack’
6.  Can possibly design for multiple cook pots
c.  Advantages of TLUDs that are lost;

1.  Better emissions - health
2.  Less time spent in tending fire
3.  More char per unit cooking time. 
4.  Higher Tier levels

d.  Unknowns

1.  Price and benefits.of replacing 3-stones with iron grate with added wind barriers and skirt - that might be justified by.working on all 4  TLUD advantages of topic c
2.  Optimum designs for d1 - such as hot ember dropping into water?
3.   Changes in fuel consumption per cooking task  (stove efficiency)
4.    Quality of produced char -  Kevin’s two questions yesterday

e.   Will respond to Crispin’s comments yesterday on claimed char-making measurement errors.

Thoughts on any of above?   Anyone able to give this a try?  Or cooperate with Kevin off-lists in design, construction and testing including in-field with urine (this is more than a stove project)?

Ron


On Apr 1, 2021, at 10:21 PM, Ronal Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

Two lists  and cc Kevin and  Hugh Mclaughlin

See inserts below.

<snip>


Re: Biochar Feedstock Origin Research

Tom Miles
 

Is there a difference between biochar from whitewood and biochar from bark or slash?

 

Bark and slash is slightly higher in ash to start with so the biochar can have higher ash unless it is screened or rinsed as in the mobile Tigercat Carbonator. Biochars from those machines has been coming out very high in carbon. Other stationary producers carbonizing slash have also produced high carbon chars.

 

Bark typically has 3-5% ash compared with whitewood at  0.5%-1% so it will have higher ash unless is it screened or rinsed. Biochars from hog fuel boilers will have varying ash depending on lots of factors. The quenched and screened products have very high carbon.  

 

From what we have seen brokers who are selling biochars adjust the price according to the quality – balance of ash and carbon – and use.  

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Harry Groot
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2021 6:42 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: [Biochar] Biochar Feedstock Origin Research

 

Has there been research published looking at a comparison of biochars based on specific feedstock origin?

 

A question challenging the value of biochar produced from bark and slash as opposed to roundwood was raised during interviews with forest managers in MN.  The practice of making biochar seems to be rather agnostic for woody biomasses, but it made me wonder how the characteristics changed if the feedstock was exclusively one source or another--in this case, bark or slash as opposed to whitewood.

 

Thanks for your help,

 

H


Biochar Feedstock Origin Research

Harry Groot
 

Has there been research published looking at a comparison of biochars based on specific feedstock origin?

A question challenging the value of biochar produced from bark and slash as opposed to roundwood was raised during interviews with forest managers in MN.  The practice of making biochar seems to be rather agnostic for woody biomasses, but it made me wonder how the characteristics changed if the feedstock was exclusively one source or another--in this case, bark or slash as opposed to whitewood.

Thanks for your help,

H


Re: Project Drawdown - supporting sinks #projectdrawdown

Eli Fishpaw
 

I think this is a good presentation that recognizes the balance of emissions to sequestration as an integrated solution.  He somewhat discounts the biological sinks because they can be reversed through future problematic management.  However, with the benefit of increased productivity and resilience to floods and droughts, there is strong economic reasons to maintain and increase the carbon content in soils. Mineralization of carbon such as combining CO2 at chimneys with sodium by pumping emissions into natural deposits is more permanent.  However, most of those emissions could be avoided entirely by using non carbon sources for the energy.  Mineralization does not offer secondary benefits such as biological resilience.  I believe that biochar offers permanence similar to mineralization with other benefits.  The limits to soil sinks IMHO is rate of sequestration from maximizing vegetative cover. In my best case scenario, we will tax carbon emissions and compensate carbon sequestration.  When the world economy accounts for carbon in expenses and income, growth in carbon sequestration through sinks will be the same as economic growth, which is only a metaphor for the real biological growth. Eventually, this would include plowing and logging as emissions expenses to be taxed, and increase of soil carbon and reforestation as income sources to be compensated.  
 
Eli 


----- Original Message -----
From: Trevor Richards [mailto:trevor@...]
To: <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, 02 Apr 2021 03:10:07 -0700
Subject: [Biochar] Project Drawdown - supporting sinks #ProjectDrawdown

https://youtu.be/n_ysjDqZlDw
This has to be disappointing from the perspective of progress on biochar impact... not even mentioned.


Project Drawdown - supporting sinks #projectdrawdown

Trevor Richards
 

https://youtu.be/n_ysjDqZlDw
This has to be disappointing from the perspective of progress on biochar impact... not even mentioned.


Re: Embers from Three Stone as Biochar - Who has done this?

Ron Larson
 

Two lists  and cc Kevin and  Hugh Mclaughlin

See inserts below.


On Mar 31, 2021, at 8:37 PM, K McLean <kmclean56@...> wrote:

Stoves list, biochar list, cc Ron Larson


Have any of you actually used embers/char from an open-fire cookstove (eg 3-stone) or campfire as biochar (soil amendment)?  Did it work?  

African women can get plenty of char from three stone while cooking.  But will the char work as biochar?

Ron and I have been discussing this with others.  We all have ideas on why it should or should not work.  But we cannot find anyone who has actually tried it.
 
[RWL1:    I’m firmly in the ’should work’ camp.  I’ve been privileged to see more than Kevin's cites below and seen a lot of char produced with scientific knowledge of their measured chracteristics.  So I am pretty sure this char should have the large surface area we usually desire. - as in this famous graph from this early non-fee  Johannes Lehmann paper.


Hugh   what can you recommend for Kevin’s associates in rural African towns where this work is occurring?  (Hugh being the biochar expert I trust most on such measurements)


We want to train women on smallholder farms to collect, quench and crush embers and then charge the char and apply it to their fields.  I think this training can happen at scale with relatively little expense.  With hundreds of millions of families cooking over open fires, the potential is enormous.

[RWL2;  Kevin’s use of the word “charged” refers to urine.

Kevin has had great success using women’s auxiliaries in local churches to spread the word about adding rock beds under 3-stone fires to significantly improve stove efficiency.   Costs for adding one new rock bed user is pennies. The same likely here - with char removal. The difference from many such stove education programs is that this one will involve biochar.  We know that much more care has to be taken when the char is scheduled for the field rather than cooking a meal.

Using tongs to remove embers, women can make 300-800g of char daily.  Because they've reported that firewood usage does not increase, SNV did a simplified WBT and, counterintuitively, SNV found only an insignificant increase in fuel usage.

[RWL3:  I’ve. reviewed this SNV work (in Viet Nam) and have asked for the raw data as well as the finished reports.  

But I can believe the results. - because the embers that are being collected (by SNV and by women being paid for the char) had already mostly given up its hydrogen.  The fallen ember necessarily came from near the bottom of the fuel bed - where it was not contributing much to water boiling.

Kevin’s note is just the beginning of the study of what could be revolutionary for converting any 3 stone fire into a char producer.  Kevin and I have been discussing other features of a small modification of 3 stones that will only cost a few dollars and significantly improve efficiency.    I am quite sure we can go from a Tier zero performance to Tier 2 or 3 - with a lot of char.

I have Kevin’s permission to offer one possible name for his stove - a B-CHER. (“Cher” being pronounced as the French word for “Dear” - meaning premium or precious,).    The BC comes from being biochar itself shortened to BC or here B-C.    HER is short for “Hot Ember Removal”.   Only two syllables in B-CHER - as in “T-LUD.    Other thoughts?

Coming  are more details on how to make (locally) a Tier 2-3 stove for a few dollars.  I believe there are then billions who can find those few dollars if they are making char with little or no extra effort.  And they can first make char with no dollars invested.

This is why I am excited about Kevin’s newest work.


But will the char be effective?  Who has tried char made this way as biochar?

[RWL4:    I couldn’t recall any char or biochar papers along these  3-stone. lines.   But I told Kevin that I would look up some of the earliest biochar papers. (Before the name ‘biochar” was adopted).  They used char purchased along a rural road. Almost certainly this char was made in a mud covered mound - and therefor was  a low temperature char - much lower than char made in a. 3-stone fire.

A key way to think of Kevin’s approach is that all combustion (burning)) of wood starts with a pyrolysis phase.  The ‘HE” - hot ember will presumably have the low H2 we desire, simply because we know it went through a red phase - and. Kevin’s workers see no white ash.  Also I think virtually impossible for a “HE” hot ember to have broken off of the larger size pieces used in 3-stone fires, until it was indeed s usable char..

So I’m looking for Hugh M’s thoughts on HER and B-CHER.  

And others?

Ron


Kevin McLean, President
Sun24


USDA Seeks Public Input to Help Create a New Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program

Tom Miles
 

USDA Seeks Public Input to Help Create a New Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program

 

Agency to Host Public Listening Session on April 22, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2021 — Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is requesting public input from interested parties, including potential customers and interested stakeholders, to help create a new Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program. To ensure a diverse group of voices are heard, USDA is seeking written comments and will host a public listening session on April 22, 2021.

 

“When we invest in creating new sources of renewable energy, we invest in rebuilding the middle class by creating good-paying jobs in rural America,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson said. “To meet this goal, we must put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions, and that begins with getting feedback from a broad, diverse set of voices from the start.”

 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (PL116-260) provided $10 million to USDA to develop a pilot program that provides financial assistance to rural communities to further develop renewable energy. This request for information and the stakeholder listening session seek input to help develop options for the Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program. The new program will aim to support the Nation’s critical energy needs, and combat climate change while advancing environmental justice, racial equity, and economic opportunity through the use of distributed energy technologies, innovations, and/or solutions.

 

The stakeholder listening session will be held virtually on Thursday, April 22, 2021, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT. Anyone can RSVP to participate online by visiting: attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5335247546266883854

 

Public comment is requested on the following topics:

 

·     Program purposes, goals, metrics, and standards;

·     Eligible applicants, participants, partners including but not limited to communities, residencies, industry, and commercial entities;

·     Eligible technologies including but not limited to generation, storage, controller, and grid;

·     Potential impact of the pilot program and renewable energy systems more broadly on each of the following: environmental justice, racial equity, and economic opportunity; and

·     Options to measure and maximize the benefits of renewable energy systems for environmental justice, racial equity, and economic opportunity in rural areas.

 

Written comments are encouraged and must be submitted online by April 29, 2021, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. To submit a comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search for the Docket ID RBS–21–Business–0010. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. All comments received will be posted without change and will be publicly available on regulations.gov.

 

For additional information on the request for information and listening session, see page 16575 of the March 30, 2021, Federal Register (PDF, 229 KB).

 

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

 

#

 

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