USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop


Tom Miles
 

US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.


The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.


Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      


Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.


Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.




Rick Wilson
 

Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.


The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.


Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      


Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.


Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.




Teel, Wayne
 

Rick,


What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.


Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.


The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.


Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      


Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.


Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.




ROBERT W GILLETT
 

Tom,

Thank-you for the report which marks a big win for biochar in the U.S. When I attended Compost 2019 in Phoenix, it was painful to see how the compost industry was overlooking what I consider the best use of compost, i.e. a vehicle for biochar (the inverse of how they see it, I'm sure). The interest that must have been generated by all of these talks will surely lead to a whirl of synergy between the biochar and composting communities that we hope will turn into a whirlwind sweeping compost and biochar into new popularity nationwide.

Bob Gillett


Tom Miles
 

Bob,

 

Several biochar companies supply composters but biochar use in compost is still very small. Cost and availability of biochar are the biggest challenges for increasing the amount of biochar used in composting. We heard prices from less than $200/ton delivered (~$25/CY) to $2280/ton ($285/CY) FOB before transportation. Unless consistent quality biochar can be delivered in bulk at a price that composters can afford we won’t be seeing large volumes. Over the last 15 years we have seen biochars added to finished compost at rates of 5% to 50%. Few have added biochar to the organics prior to composting. Now we are seeing both co-composted and biochar+ finished compost going into high end products for domestic and municipal landscaping.    

 

USBI attention to composting probably started in 2014 with reports by Dr. Milt McGiffin and Dr. David Crohn of UC Riverside with Rick Wilson. Dr. Sanchez-Monedero prepared an IBI white paper on the “Use of Biochar in Composting” in 2015 which was based on five years of research from the European Union funded Biochar and Compost project at CSIC/CEBAS in Murcia, Spain. We presented biochar at various organic recycling (e.g. Biocycle) meetings during that period. In 2015 Rexius Products, John Miedema at Biological Carbon LLC, and Kristin Trippe, USDA ARS at Oregon State University, started testing biochar in compost with funding from the US Forest Service. USBI formally joined the US Composting Council in 2016. As a result of the Rexius project we organized a biochar compost session at Compost 2017 in Los Angeles which was well attended. Jack and I presented along with Dr. David Crohn from UC Riverside.  We followed up the January 2017 conference with an IBI webinar in February 2017 with presentation by Dr. Sanchez-Monedero and Jack Hoeck. Last week in our workshop Jack pointed out that the science presented in the webinar by Dr. Miguel Sanchez-Monedero explained perfectly what he had experienced in his commercial experiments and what he reported in the webinar. It was important for you to attend Compost 2019. The US Composting Council invited USBI to organize the preconference workshop and biochar session at Compost 2020. The Ground Up compost company in Houston helped organize the biochar session. We need to continue to explore biochar in composting and help connect biochar suppliers with compost producers.

 

Tom

     

 

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of ROBERT W GILLETT
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2020 6:19 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Tom,

Thank-you for the report which marks a big win for biochar in the U.S. When I attended Compost 2019 in Phoenix, it was painful to see how the compost industry was overlooking what I consider the best use of compost, i.e. a vehicle for biochar (the inverse of how they see it, I'm sure). The interest that must have been generated by all of these talks will surely lead to a whirl of synergy between the biochar and composting communities that we hope will turn into a whirlwind sweeping compost and biochar into new popularity nationwide.

Bob Gillett


Francesco Tortorici
 

Tom,
Thanks for all the valuable information.  Are any papers/results from the testing biochar in compost conducted in 2015 with the funding from the US Forest Service you mentioned? 

Thanks,
Francesco

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.
Leonardo Da Vinci


On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 12:34 PM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Bob,

 

Several biochar companies supply composters but biochar use in compost is still very small. Cost and availability of biochar are the biggest challenges for increasing the amount of biochar used in composting. We heard prices from less than $200/ton delivered (~$25/CY) to $2280/ton ($285/CY) FOB before transportation. Unless consistent quality biochar can be delivered in bulk at a price that composters can afford we won’t be seeing large volumes. Over the last 15 years we have seen biochars added to finished compost at rates of 5% to 50%. Few have added biochar to the organics prior to composting. Now we are seeing both co-composted and biochar+ finished compost going into high end products for domestic and municipal landscaping.    

 

USBI attention to composting probably started in 2014 with reports by Dr. Milt McGiffin and Dr. David Crohn of UC Riverside with Rick Wilson. Dr. Sanchez-Monedero prepared an IBI white paper on the “Use of Biochar in Composting” in 2015 which was based on five years of research from the European Union funded Biochar and Compost project at CSIC/CEBAS in Murcia, Spain. We presented biochar at various organic recycling (e.g. Biocycle) meetings during that period. In 2015 Rexius Products, John Miedema at Biological Carbon LLC, and Kristin Trippe, USDA ARS at Oregon State University, started testing biochar in compost with funding from the US Forest Service. USBI formally joined the US Composting Council in 2016. As a result of the Rexius project we organized a biochar compost session at Compost 2017 in Los Angeles which was well attended. Jack and I presented along with Dr. David Crohn from UC Riverside.  We followed up the January 2017 conference with an IBI webinar in February 2017 with presentation by Dr. Sanchez-Monedero and Jack Hoeck. Last week in our workshop Jack pointed out that the science presented in the webinar by Dr. Miguel Sanchez-Monedero explained perfectly what he had experienced in his commercial experiments and what he reported in the webinar. It was important for you to attend Compost 2019. The US Composting Council invited USBI to organize the preconference workshop and biochar session at Compost 2020. The Ground Up compost company in Houston helped organize the biochar session. We need to continue to explore biochar in composting and help connect biochar suppliers with compost producers.

 

Tom

     

 

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of ROBERT W GILLETT
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2020 6:19 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Tom,

Thank-you for the report which marks a big win for biochar in the U.S. When I attended Compost 2019 in Phoenix, it was painful to see how the compost industry was overlooking what I consider the best use of compost, i.e. a vehicle for biochar (the inverse of how they see it, I'm sure). The interest that must have been generated by all of these talks will surely lead to a whirl of synergy between the biochar and composting communities that we hope will turn into a whirlwind sweeping compost and biochar into new popularity nationwide.

Bob Gillett


mikethewormguy
 

Rick,

Available Nutrients.......hot water extract...?  

Mike



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


Tom Miles
 

Francesco,

 

Not that I know of. I’ll check.


Tom

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Francesco Tortorici
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2020 3:00 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Tom,

Thanks for all the valuable information.  Are any papers/results from the testing biochar in compost conducted in 2015 with the funding from the US Forest Service you mentioned? 

 

Thanks,

Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 12:34 PM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Bob,

 

Several biochar companies supply composters but biochar use in compost is still very small. Cost and availability of biochar are the biggest challenges for increasing the amount of biochar used in composting. We heard prices from less than $200/ton delivered (~$25/CY) to $2280/ton ($285/CY) FOB before transportation. Unless consistent quality biochar can be delivered in bulk at a price that composters can afford we won’t be seeing large volumes. Over the last 15 years we have seen biochars added to finished compost at rates of 5% to 50%. Few have added biochar to the organics prior to composting. Now we are seeing both co-composted and biochar+ finished compost going into high end products for domestic and municipal landscaping.    

 

USBI attention to composting probably started in 2014 with reports by Dr. Milt McGiffin and Dr. David Crohn of UC Riverside with Rick Wilson. Dr. Sanchez-Monedero prepared an IBI white paper on the “Use of Biochar in Composting” in 2015 which was based on five years of research from the European Union funded Biochar and Compost project at CSIC/CEBAS in Murcia, Spain. We presented biochar at various organic recycling (e.g. Biocycle) meetings during that period. In 2015 Rexius Products, John Miedema at Biological Carbon LLC, and Kristin Trippe, USDA ARS at Oregon State University, started testing biochar in compost with funding from the US Forest Service. USBI formally joined the US Composting Council in 2016. As a result of the Rexius project we organized a biochar compost session at Compost 2017 in Los Angeles which was well attended. Jack and I presented along with Dr. David Crohn from UC Riverside.  We followed up the January 2017 conference with an IBI webinar in February 2017 with presentation by Dr. Sanchez-Monedero and Jack Hoeck. Last week in our workshop Jack pointed out that the science presented in the webinar by Dr. Miguel Sanchez-Monedero explained perfectly what he had experienced in his commercial experiments and what he reported in the webinar. It was important for you to attend Compost 2019. The US Composting Council invited USBI to organize the preconference workshop and biochar session at Compost 2020. The Ground Up compost company in Houston helped organize the biochar session. We need to continue to explore biochar in composting and help connect biochar suppliers with compost producers.

 

Tom

     

 

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of ROBERT W GILLETT
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2020 6:19 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Tom,

Thank-you for the report which marks a big win for biochar in the U.S. When I attended Compost 2019 in Phoenix, it was painful to see how the compost industry was overlooking what I consider the best use of compost, i.e. a vehicle for biochar (the inverse of how they see it, I'm sure). The interest that must have been generated by all of these talks will surely lead to a whirl of synergy between the biochar and composting communities that we hope will turn into a whirlwind sweeping compost and biochar into new popularity nationwide.

Bob Gillett


Rick Wilson
 

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:


If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  
I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   
I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

Rick


On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Rick,

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
E-mail: teelws@...
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.

The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.

Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      

Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.

Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>



Geoff Thomas
 

Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I
 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

Cheers,
Geoff Thomas.

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:


If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  
I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   
I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

Rick


On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Rick,

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
E-mail: teelws@...
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.

The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.

Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      

Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.

Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>


<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>


Teel, Wayne
 

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.


Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I
 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

Cheers,
Geoff Thomas.

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:


If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  
I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   
I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

Rick


On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Rick,

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
E-mail: teelws@...
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.

The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.

Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      

Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.

Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>


<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>


Tom Miles
 

Contact:

Casey Ernst

Soil Foodweb School 

casey@...

www.soilfoodweb.com

(503) 912-9885   Extension 110

 

This is Elaine’s online school. They have foundation courses and do consultations.

 

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) 

 

 

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Teel, Wayne
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 4:01 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.

 

Wayne S. Teel

701 Carrier Drive

ISAT MSC 4102

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Phone: 540-568-2798

Fax: 540-568-2761

E-mail: teelws@...

 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I

 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

 

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

 

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

 

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:

 

 

If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  

I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   

I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

 

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

 

Rick

 



On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

 

Rick,

 

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

 

Wayne S. Teel

701 Carrier Drive

ISAT MSC 4102

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Phone: 540-568-2798

Fax: 540-568-2761

E-mail: teelws@...

 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

 

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.

 

 

Calendar | Rotary Club of Solana Beach Eco

The mission of Eco Rotary Club Solana Beach is to live sustainably and promote stewardship of the Earth through ...

 

 

Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

 

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

 

Thanks,

 

Rick Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

 

 

US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.


The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source™ products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.


Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      


Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.


Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>

 

<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>

 


Veronica Kitti
 



All,

We co-composted biochar with crop waste  with 50% biochar for reclamation of degraded land in Ghana. The land was degraded through small scale illegal mining  The degraded land could not support seed germination and plant growth . The work is at its early stage hence no publication has been made yet. However initial  field trials with co-composted biochar reclaimed soil  supported  seed germination and growth of maize crop.  Summary results of the initial work will be posted on our website (www.asainitiative.org)  end of February, 2020.     



Veronica.



On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 3:53:10 PM GMT, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


Contact:

Casey Ernst

Soil Foodweb School 

casey@...

www.soilfoodweb.com

(503) 912-9885   Extension 110

 

This is Elaine’s online school. They have foundation courses and do consultations.

 

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) 

 

 

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Teel, Wayne
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 4:01 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.

 

Wayne S. Teel

701 Carrier Drive

ISAT MSC 4102

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Phone: 540-568-2798

Fax: 540-568-2761

E-mail: teelws@...

 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I

 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

 

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

 

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

 

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:

 

 

If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  

I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   

I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

 

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

 

Rick

 



On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

 

Rick,

 

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

 

Wayne S. Teel

701 Carrier Drive

ISAT MSC 4102

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Phone: 540-568-2798

Fax: 540-568-2761

E-mail: teelws@...

 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

 

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.

 

 

Calendar | Rotary Club of Solana Beach Eco

The mission of Eco Rotary Club Solana Beach is to live sustainably and promote stewardship of the Earth through ...

 

 

Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

 

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

 

Thanks,

 

Rick Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

 

 

US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.


The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source™ products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.


Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      


Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.


Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>

 

<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>

 


Francesco Tortorici
 

Wayne & Rick,

We will also be doing some trials starting in April co-compost biochar at the City of Port Townsend compost facility.  The facility has been composting biosolids from their wastewater treatment facility since 1994.  We intend to add between 5% - 10% biochar by volume at the start doing side by side trials.  The typical batch is approximately 150 CY using aerated static piles, ASP.

The city is required to test each batch since biosolids are used.  A typical test is attached.  Ammonium and nitrate testing will be added at the recommendation of Microbial Matrix Systems.  The plan is to also test Bacteria and fungi activity using Microbial Matrix Systems, a sample test is attached also.  This is the test used by Rexius for the trial presented in the IBI webinar several years ago.

We are essentially conducting citizen science with a locally produced biochar at a functional composting facility.  It may be advantageous to conduct the same tests at the same labs for ease of comparison.  When you are ready Wayne, we would be happy to ship samples to you also.  Rick, if you have pricing for your tests that would be advantageous.  

Thanks,
Francesco

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.
Leonardo Da Vinci


On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.


Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I
 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

Cheers,
Geoff Thomas.

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:


If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  
I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   
I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

Rick


On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Rick,

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
E-mail: teelws@...
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.

The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.

Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      

Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.

Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>


<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>


Charles Hegberg
 

We will be starting some trials on biosolids as well.  Are you testing for any emerging contaminants such as PFAS, antibiotics etc pre and post? 

 

Charles H. Hegberg, President

reGENESIS Consulting Services, LLC

Infinite Solutions, L3C

256 Frederick Street

Hanover, PA 17331

410-218-1408 (m)

 

U.S. Biochar Initiative Board Member

USBI Biochar 2018 Conference (Past Chair)

 

"Promoting the Sustainable Production and Use of Biochar"

 

www.biochar-us.org

@USbiochar

Facebook US Biochar Initiative

USBI Logo - Copy (420x176) 

 

 

 

From: <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Francesco Tortorici <francesco@...>
Reply-To: "main@Biochar.groups.io" <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 2:32 PM
To: "main@Biochar.groups.io" <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Wayne & Rick,

 

We will also be doing some trials starting in April co-compost biochar at the City of Port Townsend compost facility.  The facility has been composting biosolids from their wastewater treatment facility since 1994.  We intend to add between 5% - 10% biochar by volume at the start doing side by side trials.  The typical batch is approximately 150 CY using aerated static piles, ASP.

 

The city is required to test each batch since biosolids are used.  A typical test is attached.  Ammonium and nitrate testing will be added at the recommendation of Microbial Matrix Systems.  The plan is to also test Bacteria and fungi activity using Microbial Matrix Systems, a sample test is attached also.  This is the test used by Rexius for the trial presented in the IBI webinar several years ago.

 

We are essentially conducting citizen science with a locally produced biochar at a functional composting facility.  It may be advantageous to conduct the same tests at the same labs for ease of comparison.  When you are ready Wayne, we would be happy to ship samples to you also.  Rick, if you have pricing for your tests that would be advantageous.  

 

Thanks,

Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.

 

Wayne S. Teel

701 Carrier Drive

ISAT MSC 4102

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Phone: 540-568-2798

Fax: 540-568-2761

E-mail: teelws@...

 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I

 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

 

Cheers,

Geoff Thomas.

 

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

 

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:

 

 

If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  

I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   

I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

 

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

 

Rick

 



On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

 

Rick,

 

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

 

Wayne S. Teel

701 Carrier Drive

ISAT MSC 4102

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Phone: 540-568-2798

Fax: 540-568-2761

E-mail: teelws@...

 


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.iomain@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop

 

Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

 

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.

 

 

Calendar | Rotary Club of Solana Beach Eco

The mission of Eco Rotary Club Solana Beach is to live sustainably and promote stewardship of the Earth through ...

 

 

Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

 

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

 

Thanks,

 

Rick Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

 

 

US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.


The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source™ products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.


Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      


Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.


Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>

 

<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>

 


Rick Wilson
 

Francesco,

I think its important ti be very clear on what question you are trying to answer in your experimental plan, which advises which tests you want to do. 
My experiments are designed to answer the following questions.  (Otherwise If you care about antibiotics, fungicides (which is a problem with composting by the way), florohydrocarbons, you need different labs)

1) Does adding biochar enable the compost pile to reach maturity sooner?  So I am making Solvita field measurements every week.

The Solvita reader is about $1800, and a box of the test paddles runs around $150 which will support many tests. 

2) Does biochar release more of the “total” nutrients (as determined by nitric acid extraction), into “available” nutrients. 

I am using the Wallace total compost test to determine the nutrient dynamics, about $220.  

The  “STA” test suite, the industry standard for compost, the seal of testing approval by the US Compost Council, costs around $350.
The problem is that STA does not provide a comparison of total versus available nutrients, so I am not using it. 

3) How does the distribution of microbial species change when you co-compost biochar?

Earthfort is being used for the microscopy work, $144 per measurement. 

I am repeating my experiments at least six times and applying statistical tests to see if the observed differences are “statistically significant”. 
To keep it simple you can use the Excel Data Analysis add in, which is free.  Select t-test Paired two sample for means.  
Call me if you need help with this. 

Rick


On Feb 4, 2020, at 11:31 AM, Francesco Tortorici <francesco@...> wrote:

Wayne & Rick,

We will also be doing some trials starting in April co-compost biochar at the City of Port Townsend compost facility.  The facility has been composting biosolids from their wastewater treatment facility since 1994.  We intend to add between 5% - 10% biochar by volume at the start doing side by side trials.  The typical batch is approximately 150 CY using aerated static piles, ASP.

The city is required to test each batch since biosolids are used.  A typical test is attached.  Ammonium and nitrate testing will be added at the recommendation of Microbial Matrix Systems.  The plan is to also test Bacteria and fungi activity using Microbial Matrix Systems, a sample test is attached also.  This is the test used by Rexius for the trial presented in the IBI webinar several years ago.

We are essentially conducting citizen science with a locally produced biochar at a functional composting facility.  It may be advantageous to conduct the same tests at the same labs for ease of comparison.  When you are ready Wayne, we would be happy to ship samples to you also.  Rick, if you have pricing for your tests that would be advantageous.  

Thanks,
Francesco

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.
Leonardo Da Vinci


On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.


Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I
 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

Cheers,
Geoff Thomas.

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:


If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  
I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   
I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

Rick


On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Rick,

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
E-mail: teelws@...
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.

The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.

Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      

Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.

Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>


<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>



<2019080692 - Compost Testing - page 1a.pdf><Co-Composting Biochar.pdf>


Gustavo Peña
 

All, one question
If someone decides to produce compost biochar to any country, from any country, who will certify the quality of the product? The process to produce biochar could not be the right one, it possibly to be contaminated or something else, terrorists could add something to harm the soils. This very delicate issue.
I don't have money to produce large quantities to export, I just do what I like to do, build stoves and make some crazy experiments that once in a while bounce in my head.
I think that anyone out of the USA should be certified before bringing products like compost biochar or just biochar.

Best wishes to all

Gus

PS: I hope I didn't bring a stupid thoughts, and start worrying people just because I woke up this morning with this crazy idea.


El mar., 4 de feb. de 2020 20:08, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012=yahoo.com@groups.io> escribió:
Francesco,

I think its important ti be very clear on what question you are trying to answer in your experimental plan, which advises which tests you want to do. 
My experiments are designed to answer the following questions.  (Otherwise If you care about antibiotics, fungicides (which is a problem with composting by the way), florohydrocarbons, you need different labs)

1) Does adding biochar enable the compost pile to reach maturity sooner?  So I am making Solvita field measurements every week.

The Solvita reader is about $1800, and a box of the test paddles runs around $150 which will support many tests. 

2) Does biochar release more of the “total” nutrients (as determined by nitric acid extraction), into “available” nutrients. 

I am using the Wallace total compost test to determine the nutrient dynamics, about $220.  

The  “STA” test suite, the industry standard for compost, the seal of testing approval by the US Compost Council, costs around $350.
The problem is that STA does not provide a comparison of total versus available nutrients, so I am not using it. 

3) How does the distribution of microbial species change when you co-compost biochar?

Earthfort is being used for the microscopy work, $144 per measurement. 

I am repeating my experiments at least six times and applying statistical tests to see if the observed differences are “statistically significant”. 
To keep it simple you can use the Excel Data Analysis add in, which is free.  Select t-test Paired two sample for means.  
Call me if you need help with this. 

Rick


On Feb 4, 2020, at 11:31 AM, Francesco Tortorici <francesco@...> wrote:

Wayne & Rick,

We will also be doing some trials starting in April co-compost biochar at the City of Port Townsend compost facility.  The facility has been composting biosolids from their wastewater treatment facility since 1994.  We intend to add between 5% - 10% biochar by volume at the start doing side by side trials.  The typical batch is approximately 150 CY using aerated static piles, ASP.

The city is required to test each batch since biosolids are used.  A typical test is attached.  Ammonium and nitrate testing will be added at the recommendation of Microbial Matrix Systems.  The plan is to also test Bacteria and fungi activity using Microbial Matrix Systems, a sample test is attached also.  This is the test used by Rexius for the trial presented in the IBI webinar several years ago.

We are essentially conducting citizen science with a locally produced biochar at a functional composting facility.  It may be advantageous to conduct the same tests at the same labs for ease of comparison.  When you are ready Wayne, we would be happy to ship samples to you also.  Rick, if you have pricing for your tests that would be advantageous.  

Thanks,
Francesco

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.
Leonardo Da Vinci


On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.


Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I
 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

Cheers,
Geoff Thomas.

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:


If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  
I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   
I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

Rick


On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Rick,

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
E-mail: teelws@...
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.

The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.

Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      

Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.

Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>


<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>



<2019080692 - Compost Testing - page 1a.pdf><Co-Composting Biochar.pdf>


Norm Baker
 

Gentlemen;

I am very wary of using biosolids on any kind of agricultural soil or any soil for that matter. 

I have seen firsthand the application of biosolids and what it did to the immediate wildlife on a forestry plot. Within two weeks we found dead animals. I have also seen firsthand the application of biosolids to agricultural land. Subsequent soil test showed results indicating a serious pollution issue - exactly like we see on Whidbey Island currently. Back in Minnesota I saw a small herd of cows with serious health issues ultimately traced to biosolids application three years earlier. I also saw one farmer who was an organic grower who applied biosolids because it was cheaper than standard best management practices for organic growing. Subsequent tests showed considerable pollution and the man went bankrupt because he could not sell his produce as organic. His reputation was also destroyed. As a member of Executive Committee for the North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club, we have one member who has been fighting the application of biosolids to agricultural land for years. I have carbon copied her on this email. 

Frankly, I would never eat vegetables or meat from land that had had biosolids applied. I understand there is a disposal issue for municipalities. I also understand it is often an overwhelming problem that is excessively costly.

That said, the standard refrain from those people who advocate doing it, is that "our practices conform to the regulations for biosolids disposal for the state or that recommended by the EPA". This is a cop-out position. The consequences to our environment are considerable. The consequences to the health of the ecosystem, area animals and plants and human health are considerable. We simply should not do this unless the biosolids can be shown to be clean of all pollutants. Yes, I know this is a hard-nosed position but one that I feel is necessary to fuel the discussion toward pyrolyzing biosolids. This is going to be a huge infrastructural issue for municipalities around the world. But, we need to get on with it.

Recently, I received a publication that documents what is happening with biosolids in Britain. There is no reason to believe it is any different here in the USA. Here is a link to the publication - https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2020/02/04/sewage-sludge-landspreading-environment-agency-report/. Read this report. As far as I can tell this is a reasonable assessment that conforms to what I have personally seen on the application of biosolids. Yes I know it is Greenpeace that did this work and they have the reputation for pushing the issue as far as possible. But from what I can tell, this is a fairly accurate assessment of the current methods of biosolids disposal - always backed up by the cop-out of conforming to current regulations or in adequate testing.

Norm


Rick Wilson
 

Gus, if its compost (and biochar), and the USA is involved, the following standards apply.


The requirement is that this test suite be completed every 5000 cubic yards of production. 

Rick


On Feb 5, 2020, at 5:10 AM, Gustavo Peña <invfalcones53@...> wrote:

All, one question
If someone decides to produce compost biochar to any country, from any country, who will certify the quality of the product? The process to produce biochar could not be the right one, it possibly to be contaminated or something else, terrorists could add something to harm the soils. This very delicate issue.
I don't have money to produce large quantities to export, I just do what I like to do, build stoves and make some crazy experiments that once in a while bounce in my head.
I think that anyone out of the USA should be certified before bringing products like compost biochar or just biochar.

Best wishes to all

Gus

PS: I hope I didn't bring a stupid thoughts, and start worrying people just because I woke up this morning with this crazy idea.


El mar., 4 de feb. de 2020 20:08, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012=yahoo.com@groups.io> escribió:
Francesco,

I think its important ti be very clear on what question you are trying to answer in your experimental plan, which advises which tests you want to do. 
My experiments are designed to answer the following questions.  (Otherwise If you care about antibiotics, fungicides (which is a problem with composting by the way), florohydrocarbons, you need different labs)

1) Does adding biochar enable the compost pile to reach maturity sooner?  So I am making Solvita field measurements every week.

The Solvita reader is about $1800, and a box of the test paddles runs around $150 which will support many tests. 

2) Does biochar release more of the “total” nutrients (as determined by nitric acid extraction), into “available” nutrients. 

I am using the Wallace total compost test to determine the nutrient dynamics, about $220.  

The  “STA” test suite, the industry standard for compost, the seal of testing approval by the US Compost Council, costs around $350.
The problem is that STA does not provide a comparison of total versus available nutrients, so I am not using it. 

3) How does the distribution of microbial species change when you co-compost biochar?

Earthfort is being used for the microscopy work, $144 per measurement. 

I am repeating my experiments at least six times and applying statistical tests to see if the observed differences are “statistically significant”. 
To keep it simple you can use the Excel Data Analysis add in, which is free.  Select t-test Paired two sample for means.  
Call me if you need help with this. 

Rick


On Feb 4, 2020, at 11:31 AM, Francesco Tortorici <francesco@...> wrote:

Wayne & Rick,

We will also be doing some trials starting in April co-compost biochar at the City of Port Townsend compost facility.  The facility has been composting biosolids from their wastewater treatment facility since 1994.  We intend to add between 5% - 10% biochar by volume at the start doing side by side trials.  The typical batch is approximately 150 CY using aerated static piles, ASP.

The city is required to test each batch since biosolids are used.  A typical test is attached.  Ammonium and nitrate testing will be added at the recommendation of Microbial Matrix Systems.  The plan is to also test Bacteria and fungi activity using Microbial Matrix Systems, a sample test is attached also.  This is the test used by Rexius for the trial presented in the IBI webinar several years ago.

We are essentially conducting citizen science with a locally produced biochar at a functional composting facility.  It may be advantageous to conduct the same tests at the same labs for ease of comparison.  When you are ready Wayne, we would be happy to ship samples to you also.  Rick, if you have pricing for your tests that would be advantageous.  

Thanks,
Francesco

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.
Leonardo Da Vinci


On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Thanks to Rick and Geoff for responding.  We have the microscopes.  I want to follow a protocol that is broadly acceptable and replicable.  I have connections with a colleague who is an expert on soil viruses and she can help us with that aspect.  The Elaine Ingham tip is great.  I will get my students watching those soon.  Rick, we aren't quite ready to do the work yet, so shipping samples to us is not needed, but your Excel document is most helpful, as is the link to Earthfort.  My students are just starting and we will all have a steep learning curve, but they do have a year and a half to do this.  We will likely do repeated composting efforts, but ours will be at the scale of a small farm/campus garden, which we are just starting on a site with "post construction" soils that are quite stony.  They need a lot of organic matter.  At 2 inches they have 5% SOM dry weight, but at 6 inches, if you can dig that far, it drops to under 1.5% on average.


Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Geoff Thomas <wind@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:16:20 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Should you be doing a lot of these measurements it will be a lot cheaper to buy your own microscope, - here is a series of talks by Dr Elaine ingham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSLWx-u_b1I
 - they just follow on as you finish watching the first one, then the next etc. etc. - very thorough, lotsa  little helpful tips, step by step, wow, easy.

Cheers,
Geoff Thomas.

On 4 Feb 2020, at 3:41 pm, Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...> wrote:

Wayne, I was going to use this lab:


If you and your student want to be involved, that would be great!  
I am open to another approach-lab, method, or trying several things at once. We will repeat the composting runs - experiment six times, in series, finishing later this year. 

We will also be sending in the compost for a complete chemical and physical assay, please see attached for an example.   
I am hoping to see more of the compost nutrients in the extractable (available) or soluble buckets (versus total), as this is what I’ve heard others claim happens when you co-compost biochar. 

We will overnight ship the samples packed on Ice to the lab.  And we could send samples to you if you want also.

Let me know?  And happy to have a call to discuss. 

Rick


On Feb 3, 2020, at 2:42 AM, Teel, Wayne <teelws@...> wrote:

Rick,

What protocol do you use for microbial counts?  I have a student here who is very interested in that for a senior capstone (undergraduate at JMU) but that is outside my area of expertise.

Wayne S. Teel
701 Carrier Drive
ISAT MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-2798
Fax: 540-568-2761
E-mail: teelws@...
 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> on behalf of Rick Wilson via Groups.Io <rick012@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:38:29 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io; main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020 #compost #workshop
 
Tom, thanks for sharing this information!  

Beginning next month we will be making 6x runs co-composting biochar, green and food waste, (with side-by-side controls) at our Chino facility, in Southern California.   6 volume percent biochar will be used. Production levels will be around 300 cubic yards per run. 

I am going to attempt to premarket the material for R&D purposes, and start taking advanced orders later this month, launching a new website.  I plan to focus the selling points on the carbon sequestration multiplying effect I have measured multiple locations across California in turf trials with compost and biochar.   I am also kicking off a road show to the larger California communities, here is the first one later this month, others will be confirmed.




Once we have finished compost data on microbial counts, and available nutrients, versus Control, assuming the results are positive, we will add those also to the website.  

I would love to get your help in any way possible when the time comes? Get the word out, the web site can claim supported by IBI, etc.  I can host visits to the site, others can be involved. 

Thanks,

Rick Wilson





On Sunday, February 2, 2020, 01:36:18 PM PST, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:


US Biochar Initiative showcased biochar in a pre-conference workshop at Compost 2020, the annual meeting of the US Composting Council. More than 1100 people attended the conference in Charleston, South Carolina. We conducted a pre-conference workshop and hosted a conference session. Presenters showed that biochar and compost are a productive combination for turf, landscape, horticulture, floriculture, field crops, mine remediation, and green infrastructure including stormwater, basins, green roofs, swales and islands, rain gardens and engineered wetlands.

The science and practice of biochar was presented in a sold-out half day workshop, “Introduction to Biochar.” Tom Miles, USBI Executive Director, presented an overview of the biochar industry, products and markets. A team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center, Florence, South Carolina, provided the scientific background Dr Jeff Novak presented an excellent “Biochar 101”. Dr. Kyoung Ro described his research on “dry” biochar made by pyrolysis and “Wet” biochar made by hydrothermal carbonization in crops and vermiculture. Dr. Tom Ducey presented results from the use of biochar with biosolids and compost in mine remediation. USBI has benefitted from collaboration with the USDA ARS and the 40 scientists who conduct biochar research.

Commercial experiences with biochar and co-composting were presented by commercial biochar compost producers. Jon Nilsson of Chargrow®, Ashville, North Carolina, described in detail how he has used biochar in active composting (10-15% biochar), compost in biochar conditioning (90% biochar) and in a value-added blends (50% biochar). Char in active composting is used it increase production efficiency and increase nutrients and biology. Compost for biochar conditioning is used to condition or prime the char for land application. And char with compost is used to make a higher value soil amendment. Jon showed how Biochar Source products are used in trees and urban landscaping, row crops – beans, corn – horticulture – tomatoes. He summarized his Best Management Practices, emphasized the need to follow David Yarrow’s advice to “moisten, micronize, mineralize and microbially inoculate” biochars, and showed samples of biochars. He described how to conduct simple soil amendment maturity tests using plants. Jon showed how biochars can be used to create fungus or bacteria rich blends depending on the need.  He showed how he turns $40/CY compost into $400/CY products by using biochar and other ingredients. Jon emphasized the need to show clear and simple pictures of the results of biochar – improved growth, plant survival, etc. - to customers again and again.

Jon also described how Symsoil®, San Francisco, California, uses biochar at various stages to promote the soil food web to reach high value markets. Symsoil’s biochar products, like Robust Compost and Grow Cubes, are used match the needs of plants to develop bacteria dominated blends for broccoli, kale, lettuces, onions; equal fungi to ratio formulations for corn, turf grass, tomatoes and carrots; and fungal dominated plants like trees, shrubs and perennials. Symsoil makes microbe enriched blends for cannabis, vineyards, and hydroponics. Their biochar enhanced Grow Cubes have been shown to reduce powdery mildew.      

Jack Hoeck, Rexius Products, Oregon, described his experience with biochar from his initial experiments to how Rexius now incorporates biochar in many high-end compost products, and how they make adjustments to biochars and biochar blends for different composting conditions and end uses. During the conference Jack received the Hi Kellogg (Kellogg Garden) award from USCC for his contributions to the compost industry.

Workshop participants appreciated the quality and practicality of the presentations and discussions and requested more biochar workshops at future meetings. They also requested further information about sources, qualities and prices for biochars. We look forward to collaborating with compost producers in future workshops and demonstrations.

<JonNilsson.jpg>


<Compost Chemical and Physical.xls>



<2019080692 - Compost Testing - page 1a.pdf><Co-Composting Biochar.pdf>





Mark Ludlow
 

Hi Norm,

All of us may be considering downsizing our expectations. But how much “fuzziness” do our unreasonable expectations allow?

The problem is always “upstream” it seems. If everything were as toxic as we imagine it to be, well, it’s probably worse than you imagined!

Upstream, there should be severe restrictions and accountability for chemicals with poor fates (from a human-health perspective, at minimum.) We are flush-and-forget!

But broadcasting MSWs over ClearCut replants seems like SOS.

If everything were toxic there wouldn’t be much room left for love and laughter.

Very best regards, Norm,
Mark Ludlow

 


From: main@biochar.groups.io on behalf of Norm Baker <ntbakerphd@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 5, 2020 9:38 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Cc: Darlene Schanfald
Subject: Re: [Biochar] USBI Biochar Workshop at Compost 2020
 
Gentlemen;

I am very wary of using biosolids on any kind of agricultural soil or any soil for that matter. 

I have seen firsthand the application of biosolids and what it did to the immediate wildlife on a forestry plot. Within two weeks we found dead animals. I have also seen firsthand the application of biosolids to agricultural land. Subsequent soil test showed results indicating a serious pollution issue - exactly like we see on Whidbey Island currently. Back in Minnesota I saw a small herd of cows with serious health issues ultimately traced to biosolids application three years earlier. I also saw one farmer who was an organic grower who applied biosolids because it was cheaper than standard best management practices for organic growing. Subsequent tests showed considerable pollution and the man went bankrupt because he could not sell his produce as organic. His reputation was also destroyed. As a member of Executive Committee for the North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club, we have one member who has been fighting the application of biosolids to agricultural land for years. I have carbon copied her on this email. 

Frankly, I would never eat vegetables or meat from land that had had biosolids applied. I understand there is a disposal issue for municipalities. I also understand it is often an overwhelming problem that is excessively costly.

That said, the standard refrain from those people who advocate doing it, is that "our practices conform to the regulations for biosolids disposal for the state or that recommended by the EPA". This is a cop-out position. The consequences to our environment are considerable. The consequences to the health of the ecosystem, area animals and plants and human health are considerable. We simply should not do this unless the biosolids can be shown to be clean of all pollutants. Yes, I know this is a hard-nosed position but one that I feel is necessary to fuel the discussion toward pyrolyzing biosolids. This is going to be a huge infrastructural issue for municipalities around the world. But, we need to get on with it.

Recently, I received a publication that documents what is happening with biosolids in Britain. There is no reason to believe it is any different here in the USA. Here is a link to the publication - https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2020/02/04/sewage-sludge-landspreading-environment-agency-report/. Read this report. As far as I can tell this is a reasonable assessment that conforms to what I have personally seen on the application of biosolids. Yes I know it is Greenpeace that did this work and they have the reputation for pushing the issue as far as possible. But from what I can tell, this is a fairly accurate assessment of the current methods of biosolids disposal - always backed up by the cop-out of conforming to current regulations or in adequate testing.

Norm