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


Environmental Industries <licusociety@...>
 

Dear all,

Here in Malawi, we have charcoal and wood ash all over the country. Are they the same products you call Biochar? Or can they be converted to Biochar? And what makes them Biochar?

In Malawi, making charcoal is illegal. Can Biochar be made by burning agriculture wastes such as crop residues?

Sorry for so many questions. I am here to learn.


mikethewormguy
 

Goodfellow,

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

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

Mike


Environmental Industries <licusociety@...>
 

Dear Mike,

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

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

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

Thank you for your time.


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 6:33 PM mikethewormguy via groups.io <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io wrote:
Goodfellow,

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

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

Mike


mikethewormguy
 

Goodfellow,

I ask about the garlic because, in addition to being a big garlic fan, we grow garlic (green & bulb) commercially, as well as, make pest management formulations from the garlic extract.

Garlic is a very effective intercropping partner for a range of crops.  We intercrop garlic with our blueberries, strawberries, industrial CBD hemp, and potatoes.  Garlic does much to improve long term soil health.    In our part of the world, we plant hardneck garlic in October/November.  The garlic starts to push in late March and is ready as 'green garlic' in early June and as 'bulb garlic' in late July.  We put a small amount of biochar and rock minerals in every hole that we plant the garlic clove.  We keep about 25% of our current garlic harvest for the next season's planting.

One idea to consider is to use a diluted garlic extract as the solution used to dilute the urine in to make the 10% urine.  The garlic extract would widen the functionality of the urine application as a pest mitigation&fertlizer combo. 

Mike


Stephen Joseph
 

Dear Goodfellow

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

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

Regards
Stephen

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your time.


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 6:33 PM mikethewormguy via groups.io <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io wrote:
Goodfellow,

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

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

Mike


Ron Larson
 

 Goodfellow and list:

See below.



On Apr 14, 2020, at 6:32 AM, Environmental Industries <licusociety@...> wrote:

Dear all,

Here in Malawi, we have charcoal and wood ash all over the country. Are they the same products you call Biochar? Or can they be converted to Biochar? And what makes them Biochar?

[RWL:  There may be sites near you where charcoal has been sold by middlemen.  There could be piles of charcoal dust - generally unusable by housewives for cooking - but could be perfect (and low cost) for use as biochar.

In Malawi, making charcoal is illegal. Can Biochar be made by burning agriculture wastes such as crop residues?

RWL:  the biochar community tries to avoid the word “burning” with making char - we use “pyrolyze, gasify and carbonize”.  

Yes,  crop residues can be turned into char.  Probably many of your customers are already burning corn stalks for cooking (using 3-stone fires).  There are stoves that can use corn stalks and make (not use) charcoal.

Most everyone on this list would rather use the pyrolysis gases than vent or flare them.   Cookstove users can make money - not spend it - while cooking. (With wood as well as corn stalks).  There is a companion list for this stove topic.

Ron

Sorry for so many questions. I am here to learn.



d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

Good Fellow,

Where are you located? We have a whole team making biochar based in Zomba and ready to travel anywhere to do trainings.

Let me know who you are and where. I will connect you with our team.

M


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 7:32 PM Environmental Industries <licusociety@...> wrote:
Dear all,

Here in Malawi, we have charcoal and wood ash all over the country. Are they the same products you call Biochar? Or can they be converted to Biochar? And what makes them Biochar?

In Malawi, making charcoal is illegal. Can Biochar be made by burning agriculture wastes such as crop residues?

Sorry for so many questions. I am here to learn.