Sugarcane for CDR #CDR #bagasse #sugarcane


Ron Larson
 

List:  cc Dr. Lima (separate message sent to Mr. (soon Dr.?) David Lefebvre)

1.   I can’t recall now how/why this (non-fee) paper popped up - but I believe it to be quite important for tying biochar into CDR:   


'Modelling the potential for soil carbon sequestration using biochar from sugarcane residues in Brazil".   
  • David Lefebvre
  • Adrian Williams, 
  • Jeroen Meersmans
  • Guy J. D. Kirk
  • Saran Sohi
  • Pietro Goglio & 
  • Pete Smith  
  • Scientific Reports 10, Article number: 19479 (2020

    Can anyone help on this gap?  
    3.  I am more concerned with this judgement (that is of course also based on the above - my added emphasis).;
    "We have not allowed for possible increases in sugarcane yield over time with biochar incorporation. The literature reports wide ranges in yield effects of biochar depending on crop type, soil conditions, climate, and biochar characteristics3339. In general, yield responses are smaller for perennial crops, such as sugarcane, compared to annual crops34,37,38. In any case, the management of sugarcane plantations in São Paulo is such that yields are already apparently optimized and there is little room left for improvement. According to the IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), yields stabilized around 200740.


    4.  Knowin that there instead can be improved yield (having heard a talk by Dr. Isabel Lima at the 2016 USBI Conference)  I searched and found a different Lima paper] - with continued good experimental yield improvement

    Dr. Lima updated her 2016 talk at the 2019 USBI Conference.  See her Ppt at   

    Her material is now near publication, with this being said in the abstract (again, my added emphases) found at; 

    'Technical Abstract: Sugarcane trash and bagasse represent potential untapped resources associated with harvesting and processing of sugarcane. These organic feedstocks can be thermo-chemically converted into biochars and brought back to the field as soil amendments to improve sugarcane yields, while enhancing soil health and water holding capacity. Biochars from sugarcane leaf residue and bagasse were applied at 0, 4 and 8%, with and without fertilizer. Sugarcane biomass and theoretical recoverable sucrose (TRS) content were compared across different treatments. Adding biochar to the soil consistently resulted in improvements in total TRS, stalk cane yield and sugar yields. Yield increases were more significant with bagasse than leaf residue biochar and more significant with 4% than 8% biochar addition. Best results found with 4% bagasse biochar addition and a TRS improvement of 22.3% and 31.6% from control, for fertilizer and no fertilizer additions, respectively. Benefits of biochar application to cane fields include increases in soil carbon, improvement to soil drainage and aeration, and addition of nutrients for the sugarcane crop. Economic benefits are expected for sugarcane growers and processors through the production of valuable biochar from sugarcane leaf residues and bagasse together with enhancing the sugarcane industry’s footprint in renewable energy markets."


    5.    The only other similar paper (also open access; 2019) that I could find was at:

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/418/1/0

     Utilization of the trash biochar and waste of sugarcane to improve the quality of sandy soil and growth of sugarcane

    B Hariyono1W H Utomo2,3S R Utami2 and T Islami

    This was a 1 year test.  The authors stated the soil had improved more than the yield, but yields seemed to go up similarly to Dr. Lima’s longer tests (10% and more) .

       6.  So I hope Mr. Lefebvre (message sent) and the other authors of this new nice study will further analyze and report the importance of 10% (and more?) yield 
    improvement.  There are few ag businesses that are already productively combusting a portion of their waste and generally leaving so much in the field that could be 
    turned into char with significant profit improvement.  A yield improvement from biochar with sugarcane can help all biochar activities.

    I found hundreds of articles reporting the use of char made from bagasse.  Can anyone explain why there has been so little in-field research like the
     two papers identified above?   Such experiments could greatly influence papers like the main one being lauded here - thereby helping the overall growth of the
     biochar community.    

    The CDR community should pay attention here to the huge annual biomass yield from sugarcane.  I can envision sugar becoming secondary to CDR with this plant.

    Ron


    mikethewormguy
     

    Ron,

    Thanks for the info. 

    Biogenic silica/phytoliths are a fertile subject for soil health.

    On a smaller and more local scale than sugarcane, we will be making biochar next spring from the spent oyster mushroom wheat straw substrate that we are using to produce mushrooms now.

    We will be applying both the spent mushroom substrate straight and as char, as a soil amendment medley, to the soil next spring.

    We used hardwood ash from our fireplace to cold sterilize the wheat straw.

    Keep in mind that we also added peices of sterilized wood char to the sterilized straw during inoculation process in the bag.

    Am curious how similar the soil effects could be from bagasse biochar vs substrate biochar...?    They are both processed biomass sources of biogenic silica......

    my curious 2 cents...

    Mike





    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


    John Hofmeyr
     

    On Thu, Nov 26, 2020 at 07:25 PM, Ron Larson wrote:
    Can anyone explain why there has been so little in-field research ....
    Ron, in South Africa, the answer to your question is the Semmelweis effect.


    Ron Larson
     

    John: and List

    Interesting and sad history for this gentleman.  You might be right - but I would have thought that possible greater profits might have made a difference.  Thanks goodness there were a few researchers.

    Ron



    On Nov 28, 2020, at 1:49 PM, John Hofmeyr <john-h@...> wrote:

    On Thu, Nov 26, 2020 at 07:25 PM, Ron Larson wrote:
    Can anyone explain why there has been so little in-field research ....
    Ron, in South Africa, the answer to your question is the Semmelweis effect.


    Nando Breiter
     

    Is anyone aware of a biochar project that has been funded by a carbon market? If so, please share the details.

    I looked into the possibility to some depth about 10 years ago. Between project setup and verification costs, additionality constraints, and the relatively small scale of biochar projects (I thought producing 4 tonnes of char per day was relatively large scale until the CDM consultant at First Environment in Germany laughed at me, and said "That is nothing") ... I let the idea go. 





    On Sat, Nov 28, 2020 at 10:12 PM Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:
    John: and List

    Interesting and sad history for this gentleman.  You might be right - but I would have thought that possible greater profits might have made a difference.  Thanks goodness there were a few researchers.

    Ron



    On Nov 28, 2020, at 1:49 PM, John Hofmeyr <john-h@...> wrote:

    On Thu, Nov 26, 2020 at 07:25 PM, Ron Larson wrote:
    Can anyone explain why there has been so little in-field research ....
    Ron, in South Africa, the answer to your question is the Semmelweis effect.


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


    Tom Miles
     

    Nando,

     

    You may not have seen the announcements that Carbofex Oy and Rainbow Beeeater in Australia have been selling on Puro.earth and there will soon be an announcement of a North American supplier selling on CarbonFuture.earth. Carbon Future will accept IBI or EBC certification. Puro requires EBC certification. IBI is currently supporting an effort to develop protocols approved by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) which will provide access to larger markets.

     

    Tom   

     

    From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Nando Breiter
    Sent: Saturday, November 28, 2020 2:12 PM
    To: main@biochar.groups.io
    Subject: Re: [Biochar] Sugarcane for CDR

     

    Is anyone aware of a biochar project that has been funded by a carbon market? If so, please share the details.

     

    I looked into the possibility to some depth about 10 years ago. Between project setup and verification costs, additionality constraints, and the relatively small scale of biochar projects (I thought producing 4 tonnes of char per day was relatively large scale until the CDM consultant at First Environment in Germany laughed at me, and said "That is nothing") ... I let the idea go. 



     

     

    On Sat, Nov 28, 2020 at 10:12 PM Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

    John: and List

     

    Interesting and sad history for this gentleman.  You might be right - but I would have thought that possible greater profits might have made a difference.  Thanks goodness there were a few researchers.

     

    Ron

     

     



    On Nov 28, 2020, at 1:49 PM, John Hofmeyr <john-h@...> wrote:

     

    On Thu, Nov 26, 2020 at 07:25 PM, Ron Larson wrote:

    Can anyone explain why there has been so little in-field research ....

    Ron, in South Africa, the answer to your question is the Semmelweis effect.

     


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


    Biochar Technologies
     

    This is obviously a very important contribution, simply by bringing up the issue of modelling the impact of biochar on C-stocks. The main goal was to evaluate the C sequestration potential of using biochar from the pyrolysis of sugarcane trash and bagasse compared to their current use of these feedstocks (bagasse is used for CHP and trash is mostly left in the field). Additionally, different intensities of positive priming of biochar on native SOC decomposition is investigated.

    I would add the following notes about the publication:

    (1)   While the baseline scenario is accurate (although I guess much less than 30% of sugarcane trash is currently used for CHP), there are some issues with the other ones, which do not reflect management practice in the sugarcane industry of the state São Paulo (and I don’t believe they will change much upon a possible adoption of biochar):

    a.      Mills use bagasse for process heat and energy generation – the excess of which is sold to the grid in most cases.

    b.      Bagasse is not an ideal pyrolysis feedstock because of its large moisture content (about 50%) a consequence of the sugar extraction procedure.

    c.      No bagasse is or will be brought back to the field because of cost issues (scenarios 2 and 3).

    (2)   Negative priming of biochar on the decomposition of native SOC is also reported in the literature – it would have been interesting to see such a simulation or at least a note why it was not considered.

    (3)   The authors statements "We have not allowed for possible increases in sugarcane yield over time with biochar incorporation” because  “… the management of sugarcane plantations in São Paulo is such that yields are already apparently optimized and there is little room left for improvement. According to the IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), yields stabilized around 2007.” are wrong – sugarcane crop management is far from optimized yields:

    a.      Sugarcane is one of the crops with the largest gap between potential (> 350 t/ha) and realized yields (averages somewhere between 75 and 85t/ha/crop). Dias and Sentelhas, 2018 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718316498?via%3Dihub).

    b.      The yield plateau identified in the IBGE data has various explanations:

                                                        i.     The commodity boom (starting somewhen around 2005) triggered the expansion of sugarcane to new areas which showed rather poor yields – it took the sugarcane wills quite a time to get used to these new areas.

                                                       ii.     Around 2010 burning sugarcane fields before harvest started to be phased out why two important consequence: substitution of manual by mechanical harvest. Existing varieties were not adapted to this changing management – sugarcane harvesters are heavy machines increasing the problem of soil compaction. Additionally, the mechanical stress of the machine damages the sugarcane clumps and negatively impacts the ratoon yields.

                                                      iii.     Over the last years there were repeatedly seasons with below average rainfall – you will see in the Dias and Sentelhas (2018) publication that water supply is the main yield limiting factor in sugarcane crops (irrigation is not common in the state São Paulo).

    c.      I guess there is plenty of scope to increase sugarcane yield and I am quite confident biochar can give its contribution.

    Here I am adding comments and links to data about biochar effects on sugarcane yield:

    (1)   I am looking forward to have details beyond those shown in the Isabel Lima’s presentation at the USBI conference 2019 -  the biochar effects on sugarcane yields reported there are quite impressive – according to slide 24 the best treatment increased sugar yield by 12’480 kg over the four years of the experiment compared to the control – this is more than one extra crop. And this effect was achieved with only 800 kg biochar/ha. Such a yield increase will make biochar highly profitable.

    (2)   The other publication by Isabel Lima mentioned by Ron is not very realistic for practical applications:

    a.      This was a pot experiment with rather small pots for a plant like sugarcane.

    b.      Biochar application rates were way to large – there will not be sufficient feedstock to produce such large amounts of biochar.

    (3)   Here is a list of additional publications about biochar effects on sugarcane yield (or growth) I am aware of:

    a.      https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-018-0663-6

    b.      https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201900171

    d.      https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121406

    e.      https://elibrary.sugarresearch.com.au/handle/11079/14654

    f.       https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.11.006

    g.      https://doi.org/10.1071/SR10011 [There is an issue with the figures in this publication.

    h.

    About reasons why sugarcane is little studied:

    (1)   Sugarcane is a perennial crop – does not fit well into the academic life cycle.

    (2)   Brazil is the most important sugarcane producer worldwide – research is not a primary concern of our governments and companies are not used to do research on their own.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards

    Markus

    --
    B I O C H A R   T E C H N O L O G I E S
    contato@...
    +55 11 95345-0717


    Ron Larson
     

    List and Markus, cc David and Isabel

    See inserts.  (But first note the Dr. Liedgens is founder of one of Brazil’s 2 biochar companies;  see more at http://biochartechnologies.com.br/nossa-equipe;  company is in Sao Paolo.

    On Nov 30, 2020, at 12:39 PM, Biochar Technologies <contato@...> wrote:

    This is obviously a very important contribution, simply by bringing up the issue of modelling the impact of biochar on C-stocks. The main goal was to evaluate the C sequestration potential of using biochar from the pyrolysis of sugarcane trash and bagasse compared to their current use of these feedstocks (bagasse is used for CHP and trash is mostly left in the field). Additionally, different intensities of positive priming of biochar on native SOC decomposition is investigated.
    I would add the following notes about the publication:

    (1)   While the baseline scenario is accurate (although I guess much less than 30% of sugarcane trash is currently used for CHP), there are some issues with the other ones, which do not reflect management practice in the sugarcane industry of the state São Paulo (and I don’t believe they will change much upon a possible adoption of biochar):

    a.      Mills use bagasse for process heat and energy generation – the excess of which is sold to the grid in most cases.

    b.      Bagasse is not an ideal pyrolysis feedstock because of its large moisture content (about 50%) a consequence of the sugar extraction procedure.

    c.      No bagasse is or will be brought back to the field because of cost issues (scenarios 2 and 3).

    (2)   Negative priming of biochar on the decomposition of native SOC is also reported in the literature – it would have been interesting to see such a simulation or at least a note why it was not considered.

    [RWL1:  Key word is “Negative"

    (3)   The authors statements "We have not allowed for possible increases in sugarcane yield over time with biochar incorporation” because  “… the management of sugarcane plantations in São Paulo is such that yields are already apparently optimized and there is little room left for improvement. According to the IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), yields stabilized around 2007.” are wrong – sugarcane crop management is far from optimized yields:

    a.      Sugarcane is one of the crops with the largest gap between potential (> 350 t/ha) and realized yields (averages somewhere between 75 and 85t/ha/crop). Dias and Sentelhas, 2018 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718316498?via%3Dihub).



    [RWL2;   this didn’t work for me.  But playing around got this 2018 paper  at: 
                     https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969718316498:  

    "Sugarcane yield gap analysis in Brazil – A multi-model approach for determining magnitudes and causes"

    b.      The yield plateau identified in the IBGE data has various explanations:

                                                        i.     The commodity boom (starting somewhen around 2005) triggered the expansion of sugarcane to new areas which showed rather poor yields – it took the sugarcane wills quite a time to get used to these new areas.

                                                       ii.     Around 2010 burning sugarcane fields before harvest started to be phased out why two important consequence: substitution of manual by mechanical harvest. Existing varieties were not adapted to this changing management – sugarcane harvesters are heavy machines increasing the problem of soil compaction. Additionally, the mechanical stress of the machine damages the sugarcane clumps and negatively impacts the ratoon yields.

                                                      iii.     Over the last years there were repeatedly seasons with below average rainfall – you will see in the Dias and Sentelhas (2018) publication that water supply is the main yield limiting factor in sugarcane crops (irrigation is not common in the state São Paulo).

    c.      I guess there is plenty of scope to increase sugarcane yield and I am quite confident biochar can give its contribution.

    Here I am adding comments and links to data about biochar effects on sugarcane yield:

    (1)   I am looking forward to have details beyond those shown in the Isabel Lima’s presentation at the USBI conference 2019 -  the biochar effects on sugarcane yields reported there are quite impressive – according to slide 24 the best treatment increased sugar yield by 12’480 kg over the four years of the experiment compared to the control – this is more than one extra crop. And this effect was achieved with only 800 kg biochar/ha. Such a yield increase will make biochar highly profitable.

    (2)   The other publication by Isabel Lima mentioned by Ron is not very realistic for practical applications:

    a.      This was a pot experiment with rather small pots for a plant like sugarcane.

    b.      Biochar application rates were way to large – there will not be sufficient feedstock to produce such large amounts of biochar.

    (3)   Here is a list of additional publications about biochar effects on sugarcane yield (or growth) I am aware of:

    a.      https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-018-0663-6.     [Sugar Tech;  hsa fee.  2019]

      b.      https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201900171.   [??  url didn’t work]


    c.  RWL3:  none listed

    d.      https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121406.   [2020 - has fee]

    e.      https://elibrary.sugarresearch.com.au/handle/11079/14654.   [2015 - Non fee.  Australia]

    f.       https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.11.006    [2015. Has fee,  Florida]

    g.      https://doi.org/10.1071/SR10011 [There is an issue with the figures in this publication.  [2010. Has fee]

    h.

    [RWL4:   I think all the abstracts were positive re biochar from bagasse.

    About reasons why sugarcane is little studied:

    (1)   Sugarcane is a perennial crop – does not fit well into the academic life cycle.

    (2)   Brazil is the most important sugarcane producer worldwide – research is not a primary concern of our governments and companies are not used to do research on their own.

    Hope this helps.

    [RWL5:  Markus:    Very much so - including last two “reasons'.     Good to see that the US Department of Agriculture was able to fund Dr.Lima

    To me as an amateur - the most exciting statement was your (above) 350 t/ha (I presume per year).  I need to see what qualifiers are on that (wet/dry, etc).   I don’t recall seeing a number even 10& of that one.

    Good luck with your own very young venture.  Nice website.

    Thanks for so much positive biochar-pertinent material.

    Ron


    Regards
    Markus
    --
    B I O C H A R   T E C H N O L O G I E S
    contato@...
    +55 11 95345-0717