What is it Bio Char?

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Biochar is the burning of carbonaceous material, namely wood.

It’s burned in a variety of stoves/kilns depending on the size of the operation in a pyrolytic environment ( restricted Oxygen).

The vessels are designed to run from 900-1500 f°. A very pragmatic system for small operations is typically a 5g metal paint can with a 1g coffee can attached to the lid. Ideally, similar size pieces of wood with no more than 10% moisture are put the can and tinder for ignition on the top.

There are specific sized and spaced holes in the can itself for oxygen to enter.

The idea is to burn off everything leaving virtually pure carbon and can it takes about 70” for a burn when it’s quenched. Quenching the hot material causes a violent reaction which creates macro and micro pores. Micro pores occur in the macro pores . After cooling the Biochar typically is inoculated in a variety of ways. If used un-inoculated in a crop/plant the Biochar will rob minerals and other soil compounds needed for optimal growth.

Some folks put the Biochar in the soil and plant after several months to ensure it’s adequately inoculated.

Biochar provides micro/macro habitats for microorganisms to colonize these pores. From urine, fish emulsion, sugars, fish offal or remains and fresh cut grass amongst other sources can be used successfully to inoculate with. Our Bio Char is inoculate with worms casting (of course).

The Biochar is typically put just below and in the rhizosphere. It’s also helps the climate change issue because the Biochar is sequestered in the soil. Biochar is considered an amendment v a nutrient once applied. If you’re a gardener or farmer it’s a great tool to use. It stretches water consume.

Bio Char o Terra preta (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈtɛʁɐ ˈpɾetɐ], locally [ˈtɛha ˈpɾeta], literally "black soil" in Portuguese) is a type of very dark, fertile artificial (anthropogenic) soil found in the Amazon Basin. It is also known as "Amazonian dark earth" or "Indian black earth". In Portuguese its full name is terra preta do índio or terra preta de índio ("black soil of the Indian", "Indians' black earth"). Terra mulata ("mulatto earth") is lighter or brownish in color.

Homemade terra preta, with charcoal pieces indicated using white arrows

Terra preta owes its characteristic black color to its weathered charcoal content, and was made by adding a mixture of charcoal, bone, broken pottery, compost and manure to the low fertility Amazonian soil. A product of indigenous soil management and slash-and-char agriculture, the charcoal is stable and remains in the soil for thousands of years, binding and retaining minerals and nutrients.

Terra preta is characterized by the presence of low-temperature charcoal residues in high concentrations; of high quantities of tiny pottery shards; of organic matter such as plant residues, animal feces, fish and animal bones, and other material; and of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and manganese. Fertile soils such as terra preta show high levels of microorganic activities and other specific characteristics within particular ecosystems.

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