Monthly Archives:April 2012

Soil Reef Biochar Now Available at Whole Foods

Hello, biochar fans. Here is this week’s roundup of popular news in the world of biochar.

Soil Reef Biochar Now Available at Whole Foods

Beginning this week, Soil Reef Biochar can be purchased at select Whole Foods in the Philadelphia area. Don’t forget that you can still buy Soil Reef Biochar directly from the Soil Reef Biochar website, and get free shipping to the continental US.

Australian Federal Government Grants $2M to Agriculture Initiative

ABC, Yahoo News and TheBioenergySite have all covered the big news: $2 million of Federal Government funding will be used on Australian soil to research biochar’s ability to decrease emissions related to farming. Here’s a quote from the ABC article:

Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig announcement the funding in South Australia while visiting one of the successful grant applicants, the South Australian No Till Farmers Association. He says the projects will determine biochar’s effectiveness as an emission fighting agent and as a way of improving farm productivity. “It’s a great opportunity demonstrating biochar being sequested into soils to show how you can improve soil health,” he said.

An In-Depth Overview of Biochar Courtesy of Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University’s Science Magazine recently ran an online Q&A type of article discussing all aspects of biochar. Topics covered include everything from how biochar is different than other forms of chars to how porosity makes for easy water storage in biochar’s nooks and crannies. The article is very well written and goes into great depth on all sorts of topics. Read it here.

How to Use Bio-Char

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative just posted an incredibly helpful PDF on how to get the most out of your biochar purchase. The instructions cover plot creation, how to use biochar, how to tend biochar treated plots, and harvesting tips. Definately read this if you’d like step-by-step instructions on how to utilize biochar to its full potential. You can find the instructions here (PDF), or visit their website by going here.

Biochar Research Continues in Naturally Burnt Citrus Groves

If you’ve ever been curious as to how biochar can be applied to citrus trees, check out the audio interview over at this location. In it, University of Florida researcher Tim Spann discuss how citrus tress, when piled and burned by growers, can produce small amounts of natural biochar. When the burned ash is spread across the grove, the biochar goes along with it. Curiously, there have been instances where using the naturally spread ash actually robs the nutrients from the grove, resulting in undesired outcomes. To combat this, Spann suggests reinvigorating the biochar with nutrients (much like SoilReef) so the naturally created char will hold on to those nutrients and slowly leak them into the grove. Interesting stuff. Give a listen to the interview here.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and be sure to share this blog post on your favorite social networks if you found it interesting!

Biochar’s Role in the Hydrolysis of Bamboo

Biochar Under Cap-and-Trade

Biochar champions SBI (The Sonoma Biochar Initiative) is advocating the application of biochar under cap-and-trade fee investments. SBI asserts that the investments will help generate jobs within their communities. This article is heavy on the legal jargon but worth the read. Check it out here.

Biochar’s Role in the Hydrolysis of Bamboo

From the legal realm, we jump to the scientific arena. Here’s a newly published article about biochar sulfonic acid being used as a catalyst for hydrolysis in bamboo under microwave radiation. Those who remember chemistry class will know that hydrolysis is a chemical reaction where a compound is broken apart within the presence of water. This sounds like there is potential for great use in the field of agriculture. Read the study here.

Biochar Study Collection

Speaking of studies, Elsevier recently published a comprehensive list of papers centering on biochar. The papers range from the effects of biochar in certain types of soil to the avoidance of biochar by earthworms in dry soils. Some students should be able to log in if they have access to Elsevier’s system. Others will be required to pay to read the full papers but the site does offer concise summaries of each. Give them a gander here.

2012 US Biochar Conference in CA

Just a reminder that the 2012 US Biochar Conference is approaching. The event is scheduled to take place from Jul 29 through August 1 in Rohnert Park, CA. Find all the details about the event here.

Biochar Blog

Finally, we just discovered a great blog being updated by the University of British Columbia. You should check out their updates here.