Monthly Archives:April 2012

What is Albedo and How Does Biochar Help?

Hello fellow biochar fans. Here’s this week’s roundup of biochar related news.

What is Albedo and How Does Biochar Help?

Here’s a new word for your vocabulary: albedo. When light hits any surface, it is reflected. White snow has a high albedo ratio which is why sunglasses are key in polar climates. The ground can be just as bright as the sky. What does this have to do with biochar?

An Italian team running tests have uncovered evidence of decreased albedo of wheat plots in Tuscany by as much as 80%. This is great news because the albedo ratio can be correlated to global climate changes. Give this article a read and impress your friends with your newly increased vocabulary.

Biochar Usage Being Studied on a Small Scale

Ever wonder how many small-time gardeners are using biochar? Apparently the Sonoma Biochar Initiative is very interested in how popular biochar is among regular citizens. In fact, they’ve just launched the SBI Biochar Citizen Science Project. It’s designed to gather information about local gardeners who use biochar on a regular basis. The study is looking for participants to help gather data on biochar usage on small scale. If you are interested in becoming a participant, head over to their site and follow up there.

Thanks for your orders!

The demand for biochar is making itself more obvious as people around the world are discovering its amazing properties. We have been receiving a steady supply of orders and wanted to thank our customers for their support in both the environment and our vision for the future. Don’t forget you can purchase biochar from our website and we are offering free shipping to the United States. Head over to our store to pick up a bucket and let us know your progress by tweeting @SoilReefBiochar.

That’s all for this week. Happy growing, everyone!

Biochar used in Florida to increase yield in orange groves

Biochar Meets Oranges

It’s hard to think of Florida and not conjure up images of orange groves. The folks over at Citrus Industry Magazine based in The Sunshine State have discovered the benefits of using biochar, including the fact that it enriches the soil an increases the yields of orange groves. Proof of science in action…sweet, delicious science! Today we learned that there’s a magazine for everything, including citrus. Listen to a description of this month’s issue here and subscribe here.

Upcoming Cookstove Camps

The Biomass Energy Foundation will be hosting a series of camps designed to instruct curious biochar fans on how to build cookstoves and other devices for creating their own homemade biochar. Here’s a summary provided by

“Each BEF Stove Camp is a five-day, structured learning experience which features hands-on experience plus theory & instruction on gasifiers of numerous types, but focusing on pyrolytic Top-Lit UpDraft (TLUD) technology for cookstoves (and larger devices for thermal energy and biochar CHAB). In each Camp, the technical foundation, practical skills, and fabrication methods of constructing biomass-fueled devices are taught and put into practice with hands-on efforts by the participants. Each Camp has sufficient differences and updates to merit repeat attendance. Camp sizes are limited to 15 to 30 participants”

The events scheduled so far for 2012 are set to take place in Kenya, Honduras, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. View full details here.

Biochar’s Popularity Across Different Countries

A tech blog called recently posted an article about biochar. The article touches on some interesting topics such as biochar’s reception into various countries. Countries such as Kenya and Australia are early adopters while there appears to be mixed reactions in the UK. To find out why, give the article a read here.

Pacific Pyrolysis Granted $4.5m by Government

The mass production of biochar in Australia is ramping up as Pacific Pyrolysis has been granted with $4.5m by the government to reinforce biochar creation efforts. The Biochar Network just posted an article about this event and even went into detail about the Carbon Farming Initiative. In essence, the initiative states:

“There is a common interest to ensure that verifiable and scientifically robust greenhouse gas accounting methodologies are applied so that projects can ultimately gain an additional revenue stream from carbon offsets to help get established.”

Another interesting point: the Pacific Pyrolysis plant itself has been “recycled”. In years past, it was used to process materials destined for landfills such as waste water treatment sludges, paper mill residues, and feedlot manures. Give the article a read here.

That’s all fo the biochar news we have for you this week. Check back again later for the most up-to-date information on all things biochar related!