Biochar as Art, Some Free Bio-tech, and ‘char Across the Globe

Hello, gang. Welcome to this week’s biochar weekly roundup. Let’s get right to it.

“You can take it and put it in soil to improve the productivity of the soil and improve the quality of the soil, which leads to more food production and higher crop yield. It can also be used to renew damaged land.”

Truer words have never been spoken! This quote comes from a senior scientist who works with the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF). Canadian biochar lovers in Alberta are rejoicing this week after their government approved $1.7 million in research supplies to be donated to Lakeland College’s Vermillion campus. The new mobile pyrolysis units are designed to transform organic materials into biochar. Additionally, synthetic gas and bio oil will be produced in the process. This is a big step in the right direction for biochar fans all over. The article also mentions the benefits of syn-gas and bio oil, a fact often overlooked in the biochar process. Give it a read here.

Here’s an interesting perspective. What happens when a photographer does a study of biochar’s intricate shapes? The result is a collection of some truly remarkably photos. A blogger makes some incisive observations:

“Biochar is charcoal that you bury in your garden. It does many of the cool things that compost does – it holds water and nutrients like a sponge, it encourages crazy fungal growth. But unlike compost, it cannot be eaten by soil micro-organisms. It lasts just about forever. Spend a winter making it, then enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life. And if you’re an environmentalist, there’s a side benefit: that carbon won’t go into the atmosphere, which helps offset global warming.”

Honest words to accompany honest photographs. View the whole series here. The photographer’s website can be found here.

An enterprising group in Korea recently discovered the benefits of using pyrolysis on eucalyptus wood. Click the “Full Text – English” link here and give this article a read. It was originally published last summer but was recently blogged about on the Labex Korea website last week. This article touches on a interesting new type of “green chemistry”. It seems like more and more people all over the world are discovering the incredible benefits of bio-oil and biochar!

And finally this week, a retired astrophysicist in Australia is just now discovering the great benefits of being a bio-char fanatic. As the article states, “It increases the capacity for soil to hold nutrients, enhances crop yields and captures and stores carbon for the long term.” He’s so passionate that seminars are being offered and they are accepting applicants now. So if you’re down under and are interested in biochar or environmental issues, be sure to give this website a visit to see when the next seminar will be.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Hope you all have a truly great week!

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