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Dan Burdus

Biochar Questionnaire

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58 minutes ago, Christopher Schroeter said:

Biochar was part of my undergraduate dissertation. The biomass (measured above ground height and total weight) of clover increased with impressive statistical significance using soil with 5% biochar additive against control. Unfortunately for me this wasn't my primary hypothesis and the thing I was actually looking at had no change! But even a perceived failure is valuable scientifically.

Tell us more please.

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21 minutes ago, Stere said:

Never  understood the difference between biochar and charcoal

There is none

21 minutes ago, Stere said:

 

. Sometimes biochar is called activated charcoal. supose to have more surface area

 

Activated charcoal is  normally made from a specific feedstock, often bone, and has been through a process, chemical like chlorine or steam, that  reacts with the char to pock mark it internally, this increases the surface area many fold. This extensive surface area then can adsorb organic molecules and keep them bound to the matrix. It is orders of magnitude more expensive than plain old char.

21 minutes ago, Stere said:

or something for soil microbes to inhabit than regular charcoal.

This was one of the big hopes for biochar in soil, that the pore sizes in the char would be the right order of magnitude to encourage mycorrhiza as far as I can see there has been little evidence of this.

 

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27 minutes ago, Christopher Schroeter said:

About which bit?

Not sure really. You just seemed knowledgeable about it. 

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2 minutes ago, Christopher Schroeter said:

I enjoyed the research immensely. If you want to read it I can send you a copy. Some of it is shit but I got a healthy 63% for it so I was pleased!

Aye, go on then. I'll send you a private message.

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So- basically it is a soil augment that improves drainage , absorbs some toxins, increases air movement in soil and may (  I doubt this) advance mychorrisal spread. Anything else ? K ( like how much per tonne does it cost ) 

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Summary from the results of alot of studies:

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/tools-and-accessories/biochar-its-notall-black-and-white/

 

Quote

There are probably enough studies on biochar now to draw some general conclusions. It looks like biochar improves the moisture-holding capacity of soils that are deficient in that respect, and often (but not always, depending on its pH) raises the pH of acid soils. Of course, gardeners have dealt with both those problems in other ways, by applying lime, making their own compost and sometimes by importing organic matter. All of which are highly effective, and probably cheaper than biochar.

 

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13 minutes ago, Khriss said:

So- basically it is a soil augment that improves drainage , absorbs some toxins, increases air movement in soil and may (  I doubt this) advance mychorrisal spread. Anything else ? K ( like how much per tonne does it cost ) 

As openspaceman says, there is also the potential that it could 'lock up' carbon for significant periods of time.

 

Lots more research needed though.

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