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Charring damp material

 
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In my biochar readings, several writers have mentioned using what sounded like damp or green materials.  This sounds odd to me, but I've been wrong once or twice in my life.

Can you really char green or half-dry weeds or leaves or small branches?  I would assume that you would lay dry stuff to burn on top.  Is there any real advantage to using green materials?

 
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Green/damp materials lead to smoke generation, something I actively work to avoid.  If I'm going to char something wet I always lay it around the pit edge that I'm charring in so that it can dry by the heat of the fire before I add it.

There is another process that uses wet material...the hydrochar method.  That's a high pressure method akin to pressure cooking.  But you need good equipment to do it due to the high pressure, otherwise it can be quite dangerous.
 
Sue Monroe
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Okay, that makes sense to me!  With the use of biochar being a rather new concept, I think many people are passing along theories, opinions and misinformation as fact.  And it can be difficult to separate them.

How about that theory that biochar actually multiples itself?  *Grin/ rolly eyes*
 
Greg Martin
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Sue Monroe wrote:How about that theory that biochar actually multiples itself?  *Grin/ rolly eyes*



Boy, that would be great, wouldn't it Sue!  My ears are fully open for a demonstration of that.  The only way I know of for that to happen is that biochar makes trees grow faster, then when a fire rips though we have more biochar

I have some out there biochar hypotheses as well, but I'll hold back on spreading them until I have significant support for them.  We have so much to learn in this field, even with the 1000s of studies carried out.  We're currently in the middle of a significant enlargement in our understanding of soil science and the role of pyrogenic carbon (biochar) in these systems.
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