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Chimney sweepings as biochar?

 
Leonard Barron
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I cleaned out my father's chimney which was loaded with chips of resinous creosote from burning wood. Can this be used as biochar?
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Leonard Barron : No! Depending on where on the toxic-gick scale you use for a yard stick this is bad or very bad stuff ! For handling purposes lots of protection is needed.

If you get it on you by the time you have scrubbed it off your skin is chapped or even abraded, with no protective layer off surface oils, further contact at that point will
cause you to absorb Some of the materials mostly creosote actively through your skin !

Creosote is often used to coat fence posts to be buried in the ground ,because it will extend the useful life of the post by retarding rot ! As such and in remote locations it
is probably one of the least dangerous group of chemicals compared to everything else used for that purpose ( My opinion )

True Terra preta di Indio, or Bio-char, was made by a low temp smoldering process that created a very porous open cell structure that looked a little like Marine coral !
Much of the wood gas that was produced was redeposited back to this open cell structure and served as amendments and bio-nutrients for the many cultures of beneficial
fungi and bacteria!

Probably the best thing you could do with this material would be to bury it where these living Biota call slowly recycle it ! For the Good of the craft ! Big AL
 
Troy Rhodes
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We could say pretty accurately, that when you make biochar, you remove the volatiles from the wood (that's the creosote) and you're left with almost pure carbon.

Creosote is the more-or-less opposite of biochar.


Good biochar is very not toxic. You could eat it with ~impunity. Activated carbon is eaten on purpose for some kinds of poisoning, because it is so good at adsorbing stuff to it's very high surface area.


Creosote is not super toxic, but it is enough toxic I don't want it around my food.



Hope that was helpful...



troy


 
Dolph Cooke
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Leonard Barron wrote:I cleaned out my father's chimney which was loaded with chips of resinous creosote from burning wood. Can this be used as biochar?


The other folk have it pretty much worked out mate. However if your into making Biochar then
consider stacking all that stuff you scored from ya dads chimney into a paint can with a hole in the lid
and use it inside a fire like a retort.

Once the fire is over look inside to see whats left. If anything is left it will be Biochar.

Chances are inside some of that treasure may be carbon.

Also the best way to stop your fences being eaten by whiteants or rot is to biochar them
about 1 cm deep and 120mm above the ground level. So your fence post might be 2/3's Charred.

Charmaster Dolph
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