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How to grind biochar quantities?

 
zinneken ikke
Posts: 24
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I've been growing a pile of biochar over last year, ready for grinding to small size and adding to half the veg garden. How does one grind biochar to tiny or dust-like particles prior to adding to soil?

Solutions such as blender, coffee grinder, bag&hammer, spread out on hard surface and drive over, in cement mixer with bricks, wait for weather and nature to break the charcoal down to smaller sizes, buy the ready-made-biochar-dust bags in store, etc. can be read up on.

Arguably good things come with time and patience, but none of these solutions are very practical when wanting to convert a pile of biochar for half the vegetable garden for this season. There must be a way to do this more efficiently for the home & garden enthusiast, even if one needs to build/buy/rent some kind of appliance.

How do you all reduce your biochar piles to small particles?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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I have a hammer mill brush chipper. It does it easily and quickly, but makes a HUGE dust storm. I do it on drizzly days and live in the middle of nowhere.

Garden scale: in poly bags and drive over it or pound it with a sand tamper or sledge. You should be able to do as much as you need in a weekend. I wouldn't spend money on a tool unless you want to do tons of biochar, literally.

Small production scale: I would buy an old farm grinder-mixer. It was made to grind corn and other feedstuffs and mix them together. It has a large hammer mill WITH BUILT IN DUST MANAGEMENT!! It also would let you mix biochar and other amendments (green sand, azomite, alfalfa pellets, bone, blood, or feather meal, etc) in at the same time.
 
Philip Small
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Location: Spokane, WA
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A vac-shredder/bagger with a metal impeller is pretty handy. The bag helps control the dust. Toro makes a little electric vac shredder with the right impeller. Stihl has a back pack gas powered one. Bob Wells, New England Biochar, uses a stationary vac-shredder to unload his Adam retorts. Note: I found out this doesn't work at all well with wet charcoal.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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You don't need to worry about "dust management" when it is wet. What I do is to put it in a bucket with some water and use the immersion blender on it. You have to dedicate an immersion blender to this task though, because once you do it, you're never going to get it clean again -- or enough so that you would be willing to make a fruit smoothie with it.
 
jimmy gallop
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Location: east and dfw texas
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I'm going to say just off top , put it in tarp on a hard surface and drive over it not one pile but a line.
 
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