Basic uses include: drinking water filtration, sanitation of human and kitchen wastes, and as a composting agent. All of these uses have been documented in many different pre-industrial cultures. In the modern world, the uses multiply: adsorber in functional clothing, insulation in the building industry, as carbon electrodes in super-capacitors for energy storage, food packaging, waste water treatment, air cleaning, silage agent or feed supplement.
What do you guys think??
Is there a more appropriate forum section to post this to?
“Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.”
― Bill Mollison
Hi Tristan. Thanks for posting the video. It is good to remember that there is a way to make charcoal without a retort.
I would like to point out that charcoal only becomes biochar after it's inoculated. Otherwise, it remains charcoal.
I would be hesitant to use something so flammable as insulation. Careful as we may be, houses do sometimes catch fire. I don't think I would want my house's walls filled with charcoal in that event.
Charcoal is certainly useful, though. With so much standing deadwood on the west side of North America, I wish we could get some biochar happening on the large scale, then buried on-contour between sources of pollutants and aquifers. Buried charcoal would be inoculated by the life already existing in the soil. More soil life, more plants with roots in the soil increasing water infiltration, and the biochar there to trap pathogens so the good soil microbes can eat them, and hopefully fewer infernos.
The shovel would be a little bigger, but that would be a lot of charcoal.
Not so great a solution for forest fires as encouraging the return of beavers to fire-prone areas, but we'll take what we can get.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein