J W Richardson

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since Aug 04, 2012
Council, ID
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Recent posts by J W Richardson

Link...http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154617
1 month ago
Hi Rebecca!

   I found this quote from a study in Nepal...maybe it is the other way around?

The most toxic compound among the PAH-16 used as benchmarks by the environmental authorities in many countries is benzo(a)pyrene. Concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene were 0.01–0.06 mg/kg (Table 1), well below the Norwegian maximum tolerable risk (MTR) level for soils where 95% of art diversity is protected (0.5 mg/kg)[41]. In addition, PAHs in biochar are only very sparingly bioavailable, often less than 1% [28]. Due most probably to the optimized out-gassing under the fire front the PAH EPA16 contents were low (2.3 to 6.6 mg kg-1). However, while both water quenched metal cone biochars would qualify for EBC premium quality (< 4 ±2 mg kg-1), the soil snuffed biochar would only entitle for basic quality (< 12±4 mg kg-1). It can be assumed that the hot water vapor that penetrates from bottom to top through the biochar layers during the water quenching process has an activating effect and may expulse PAH containing gases out of the biochar pores [42]. This activating and tar reducing effect can also be seen in the nearly 50% higher specific surface area of the water quenched eupatorium char (215 m2 g-1) compared to the soil snuffed char (149 m2 g-1).
1 month ago
Thanks Barry, for explaining about the limitations of the higher tech approaches. No more guilt here!
   A a kind of coffin sized pit a foot or so deep accentuates the top burning aspects if you have a permanent location, less oxygen to the coals as they are below ground level and air flow not so good there. Coffin sized because it is really easy to cut most small stuff the that size, less cuts. I find that I do not have time for much besides feeding the fire when burning, it goes fast!
  I start with a small fire in the pit and add gradually to that rather than top burning an intact pile, as I want to be able to control the height of the flames due to trees nearby.
  Credit to that guy in hawaii, previously mentioned in other biochar threads...I will find his info...
1 month ago
Powdered charcoal is so pervasive, and it colors so easily, it makes sense the the worms or even water flow would spread it, so not actually regenerating but being spread. That sounds like sense. I think the word regenerating is what threw me.
1 month ago
Sign me up for a willow coffin!
1 month ago
Thanks! My thoughts exactly, low tech then, low tech now. Overall a little less carbon capture, but better than none.

Fascinated by the self perpetuation thing, I have seen this elsewhere, but so hard to believe! Are bacteria actually creating more charcoal, or is the charcoal migrating from the leftover patch into new soil?
1 month ago
As someone who is not capable of affording or building a metal retort, I am loving the pit method. It may not be perfect, but I have some biochar instead of nothing, and over time any imperfections will balance out as seen in old sites.
  I save all prunings until the fall, nothing larger than 3 inches diameter, and burn it by feeding it to the fire in increments, not allowing the flames to die down. When all is burned I quench it thoroughly with water, so not too much ash, and hopefully the water wash will help lower the higher ph.
  I mix it with the chicken bedding and then mulch with that. Not the best method for incorporating it, but it eventually gets there. I think the most valuable aspect of it is not a fast bump, I have good fertility already, but down the road I hope to be able maintain high levels with less amendments. What could be better than creating long term fertility based on microbial activity? And that isn't even touching the carbon sequestration part.
1 month ago
Time for some experimenting! Thanks Brian.
1 month ago
A blog, some food and a lot of willow. She has gone to a lot of workshops available on the East coast. Also, has a post on using willow bark.

         https://sandra-kehoe.squarespace.com/blog-1/?offset=1502842723347

1 month ago