Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Biochar is part of the “third way”

Zoologist/author Tim Flannery from Australia sees a “third way” to manage atmospheric CO2: reduce emissions, geoengineering, and “absorb CO2 in a benign manner from the atmosphere and convert it into a mineralized form of carbon that can be taken out of commission for thousands of years.”

Among these benign technologies, he asserts, is biochar. Others include planting trees, growing seaweed, and stimulating the natural weathering of rocks that absorb CO2.

Flannery outlines his ideas in his new book, Atmosphere of Hope: Solutions to the Climate Crisis.

You may recall his 2005 book The Weather Makers, a contribution that was translated into 23 languages and sold millions.

Here's an interview with Flannery you can read now:

- From Jim Long

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Oregon Kiln in the Woods!

On Dec. 4 we got some kilns out in the woods to burn slash piles that are normally incinerated to ash. Thanks to Grayback Forestry and Sean Hendrix for inviting us to bring the kilns to see what they could do. Each kiln consumed about 6-8 burn piles and made close to a cubic yard of char. It rained steadily all morning, but we were still able to make char. We lit up at 9 am and quenched at 12:30. I was pleased to see it took less than 50 gallons of water to completely quench one kiln. Took a lunch break and dumped the kilns and loaded them back on the trailer. Went pretty smooth, really.

Some of the Forest Service fire people were there and they said that 7 piles corresponds to about 40 feet of roadside thinning. So if you could unload 20 kilns along 800 feet of roadside, you could treat all the slash and make 20 cubic yards of biochar in 6 hours of work. If the feedstock is well-staged and you don't have to pull apart piles and move it long distances, one worker (a young, strong one) could feed 4 kilns continuously. So a crew of 6 could do it. You'd need a flatbed to transport the kilns and 1000 gal water truck to quench.

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