Here is a list of things to think about if you are wanting to start a business turning people's burn piles to biochar:
- Price for chipping - $200/hr
- Price for biochar burning - $200/hr
- Separate firewood from small branches & brush
- Customer gets biochar made from small brush, valued at $250/cy
- Arborist gets the firewood to sell
- Or you could do it the other way around - maybe the customer wants the firewood and has no interest in the biochar - then you could take the biochar and sell it.
- No expensive chipper to maintain
- Burn permit is required
- No smoke to bother the neighbors
- Customer gets biochar carbon sequestration bragging rights
Biochar carbon sequestration bragging rights:
- Half of the carbon in the wood will be sequestered in the soil as biochar for thousands of years.
- If the wood had been left to rot on the ground, most would be back in the atmosphere as CO2 within several years if it is small branches, a little longer for bigger branches.
- Wood chips decompose even more quickly.
- Biochar is a great way to sequester carbon from wood long term.
- The only other ways to sequester carbon from wood are to use it in buildings (but there is a lot of sawmill waste) or sinking large logs in water or burying them deep underground.
|Jeff Meier processes brush on a job, using the Oregon Kiln|
|Jeff made about one cubic yard of biochar in two hours. With another kiln, he could have made twice as much.|
|Steel fabricator Brian Vicklund (L) sold a kiln to Michael Burns (R) who will use it in his brush disposal business|
|Finished kilns in Brian Vicklund's shop in White City, Oregon|