Biochar vital for forestry circular production systems

What is biochar?

Biochar is a stable form of carbon which is obtained through the transformation of wood materials. The system where this transformation is carried out is typically characterised by the minimal presence of oxygen and high temperatures, between 500 and 700º, that the system reaches. It is due to these two characteristics that the transformation of the wood into biochar barely experiences carbon losses which is stored in the final product (therefore the biochar is considered as a carbon sequestration element).

Volterra transforms the wood into biochar in a Kon-Tiki kiln developed by the Ithaka institute1. While most of the biochar produced during the last 5000 years was produced with open fire, modern pyrolysis suppresses the fire. The separation of the carbonisation and the flaming of the pyrolysis gases make pyrolysis technology prone to failure and expensive which is one of the reasons why the biochar technology did not have yet its breakthrough. The Kon-Tiki flame curtain kiln re-connect biochar making to the ancient wisdom and craft of fire making and combines it with smart design based on modern thermodynamics to produce high quality char with low emissions.

This biochar has different uses in farming systems, and it is a way to boost the circular economy transforming waste into valuable resources.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lighting up our #biochar open air oven #Liferegenerate @mycorestore

Una publicación compartida de Volterra Ecosystems (@volterraecosystems) el

 

Aplications

Below you can read some of the uses of biochar and their benefits:

  • Composting systems: Speeds up the composting process, due to its porosity the oxygen availability increases microbiological activity
     
  • Cattle raising

1. Applied in the bed of the animals:  Decreases humidity, smell, insects, compaction and anaerobic conditions.
2. Slurry treatments: Fewer decomposition rates and pathogens presence
3. Use in grasslands to improve soil quality and thus grass quality for the cattle

  • Agriculture

1. Improves soil structure and water retention capacity
2. Increases the nutrient retention capacity and makes these more available for crops
3. Reduces lixiviation losses
4. Excellent habitat for microbiology (mycorrhizas and nitrogen fixers)
5. Increases fertilizers’ efficiency

IMPORTANT: Biochar is not a fertilizer itself; biochar improves soil structure and it is important to “biologically activate” it before putting it into the soil to avoid the absorption of the nutrients already available in the soil and becoming unavailable for crops. Volterra activates its biochar with microorganisms to obtain its maximum benefits and so provide the soil with healthy microbial activity to increase plant survival and realise strong growth in a wide range of environments.

 

The use of biochar will not only improve animal health or crop health, it is an economically viable resource that will also contribute to the overall reduction of the costs decreasing the use of chemicals and fertilizers on the field.

If you need more information about the product, if you are interested in its purchase, or you have biomass waste that you want to convert into biochar, do not hesitate to contact us!

 

1[link: http://www.ithaka-institut.org/en/kon-tiki]