How much work is Biochar worth?
Making char is pretty contraption intensive. Best case scenario, gasifier byproduct. But if you could just get it when its being discarded...
Lots of people
here in rural michigan heat their houses with outdoor boilers. Lots of you use hi efficiency woodstoves. These things generate char and ash
Char is carbon
, (but not for purposes of C/N ratio) water absorbent, microbiota apartment house. Ash is potash (carbon and potassium). Now if only you could add Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Humus, some micronturients and huge mess of active microbiota, you'd have the perfect product.
We collect charcoal from a local
restaurant/brewery where they make wood fired pizza
(we originally began that relationship to pickup spent brewing grains for animal feeds). We then use it in bedding (most of it gets saved for winter, but the poultry use it year round)
Its the perfect match! The char is a veritable sponge at grabbing ammonia. I swear it can pull it out the air itself. A layer of that between the carbon diaper layers, and there will be a lot less wasted nutrients and a more pleasant barn. The char, sitting in contact with nutrients and bacteria is now biochar. Its layered in between manure, straw
, sawdust, anything else I can throw in there. It will be slow composted, then dug up and spread on the fields: a complete soil meal.
As an aside, I prefer higher carbon bedding with higher nitrogen poopers. Cows and sheep hardly ever merit biochar. They are bedded with rained on Hay, wood chips, and things in the 40-100 C/N range. Bulking/air accessibility is important. Poultry need very-high-carbon: sawdust, shavings, cardboard
, straw and CHAR! Pigs are in between, and they get good use out of straw.
Anyway, its my guess that char is best value as a byproduct on the inflow, and I'm confident its many times worthwhile as a bedding agent on the outflow.