Charcoal and Salicylic Acid
Nikolaus Foidl, Bolivia, February 6, 2008

Dear All , some photos.

First the difference between Charcoal and non Charcoal was nearly 60 cm in height, then after correcting soil minerals and applying Salicylic acid the difference vanished and the plants started really to grow.The maize started to get up to 5 cobs build on every shank in every axle. Could harvest now up to 4 fully developed cobs per plant in the no charcoal and in the charcoal plot. No measurable difference between the two areas.Will repeat those trials to get to the bottom of it.This time will mill and extract with different acids all minerals from the charcoal prior to the introduction to the soil to see if there is still some growth enhancing effect left in the first stage.( without adding salisylic acid.)
Best regards Nikolaus

for an update see:


Charcoal in Soil
Nikolaus Foidl, Bolivia, February 7, 2008

Dear All!

Effects of Charcoal on Manure in a Temperate Forest Ecosystem: A Greenhouse Study
Clarice Pina, Project Train 2005, University of Montana, 2005 with Tom Deluca.

Effects of mycorrhizal fungi and biochar 75 Days
Robert Flanagan, Hangzhou Sustainable Agricultural Food & Fuel Enterprise Co., Ltd.
(SAFFE), February 5, 2008

I just got to visit my biochar trial at BIOTROP today so I took a few photos to give all you some idea of the profound difference biochar makes to subsoil

Rice Husk CharcoalRice Husk Charcoal

How to Make Charcoal
Robert Flanagan, SAFFE, January 30, 2008

I've just been playing around with my natural draft stove to see how easy it would be to use it for cooking and making charcoal .
I fed some extra fuel in the side so show the pyrolysis reaction taking place.


Building Healthy Soils for Sustainable Landscapes and Market Gardens
Michael Melendez,, Cornville, AZ, February 16, 2008

Michael Martin Mellatest Nike release | retro 10 fusion red jordans women White Barely Volt Sapphire Fire Pink CJ1641-100 Release Date - SBD

he author, Gary Gilmore, explains how he designed a charcoal retort from steel drums. This is a smoke free design also the flare could be put to use.

Charcoal by Gary Gilmore video 1

First make the retort by adding air holes to the bottom of a steel drum.
Then make the afterburner by turning another steel drum into a tube.

Then start loading the wood (no more than 20% moisture) tightly packed into the retort. (This contains a great description of wood as nature's battery).

Charcoal by Gary Gilmore video 2

Once you have the wood packed in the retort, build a small fire on the top. (There is a nice description of a top lit retort system). Once the small top fire has caught, ad the afterburner (the tube) to the top of the retort.


CharDB 1.0 released!
Cristelle Braun, January 19, 2008

Hello dear biochar testers!

The first release 1.0 of CharDB is now available at:

You will now be able to register your biochar soil amendment trials in a uniform format "CharML" that should facilitate comparisons between the different entries. This will hopefully lead to interesting new conclusions and a better knowledge on the fascinating world of biochar!

Please send any comment, critic,

Your feedback and comments will guide further development of CharDB and CharML!

Sincerely yours,
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Climate change conference in Canada - Engineering Institute of Canada
Duane Pendergast, January 18, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

I'm participating in the organization of a conference which I think provides many opportunities for you to bring forth your ideas and research on terra preta. I've attached the Call for Papers. This is the second conference on climate change hosted by the Engineering Institute of Canada. The overall scope of the first one is still posted on the Internet.

As chair of the policy track for the predecessor conference, I did bring the use of charcoal in soil to the attention of participants in one of the best attended sessions.

My presentation there, with notes, is at:
Energy, the Carbon Cycle, and Enduring Greenhouse Gas Management

It is based on my related paper which is linked from the terra preta website.

What Charcoal amendments to soil offers Organic growers
Sean Barry, Troposhere Energy LLC, January 14, 2008

Charcoal can be promoted as a universal "carbon balancing" mix; a safe, ecology promoting, soil and soil mixture additive. If the current soil amendments they now give their farmland soil and the microorganisms it holds are what these need to "hold" nutrients in the soil and "deliver" the nutrients to growing plants, then just add charcoal into that soil to improve that, and water it.

Charcoal can be a gardener's helper for all sorts of fertility management practices.

Charcoal in soil can loosen "tight" soils, giving it greater friability and tilth, which allows deeper water and root penetration.

Charcoal in soil mixtures with your fertilizer can improve the resilience of that fertility which you work so hard to put into a garden. It can help bring the nutrition from composted waste into the soil and to growing plants faster. Regardless of your fertility management practices, charcoal in soil can enhance the performance of those materials.

Charcoal in agriculture: Numerical Data
Rich Haard, Propagation Manager, Fourth Corner Nurseries, Bellingham, Washington, January 11, 2008

This is addendum to my earlier report of

Charcoal in agriculture: Experimental research at Fourth Corner Nurseries Richard Haard, Fourth Corner Nurseries, Bellingham, Washington, January 3, 2008

posted recently at

I have been looking at the data sets of the soil analysis we conducted on the plots on June 25, 2007 and October 30, 2007. The first soil samples were taken about a month after project setup and planting and the last was at the end of the growing season. I sampled with a hand held soil coring device, and took samples uniformly in each 17 foot long test bed. They were dried and screened to remove lumps and pieces of wood/charcoal etc.

Charcoal in agriculture: Experimental research at Fourth Corner Nurseries
Richard Haard, Fourth Corner Nurseries, Bellingham, Washington, January 3, 2008


I just finished over the last few days organizing images and data from my charcoal experimental plots. I am presenting a new set of posters showing root systems of the native shrub, Lonicera involucrata or black twinberry that I used as an experimental subject in these treatment plots this summer.

This will be the last of a series of piecemeal postings about my findings on the terrapreta reading list. In time, I will prepare a summary of what I have accomplished this year, the shortcomings, what I feel I have learned from this work about using charcoal and my plans for continuing this experiment for 2 or more growing seasons.

Bucher, M. 2007. Functional biology of plant phosphate uptake at root and mycorrhiza interfaces. NEW PHYTOLOGIST. 173(1):11-26.


Bucher, M, Univ Cologne, Inst Bot, Gyrhoftstr 15, D-50931 Cologne, Germany

Phosphorus Speciation in Manure and Manure-Amended Soils Using XANES Spectroscopy
S. Sato, D. Solomon, C. Hyland, Q.M. Ketterings, and J. Lehmann, NSLS Science Highlights, February 9, 2006

Agronomic values of greenwaste biochar as a soil amendment
K. Y. Chan, L. Van Zwieten, I. Meszaros, A. Downie,and S. Joseph
Australian Journal of Soil Research 45(8) 629

Article << Previous | Next >> Contents Vol 45(8)

Agronomic values of greenwaste biochar as a soil amendment

K. Y. Chan A E, L. Van Zwieten B, I. Meszaros A, A. Downie C D, S. Joseph D

A NSW Department of Primary Industries, Locked Bag 4, Richmond, NSW 2753, Australia.
B NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wollongbar, NSW 2477, Australia.
C Best Energies P/L, Somersby, NSW 2250, Australia.
D University of New South Wales, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
E Corresponding author. Email:

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Bioenergy Activities at Ames, IA

Research Project: Ecologically-Based Soil Management for Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Conservation (3625-12000-012-00D) (D.L. Karlen, LS)

Objective: To develop innovative, ecologically-based crop and soil nutrient management practices for enhanced productivity and negligible off-site agricultural impacts.

Knowing when plants capture phosphorus
Luis Pons, USDA Agricultural Research, Jan, 2003
ARS research into how and when plants use the phosphorus in manure may aid farmers as they try to stem nutrient runoff into waterways.
"A future challenge," says soil scientist Thomas J. Sauer, "will be not only to avoid over-application of phosphorus to soil, but also to ensure that in doing so a farmer does not make the land phosphorus deficient."
Sauer and soil scientist John L. Kovar focus on phosphorus as they study nutrient management of animal manure at ARS' National Soil Tilth Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
This research is part of Water and Quality Management, an ARS National Program (#201) described on the World Wide Web at
Thomas J. Sauer and John L. Kovar are with the USDA-ARS National Soil Tilth Laboratory, 2150 Pammel Drive, Ames, IA 50011-4420; phone (515)294-3416 [Sauer], (515)294-3419 [Kovar], fax (515) 294-8125, e-mail

Soil Quality Improving How Soil Works
This site is a collaboration between the NRCS National Soil Quality Team, the National Soil Tilth Lab, NCERA-59 Scientists, and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
USDA ARS Research Project: Ecologically-Based Soil Management for Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Conservation
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2008 Conference of the International Biochar Initiative:Biochar, Sustainability and Security in a Changing Climate
Newcastle, United Kingdom, September 8 - 10, 2008
Please join the IBI for the 2008 International Biochar Initiative Conference "Biochar, Sustainability and Security in a Changing Climate" to be held at the Newcastle Civic Center in Newcastle, United Kingdom. The IBI Conference will bring together experts from around the world to review progress on biochar production and utilization; biochar research, development, and demonstration breakthroughs; discuss policy and educational progress and gaps; and develop strategies for accelerating the development and deployment of biochar to help mitigate global warming.

About Biochar: Biochar White Paper
International Biochar Initiative, October2007
Biochar: A Soil Amendment that Combats Global Warming and Improves Agricultural Sustainability and Environmental Impacts
Introduction to Biochar

Biochar and bioenergy co-production from urban, agricultural and forestry biomass can help combat global climate change by displacing fossil fuel use, by sequestering carbon in stable soil carbon pools, and by dramatically reducing emissions of nitrous oxides, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. , As a soil amendment, biochar helps to improve the EarthRunning sport media | adidas

This is Puffergas' first test of growing potatoes in switchgrass compost. The potatoes were grown in containers and charcoal was added to the compost.
See link below:
Potato 2007 by Puffergas
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Integrated Strategies for Statewide Food and Energy Crop Production
Appropriates funds for the center for conservation research and training at UH to develop best practices consistent with comprehensive agricultural management strategies to facilitate sustainable production of crops through long-term enhancement of soil quality using ecologically responsible means. Implements a pilot project demonstrating integrated strategies to enhance soil fertility for the production of clean energy feedstocks (agricultural crops used as the raw materials for biofuels or biomass-to-electricity production) and food crops. Establishes mechanisms by which stakeholders can work collaboratively in the development of best practices and to educate the public about sustainable agriculture issues faced by the state. (SD1)


CEC and % base saturation
Richard Haard, Jim Joyner, December 13, 2007

Greetings As an extension of my conversation with Jim I am forwarding this farm in-house conversation on % Base saturation. Noteworthy is a interesting trend of higher Mg % saturation where I treated with charcoal powder 4 growing seasons ago. The following information from this Clemson University Soil scientist is a good way to get a working understanding of CEC and base exchange and how we might use it to manage soil nutrition here.


It is interesting also as an indicator of functional activity of charcoal in soil higher CEC did not show up in our block tests this year. The literature however indicates there is a weathering process and combination with soil organic matter < in the tropics> that brings on this activity. Also Cornell researcher Janet Thies showed continued rinsing and incubation improve CEC of charcoal in soils.


Terra Preta and Ants - Rooftop Experiments
Dr. Sai Bhaskar Reddy, India, December 13, 2007

Dear All,
After the successful field trials in Alkaline soils , I have just started second season TP experiments on a small scale on our Roof top in small pots The charcoal is exclusively from use of Magh-1 woodgas or smoke burner stove designed by me. I would like to share some of my immediate observations.



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