Biochar Production

Biochar is a carbon negative solid material obtained from the carbonization of biomass, obtained through our controlled process.

Biochar is characterized by high porosity and a high-specific surface area. The wood and vegetative waste stream used and the temperature the debris is heated to, determines the quality of biochar.

Manufacturing biochar at higher temperatures will result in a greater end product. The porosity, along with a variety of both charged and hydrophobic surface micro sites, gives biochar very favorable properties for adsorption of toxic substances and soil rehabilitation.

Biochar sequesters carbon for thousands of years and is resistant to the microbial breakdown that is common with other types of organic matter.

Biochar has many uses aside from a process to reduce Particulate Matter (PM), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) emissions from other biomass processes.

Biochar Uses

 

Remediation of Soils

Soil contamination with heavy metals and organic pollutants has become a serious global environmental issue. Considerable efforts have been made to remediate contaminated soils. Biochar has a large surface area, and high capacity to adsorb heavy metals and organic pollutants. Biochar can be used to reduce the bioavailability and leachability of heavy metals and organic pollutants in soils through adsorption and other physicochemical reactions. Biochar is an alkaline material which can increase soil pH and contribute to stabilization of heavy metals.

Remediation of Water

Biochar is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for water remediation. Pollutants of organic and non-organic origin in contaminated water can be immobilized through biochar filtration. Biochar removes heavy metals that enter storm waters from metal roofing runoff, roadway runoff, and other sources.

Landfill Leachate

Landfill leachate treatment is necessary to remove various organics and contaminants that can have an environmental impact on groundwater and surface water, and in turn have a negative impact on human health. The chemical composition and content of landfill leachate can vary greatly between landfill sites.

  • Nursery’s Potting Soil (Substitute for Sphagnum Peat and Perlite):

    When biochar is mixed with peat, the blend could contain up to 80 % biochar without raising the pH above 7. Biochar can be introduced without any further modification.

    Peat based growing media are acidic and limed to adjust the pH. If biochar is used as an additive to peat, it can replace lime. Biochar offers improved water availability by adding to peat. Biochar can replace perlite and eliminate the limestone amendment needed for commercial greenhouse use.

  • Soil Amendment:

    Biochar amendment causes fundamental changes in soil nutrient cycles, resulting in marked increases in crop production, particularly in acidic and in infertile soils with low soil organic matter contents. Biochar reduces acidity, accelerates decomposition and provides a habitat for valuable microorganisms that in turn help increase plant productivity. Biochar enhances the efficiency of fertilizers creating a higher nutrient retention level, reducing leaching.

    Biochar increases a soil’s water holding capacity by increasing the soil surface area. It is water adsorbent in conditions with greater than 60 percent relative humidity and releases water if the relative humidity is below 40 percent. Increased soil surface area also overcomes the problem of too much water retention. It improves pore space for better drainage and reduces standing water on surfaces, as found with clay or compacted soil.

    The porous nature of biochar also allows it to adsorb heavy metals like lead and cadmium, and enzymes produced by plant pathogens like Phytophthora root rot.

  • Air Filtration

    The porous structure of Biochar removes bacteria, harmful pollutants and allergens from the air and absorbs moisture, preventing mold and mildew by trapping the impurities inside each pore. The odor causing molecules are actually removed from the air permanently, not masked with another odor. Biochar filters can be easily cleaned and re-used.

Compost Enhancement

The composting process can be improved when amended with biochar. Biochar is not diminished during composting; the biochar becomes improved along with the soils where it lands gains the benefit of both.

Compost matures faster with biochar. Biochar supports microbial activity, acting as a refuge and catalyst. Biochar is an inert material that acts as a filter holding onto nutrients. Nutrients held on the surface of biochar are less reactive, but largely still available. This can help in buffering the fluctuations in nutrient balance.

Biochar has enormous water retention properties which helps buffer moisture and aeration in compost piles. Biochar also works as a deodorizer, significantly reducing the unpleasant scent from the composting process.