Friday, May 30, 2014

Can Biochar Benefit YOUR Farm?

Maybe biochar might be coming to a farm near you soon.

In Australia, at least up to now, biochar production costs and the logistics / transport costs made use expensive.

While production costs are only really likely to fall with volume production systems [ which is not easily seen anytime soon] there may be some options that could surprise with costs by reducing production costs and getting closer to users.

A mobile pyrolysis unit developed by Earth Systems through an innovation program in Victoria, might offer some options, especially for regional users, by producing materials locally.

While the unit is not cheap to buy, innovative funding and ownership models could provide some progress.  For example - a council ownership option to deal with waste wood, making biochar available to users at a local price.  Co-operative and jont ownership may also be possible. Or small entrepreneur ownership.  Costs are around $350K so it is not out of reach for even regional local government entities.

Does biochar work?  So far, yield increases seem to occur in the 10 -45% range, with local increases at this early stage of limited work, or round 25%.

More to come!

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