From Permawiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Biochar is a carbon-rich substance similar to charcoal used to amend soil to increase fertility. Biochar is inert, does not break down, and does not provide any nutrients directly, instead it is a substrate for microorganisms to colonize. It is made using pyrolysis from biomass heated in a limited oxygen environment.[1]

Activated biochar

Activate fresh and sterile biochar before using create a welcoming substrate for microorganisms. Activating biochar is unrelated to the process of activating carbon.

To activate biochar:

  1. Crush or pulverize large pieces into a powder.
  2. Inoculate the powderized biochar using one or more of the inoculates:
    • Grass clippings in a 1:1 ratio[2]
    • Worm castings in a 1:1 ratio[3]
      • Adding flour (upto 5% by volume) feeds the microorganisms in the worm castings and speeds up the inoculation. Old or contaminated flour can be used.
      • Rock dust can be added to create a more desirable product[4]
    • Poultry manure[5]
      • Use fresh biochar as a deodorizer in a coop and collect the inoculated biochar later.
    • Human urine (not for use where biochar will come in contact with edible plants)[6]
      1. Place biochar into a bucket with holes at the bottom
      2. Urinate as needed onto the biochar and cover with dried leaves