Michael Horton - Biochar
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Michael Horton of ConCERT describes Biochar: a carbon-rich byproduct of combustion that can be used as an extremely efficient fuel for stoves and other industrial processes in developing countries.

Michael Horton of ConCERT describes Biochar: a carbon-rich byproduct of combustion that can be used as an extremely efficient fuel for stoves and other industrial processes in developing countries.

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Michael Horton - Biochar Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Michael Horton Biochar!
  • 2. The  potential  benefits   from  Biochar  for   Cambodia..   Michael  Horton   ConCERT  (Connecting  Communities,   Environment  &  Responsible  Tourism)  
  • 3. Biochar  is  biomass  that’s  burned  in  a  low/ no  oxygen  environment  (pyrolysis)  
  • 4. Biochar  is  biomass  that’s  burned  in  a  low/ no  oxygen  environment  (pyrolysis)  
  • 5. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  1. Source  of  energy  Pyrolysis  can  occur  over  a  wide  range  of  temperatures  •  low  temperatures  maximises  biochar  production  
  • 6. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  1. Source  of  energy  •  high  temperatures  =  gasification  
  • 7. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  1. Source  of  energy  
  • 8. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  1. Source  of  energy  Gasification  can  be  on  a  small  scale    such  as  gasification  stoves  for  homes:  •  burn  a  wide  range  of  fuel  •  burn  the  gases  produced  •  leave  biochar  as  residue  •  use  25%  of  the  fuel  of  an  open  stove  
  • 9. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  1. Source  of  energy  Social/health  benefits  of    gasification  stoves:  •  reduce  labour  in  collecting  fuel  •  virtually  no  emissions  •  reduce  bronchial  complaints  especially  for  women  &  children  
  • 10. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  1. Source  of  energy  Large  scale  gasification  
  • 11. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  1. Source  of  energy  -­‐  Large  scale  gasification  Gas  produced  is  fed  into  the  diesel  engine  of  the  rice  mill  generator,  saving  between  60  and  80%  of  the  diesel  used  The  energy  from  one  tonne  of  rice  will    process  3  tonnes  
  • 12. Now,  what  can  we  do  with  all  that  biochar…  
  • 13. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  2. Soil  amendment  (conditioner)  –  Biochar   structure  varies  depending  on  what  it’s   made  from,  but  all  types  are  like  a   honeycomb  
  • 14. Terra  Preta  • Terra  Preta,  (dark  earth),    deep  deposits  of  black  and    intensely  fertile  soil  in  the    Amazon  rainforest,  which  is    found  right  alongside  some    of  the  poorest  soils  on  earth,  oxisols  (tropical  rain  forest  soils)  • Deposits  are  located  along  rivers  and  sometimes  in  areas  raised  above  the  floodplain,  covering  an  area  about  the  size  of  France  • Scientists  believe  it  was  created  over    thousands  of  years  by  people  who    practiced  “slash  and  char”  agriculture  
  • 15. Slash  and  Char  agriculture  • 6  feet  deep  trenches  dug  and  filled  with  cleared  “slash”  (biomass)  • soil  dug  out  to  create  the  holes    put  back  on  top  and  whole  lot    set  on  fire  • biomass  high  moisture  content    and  lack  of  oxygen  made  fires    smoulder  for  hours,  even  days  • pyrolysis  turned  biomass    into  biochar    
  • 16. Improved  soils  • Slash  and  Char  much  more  efficient  at  conditioning  soil  than  Slash  and  Burn  –  could  start  growing  crops  immediately  • honeycomb  structure:     • retains  water  and  nutrients   • reduces  run  off   • encourages  beneficial     microorganisms  to  grow  • benefits  have  lasted  between  800  and  a  few  thousand  years  
  • 17. Improved  soils  In  common  with  other  locations  throughout  Cambodia,  soils  in  Siem  Reap  province,  especially  north  of  Route  6,  are  notoriously  poor:  • sandy  • lacking  in  nutrients  Many  Cambodians  rake  up  and  burn  valuable  biomass  everyday,  much  of  which  could  fuel    gasification  stoves  with  the  biochar    residue  added  back  to  the  soil  
  • 18. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  3. Reduced  carbon  emissions  
  • 19. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  3. Reduced  carbon  emissions  •  plants  capture  CO2  and  lock  it  in    their  structures  (sequestration)  •  this  is  released  again  when  they  are  burned  or  decay  •  incorporating  biochar  into  the  soil  locks  around  50%   of  the  carbon  away  for  hundreds/thousands  of  years  
  • 20. So,  how  can  biochar  help  Cambodia?  3. Reduced  carbon  emissions  •  this  has  the  potential  to    reduce  the  build  up  of  CO2  in  the  atmosphere  •  decomposing  plant  tissue  also  produces  methane   (20+  times  more  powerful  greenhouse  gas  than  CO2)  •  methane  is  produced,  captured,  and  used  as  a  fuel  in   gasification  
  • 21. Worldwide  CO2  emissions    and  climate  change  have    nothing  to  do  with    Cambodia?    Hmmm……  
  • 22. Thank You!Michael Horton