Biochar Absorption of Nutrients

Biochar Absorption of Nutrients

I wanted to activate some virgin biochar with microorganisms and nutrients before adding it to some new substrates I was formulating. Without activation I was concerned that the new biochar would rob the surroundings of it’s cations and leave the plants in the substrate with less nutrients. I also wanted to observe if the biochar was adsorbing nutrients in the tea or just absorbing the tea. So I made a tea, consecutively placed 3 sacs of virgin biochar in the tea, took samples of the tea out after every sac of biochar activated to see the difference in color of the teas. This would tell me something about what biochar was absorbing and adsorbing from the tea.   On June 23 2011 I started the procedure: Contents of Liquid Tea 8gal of coopebrisas compost and 2gal of lombris humus (older), 35 gal of decloronated water, 1 gal of molasses, 1 gal of fish emulsion, .5gal MM All were placed in a 55 gal tank and injected bubbles on the bottom for two days. . First Sac of Biochar Activated I then added  the 1st sac of 20gal of biochar (5.5pH) with a weight on the top to hold it submerged. The sac was full. Laid flat the sac measured 60x100cm. OBSERVATIONS – lots of bubbles after the 1st BC was in tank for one day. During the making of the tea there were really no fermentation bubbles on the top of the liquid. I took the first sac out 2 days later. . Second & Third Sac of Biochar Activated I added the second sac and took it out 2 days later as well. I added a third sac but it was only 60% full (13gal) of BC otherwise it would not be able to be submerged below the liquid since much of the liquid was gone, due to the first 2 sacs absorption. I took the 3rd sac out 2 days later as well. After the 3rd sac was submerged for 2 days, what was left in the tank was rice hulls and a bit of more of the solid components of the Coopebrisa’s compost, the bubble tubes and approximately 10 gal of liquid tea. There was approximately 35gal to begin with. This means 25 gal of liquid was absorbed by the 53 gal of biochar in the 3 sacs. 25 gal of 53 gal = 47.2% The Biochar Absorption of Water test calculated a 55.2% liquid absorption capacity of biochar. So this test shows a bit different water absorption capacity. . The Tea Samples Taken After Each Activation So what I found very interesting was the difference in the coloration of the teas samples that were taken immediately after i took out each of the 3 different sacs of biochar. There was a markedly difference in the color of the teas. They progressively got lighter in color. I am hoping Gabi Soto, a BC researcher at Catie University here in Costa Rica will duplicate the experimenter noting more exact data and analyze the liquids and biochar afterwards. Activating biochar could be an important improvement for biochar use if more was known about it.  ...

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Biochar Absorption of Water

Biochar Absorption of Water

Inoculating Biochar after pyrolysis with microorganisms and or nutrients is recommended by almost every expert that you will study. This is because biochar has a high CEC, (Cation Exchange Capacity). A substance that has a high CEC with no cations adsorbed to it will soak up the first cations that it comes in contact with. If freshly pyrolysized biochar is placed directly in a substrate or soil it will rob the surroundings of it’s cation nutrients, leaving the soil and or substrate with less available to the plants.  I wanted to know just how much biofermentation and or water a certain amount of Biochar absorbed when inoculated. So let me give you the results here at the top of the post Results: 500ml of biochar absorbed 276 ml of water (55.2% by volume) or 106gr of biochar absorbed 276 gr of water (260.4% by weight) Here is how I got to these figures:   I started out by filling a 500ml glass jar with biochar and weighed only the biochar. . I then filled a 500ml plastic cup with 500ml of water and poured it in the glass jar with the biochar. The glass jar held the biochar and an extra 406ml of water. The extra 94ml of water was left in the cup. . I let the BC with water in the glass jar sit for 24 hrs and then drained the water from the jar. . Of the 406ml poured into the jar with the biochar, 130 was drained out after 24 hrs. Therefore there was 276ml of water absorbed by the biochar sample. . Results: 500ml of biochar absorbed 276 ml of water (55.2% by volume) or 106gr of biochar absorbed 276 gr of water (260.4% by...

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