by Erich Knight
Having Your Carbon & Eating it Too – October 13-16 at UMass Amherst
This article omits the concomitant benefits of biochars for soil Carbon sequestration, building soil biodiversity & nitrogen efficiency, in situ remediation of toxic agents, and how modern thermal conversion systems are closed-loop, no significant emissions with a 1/3 carbon negative energy cycle, to focus on Biochar as a feed supplement cutting the Carbon Hoof, Paw, Fin and Poultry foot prints of livestock.
The number of ruminants now trampling planet Earth is beyond belief. Ruminants evolved about 50 million years ago, and by the year 1500 there were about 200 million on our planet. Now there are 2 billion, and only 75 million are wildlife! Each year we breed 64 billion livestock (mostly chickens), that’s about 9 animals per person per year globally. Add to this another 600 million pets and mankind husbands a total of 2.5 Billion animals.
One accounting of the full life cycle analysis equates the Carbon-paw-print of a large dog to that of a small SUV. A cow Carbon-hoof-print equates to a couple of big SUVs. The potential to slash these climate costs by 1/3, or more, with such a small diet modification can not be ignored!
Carbon Fodder Reports
The first report is from Dr Takeo Takahashi at the 2008 Asian Biochar conference, describing the Japan Biochar Association’s work rejuvenating sick, assumed dead, battery raised chickens. These char-fed egg-laying hen’s had no odor and fetched twice the market price in Japan.
Read more here: http://www.geocities.jp/yasizato/pioneer.htm
In aquaculture, a doubling in size of fish, clams & shrimp is reported by SuperStoneClean Biochar, also in Japan
Then from the EU, the Delinat Institute reports major health benefits in cattle & poultry, and have quantified data collected from 80 farms. Tens of thousands of animals show far better feed conversion ratios, curing chronic botulism, extremely low bio-counts in milk and binding estrogenic steroid hormones in manure. Leave it to the Germans & Swiss to literally take the stink out of Manure.
This hard data and all other aspects of Biochar soil technology will be presented October. 13-17, at the University of Massachusetts, during the 2013 USBI North American Biochar Symposium
One of dozens of sessions at the symposium,the Biochar Novel Uses session, will feature Hans Peter Schmidt from the Delinat Institute. He has consulted for the most renown viticulturist in California. His work with “Carbon Fodder” in animal husbandry is unsurpassed, demonstrating efficacy to the Swiss authorities and leading to Switzerland becoming the second nation after Japan (in 1984) to officially recognize Biochar in 2013. Schmidt has helped several EU companies develop Carbon based dog, cat & cattle foods. He has pioneered integrated farm systems producing a continuous cascade of value enhancements. These include health gains and methane reductions from Char-based feeds, the reduction of GHG emissions, and the plant-available conservation of Nitrogen with Char and compost field applications.
At Delinat a “Building Division” is being developed to exploit Char use as a building material in bricks, wood siding finishes, and Char-Plasters for solid state humidity control. If high temperature Char is used…hold on to your hats!…..All cellphone signals are blocked!
Dr. Ron Leng published the first in vivo ruminant study. Previous work with char and rumin liquids showed promise in vitro, but in the cow he achieved a 20-40% reduction of methane belching and a 25% increase in weight gain – with a biochar feed supplement of just 0.6%.
In the Student Union Ballroom of the Campus Center at UMass Amherst, the 2013 USBI North American Biochar Symposium will host a Biochar Banquet. Various food stations will feature nutrient dense Biochar grown produce, cool carbon negative foods, like Charcoal Peanuts.
Quite literally this conference covers Carbon-soup to nuts. This Carbon event has it all. Come learn with us how pyrolitic Carbon can save our soils while saving our climate.
Carbons are solving our most vexing problems across various scientific disciplines:
Across disciplines from electronics, agronomy, microbiology and ecology, spectroscopy measurement tools in soil research have reassessed the proportion of Pyrolitic-C that makes up all Soil Organic Carbon, (SOC), at up to 50%. New discoveries concerning soil microbiology and Soil Carbon are extremely supportive to Carbon Farming initiatives & Soil Carbon Standards, in addition to expanding the known demolitions of the soil Carbon bank.
Agronomics & Renewable Energy
Biologically structured carbon (C) – Charcoal, Plant-Coal, Charbon de Bois & Biomass, elemental C of the basic plant cell structure – is the pyrolitic Carbon which has held interest for the past seven years. A renown Australian climate scientist, the late, Dr. Peter Read coined the term “Biochar” for charcoal used in the soil and calculated the soil carbon building potentials to drawdown CO2e. This term embraced, has made Google filtering, to follow the exponential rates of publications in the last few years, a simple task.
Pyrolitic Carbon comes in many forms, this thermally converted carbon (C) is the center of nano material research, C-Nano Tubes, C-60 Buckminsterfullerenes and Graphenes. The physics of these structures, the tiniest pieces of C, are finding utility in many processes from strong diamagnetism & electrical properties to the sieving of fresh H2O from sea water.
Following the natural evolution of atmospheric carbon, particles like smoke & soot or Black Carbon (BC), come together to form carbonaceous aerosols. The discovery this year that C-aerosols form around a potassium seed, or catalyst, the origins of this atmospheric potassium is fungal life itself. In strong support of the Gaia Hypothesis, soil life is literally calling to the rain; an unaccounted ecologic service provided by healthy soils.
Astrophysics & Paleoclimatology
Astrophysics has shown us this year, using the most intense form of pyrolitic carbons, Nano-diamonds & Rock Carbon Spherules, formed by 22,000 degree temperatures of cosmic impact. The strewnfield evidence, deposition of 10 Million Tonnes of Impact Spherules Across Four Continents 12,800 Years Ago is a smoking gun for the The Younger Dryas Mega-Fauna Mass Extinction. This inverse climate challenge to mankind, 1000 years of Global Cooling, is in debate as the seed of the agricultural revolution, and in north America increase of Fire land management to foster the remaining Bison.