How Do You Make Biochar?
Biochar is made through a process called pyrolysis where biomass is “baked” with little oxygen under controlled temperatures and pressures. This releases a highly useful volatile gas and leaves a charred material that is 95% carbon.
A small fraction of the gas (syngas) is used to perpetuate the production process and the remainder can be used to generate carbon subtractive electricity, heat for adjacent buildings, hydrogen gas, bio-crudes for oils and fuels and nitrogen for bio-fertilizers.
At AirTerra we have designed our stoves to use all of the syngas to perpetuate the fuel and heat of the stove. Once a fire is started in the stove, with additional biomass, the syngas process starts within 10 – 15 minutes. This gas moves into the combustion chamber and burns off, replacing the need for additional wood fuel.
Biomass can come from farm, forest and urban biomass waste streams. They include materials like wood, sticks, sugar cane, corn or maize stalks, hay, nut shells, wood chips, manures, old tires and construction debris.
When biochar is added to the soil it creates even more biomass, which can be used as fuel for the stove and the creation of more biochar!