The Biochar Economy

Cornell University student team wins award with pyrolytic cookstove design

The Cornell University student team project “Pyrolytic Cook Stoves and Biochar Production in Kenya: A Whole Systems Approach to Sustainable Energy, Environmental Health and Human Prosperity” has qualified to receive a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant of up to $90,000 to further develop their pyrolytic cookstove design, reports the Cornell Chronicle on July 1, 2013.

biochar stove

Julius Turyamwijuka and Robert Flanagan have developed a stove prototype that can utilize bamboo clippings or other agricultural waste to produce biochar.

The stoves are currently being tested in Uganda. The bamboo/biochar project’s primary focus is to introduce biochar and pyrolysis technologies at the household level with selected villages and districts.

Some stove models will be built with a thermo-electric generator that can convert heat energy into electricity. An adapter can be connected to the stove capable of charging a cell phone (see photo right, by Julius Turyamwijuka, added with permission).

For more details, see the post at:
Profile: Using bamboo for stoves in Uganda
http://www.biochar-international.org/Uganda_Stoves

And more:

Biochar plus urine results in highest yield

The results from adding biochar to test plots in Bungoma County, Western Kenya, have been published by Re-Char.
Plain soil (without chemical fertilizer or organic amendment) produced around 70 kg of dry sorghum per acre.
A 15% solution of sanitized urine and water added to soil gives a sorghum yield of 205 kg per acre.
Adding 50 kg of chemical fertilizer per acre– the Kenyan Government’s recommended quantity– can increase yield of sorghum to 420 kg per acre.
By applying 6,000 kg per acre of composted cow manure, farmers can produce 810 kg of dry sorghum per acre.
Applying the above urine treatment to soils amended with biochar (at a rate of 6,000 kg per acre) resulted in a sorghum yield of 533 kg per acre in season 1, and 1,025 kg per acre in season 2 without adding any additional biochar.

Click here to see the website

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