Biochar Plants in the UK

Chris F

Staff Member
Location
Hammerwich
Has anyone got a biochar plant up and running in the UK? These do seem like the next big thing in terms of energy generation and a by-product that is very good for soils.

There seems to only be a very small supply of biochar at the moment, certainly not enough for even farmscale trials.
 

renewablejohn

Member
Location
lancs
What biochar plant are you looking at because many are very inefficient. I dont really understand the comment of biochar being a by product for use in soils as normally the biochar is turned into charcoal slurry and used as a diesel substitute in a modified diesel generator.
 

Fowler VF

Member
Location
Herefordshire
How much biochar do you want? Not sure about the comment about energy generation, but do agree with it being good for soil. We have biochar available as a co-product from another process.
 

Chris F

Staff Member
Location
Hammerwich
What biochar plant are you looking at because many are very inefficient. I dont really understand the comment of biochar being a by product for use in soils as normally the biochar is turned into charcoal slurry and used as a diesel substitute in a modified diesel generator.
Biochar is like coral for soils - it great for helping general soil activity (as I understand it). We want enough to run a farm scale trial.
 

renewablejohn

Member
Location
lancs
Biochar is like coral for soils - it great for helping general soil activity (as I understand it). We want enough to run a farm scale trial.
My powder at 20 micron will be far to fine for you. You probably want my torrefied G30 chip prior to being ground. How many tonnes are you looking for. Have you thought of using recycled compressor filter charcoal for your trial.
 
Seemingly doesn’t matter what is burnt. Straw is a good option.

In terms of the rate, no one knows. That why it needs to be trialled.
You don't need much, the surface area of a kg of biochar is immense. Hence why it is such a great (stable, safe) habitat for soil life.
I just feed it to the cattle, for what that's worth, they colonise / activate it with their own rumen biota and then it goes straight out the back. 80% of it will be in the compost, as it's a logistical issue getting them to eat it at grazing without feeders etc - I just put it on their silage when housed, easy peasy.
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
what i'm interested in is why anyone would be making it in the UK at the moment ? surely no incentive to make biochar when you get more energy from a complete burn of OM ?
 

bactosoil

Member
even if someone is producing surely the cost will be the limiting factor, spent a fair amount of time on biochar and worked with a
company that could make pore specific sized biochar depending on the bacteria you wished to encourage and very clever
 

renewablejohn

Member
Location
lancs
what i'm interested in is why anyone would be making it in the UK at the moment ? surely no incentive to make biochar when you get more energy from a complete burn of OM ?
Definetly not true when your primary outcome is to generate electric. In my process the original torrefication process produces gas which is used in an efficient gas engine to generate electric the waste heat from that engine heats the thermal oil. The torrefied wood is made into charcoal slurry with water and oil seed rape oil then used in a modified efficient diesel engine to generate electric the waste heat from the engine heating the thermal oil. The thermal oil runs the plate dryer with excess capacity put through a thermal oil steam evaporator to produce electric energy from conventionl steam generators. The waste steam is then used to produce more electric from a heat recovery steam generator.
 
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Threads
160,084
Messages
3,655,661
Members
40,325
Latest member
Mjc1

World Food Day: NFU Cymru celebrates Welsh food producers at the Senedd

  • 339
  • 0


Written by Rachel Martin

NFU Cymru members and Assembly Members have been celebrating the role that Welsh farmers play in producing nutritious, high quality, safe affordable food during an event at the Senedd today on World Food Day (October 16).

The lunchtime event, which was sponsored by Llyr Gruffydd AM, included a special menu of fine Welsh produce.

Speaking at the event, NFU Cymru...
Top