Finally Making Biochar
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Finally Making Biochar


I have been interested in the use of biochar
for a long time, and over decade ago I was doing a fair amount of research for an independent
think tank into the possibilities of using this soil amendment. It was fascination to delve into the details,
processes, and potential uses for biochar, especially at a time when we were only beginning
to understand the possibilities. At about the same time, I was also starting
to take food growing much more seriously, and I always wanted to explore the use of
biochar in my gardens. But I didn’t do any serious explorations
at that time, partially because I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it, and always
felt that I would get back to it when I had a chance. This winter I finally began producing biochar for use in some of my gardens in this coming growing season. Despite the diverse possible benefits of the
use of biochar, it’s essentially a simple thing. Wood or other organic material is burnt without
enough oxygen, producing what is essentially charcoal. It is then charged with fertility and buried
in soil, where it can potentially increase the nutrient holding capacity of that soil. The lasting beneficial effects have been seen
in the highly fertile manmade terra preta or black soils that were discovered in the
amazon basin. The charring of material allows the carbon
to persist in the soil much longer than other forms of organic matter typically can. In addition the open structure of the microscopic
pores of the biochar can be a home to diverse soil biology, and it has the ability to hold
onto nutrients in the soil, in a manner that is similar to humus. The biggest issue with biochar is how to make
it, or at least that’s been one of the biggest sticking points for me
There are of course traditional methods for making charcoal, including mounds or pits
of wood covered with soil, though these tend to smoulder and can release a lot of pollutants. There have been a diverse range of purpose
built retorts or burners designed, from very simple to complicated, and I always thought
I’d need to make or buy one of these in order to produce biochar. A few years ago I came across a cone method
for burning charcoal, which seemed to be an ingeniously simple method. And then from that innovation, others developed
the pit cone method, which only required digging a hole in the ground. This simple and effective low tech option
seemed to be a great place to start, and the only thing stopping me from making biochar
was collecting the material and finding the time to give it a try. I collected a lot of woody material last winter,
including a lot of branches from a beech tree that blew down in remenants of Hurricane Ophelia. There was also a lot of volunteer willow trees
growing in scrap ground that needed to be cut back, as well as pruning from the many
apple trees on site. This was all fairly low value material, with
not a lot of other uses, and I spent the time to collect it and bundle this material up,
and then I stored it and tried to keep it dry. Then this winter I dug a cone shaped pit in
the ground, and started a fire in the bottom of it. As the fire burned, I added another layer
of wood or twigs, keeping an eye out for when white ash was starting to form on the surface
of the sticks. This ash indicated that the carbon base of
the wood was now starting to burn, which was something that I wanted to prevent. So I kept slowly building up the fire, adding
layer after layer of wood to the fire until it reached the top of the cone. Then I doused it with water to put out the
fire and kept adding more water until I thought it was cold enough. This last step is what starts to separate
biochar from charcoal, to make traditional charcoal I would need to use some other method
to stop the burning. I then chopped up this char in a pail, put
it through a sieve to remove any of the unburnt pieces and crushed the larger pieces of char
to what I thought were more appropriate sizes. Adding a new layer of material once the ash
starts to form is the ingeniously simple part that makes the whole thing work. Once this fresh material starts to burn, it
uses up all the oxygen and prevents oxygen from reaching the already burning material
lower in the cone. But because there is still a lot of heat,
all the burnable gasses and smoke continue to be released from the wood underneath, but
it has nowhere to go but up through the flames above to be burnt. When the freshly added material covers the
whole surface and catches fire, a cone of flames spreads out around the entire ring
of the fire, and produces a virtually smokeless burn. But this inverted cone of flames often has
a dark centre, where oxygen can’t get to, but the gasses and the smoke is burnt off
in the envelope of flames, it is quite a beautiful to watch. I have found that the wind doesn’t help
with this, especially if it’s gusty, as it can increase the amount is smoke that is produced,
but when the wind isn’t present, the convection of the fire draws everything into the centre
to be burnt. After a relatively slow start to the fire,
the amount of material that is added in each layer increases exponentially, as the surface
area of the fire increases, as well as the overall heat, and in the end of the process
you can burn lot of material fairly quickly. As with many tasks in the gardens there are
a few techniques that make things work better. In the case of the pit char method, knowing
when to add the next layer, and how much to add at any one time, is perhaps the most significant
skill involved. Leave it too late and it may take too long
to get the material to catch fire, causing a lot of smoke and allowing more of the char
underneath to be burnt off to produce ash. Adding too much at any one time can smother
the flames, and adding to early risks a much bigger fire and perhaps a few singed eyebrows. It seems to be a process of finding a balance
between the ease of managing, the amount of smoke produced, and the speed that the whole
process can take. Although it can be fairly time consuming,
it can be a great way to make use of low value woody material and tree prunings. I tried burning some freshly pruned green
branches, and some wood that had become a bit damp, and seems possible to use them,
although it produces a much slower fire and is harder to avoid the smoke. But burning green material could eliminate
the need to store large volumes of material while it dries, and I think that mixing some
green material in with properly dried material may be a good balance. Dousing the fire takes lot of water and I
found that I needed to make sure the fire was out to the full depth, as had one batch
that continued to burn and turned to ash after I left it, having thought that it was cold
enough. Much of this is easy to figure out by trial
and error, but the one thing that I’m really not sure about is how fine the char needs
to be crushed, as I have heard different recommendations. And I haven’t figured out a really easy
and effective way to crush it yet, so for now I’m not too concerned with getting everything
really small. Now that I’ve burnt a lot of charcoal, I
need to inoculate or charge it properly, to fill it with fertility, as adding empty charcoal
to the soil can apparently lock up a lot of nutrients from within the soil. I plan to mix it with compost, and some extra
fertility, and to let it mellow for a while, and there seem to be lots of options for this
critical step that fully transforms the material from charcoal to biochar. Then I’ll mix it into the soil of the garden
bed, and hope that it does actually significantly boost fertility holding capacity of soil and
positively impact soil biology as well. Otherwise it may not be worth the effort of
collecting, burning and crushing all of this material. I plan to do a few pot trials to see what
effect, if any it has, with different concentrations of it in the soil, and different methods and
ingredients for preparing the biochar. It should be really interesting to see what
effect it has, and there seems to be so much more to explore with the use of biochar. But I’m really glad that I’m finally starting
to produce this famous black soil amendment, as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for
ages. This is the first video I’ve made about
biochar, but I’m planning to make more in the future. I’ll definitely produce a video showing
the results of any trials that I make, and I’m also looking at producing another video
that goes into more detail about the methods and possibilities of making biochar, and inoculating
or charging it with different materials. I’m also interested in exploring the possibilities
and viabilities of using biochar as a form of carbon sequestration, especially at a small
scale. If you’re interested in these kinds of things,
be sure to subscribe, and like and share these videos, as this all helps to ensure that I
can continue to make content like this. If you really want to help and support me,
please check out my Patreon page linked here, or in the description below. But as always, thank you for watching.

100 Comments

  • Jimmy's Allotment

    Another informative video, Great job. I haven't thought about Biochar in a while. Very interesting I'm looking forward to seeing the outcomes. Cheers

  • John Sharry

    excellent video, Bruce seems like a great way to productively use waste wood. Interested to know if there is any way to use the heat that is produced. For example, rather than burning in open are there ways to burn in an indoor stove so heat is used in a dwelling and not wasted etc?

  • Back to Basics Homemaker

    I have just recently found you and have really enjoyed your videos! However, I quite like THIS one, especially 😊 I have used an old roaster in our fireplace to make biochar following the method EdibleAcres used in his videos. But I have never tried his method of the cone pit. After watching this though, I might re-watch this one a few times and his videos again and give it a try! I like the amount of charcoal y'all are producing!

  • Mun Rosewarne

    Hello from Australia.

    Thank you Bruce for the high value content/presentation.

    Your videos are dense with information, and full of intelligent commentary.

    Will you be testing out the efficacy of the biochar in test plots? I would be interested in seeing if it makes any short/long term difference.

    Cheers mate.

  • StreetMachine18

    The biochar is gunna love soaking up that nitrogen rich juice. I’ve been getting 5 gallons of coffee grounds everyday from tim hortons and my compost pile is really gunna heat up once it stops being -6*c!!!! Good luck!!!

  • d3vilspi3

    Do you have any info on anaerobic digestive solids w/ soil? Have a opportunity to grab a large qty cheap. https://lansing.craigslist.org/grq/d/east-lansing-anaerobic-digester-solids/6842037077.html

  • Hal Steward

    Thanks for the video. Great stuff. One thing I've found is inoculation with half n half good compost and worm bin castings. The worms seem to love char. I've also used moringa tea and worm casting tea. Seems inoculations can be achieved but the follow up study I've never really kept track of.
    I do know stuff works very well.

  • Sam Tepes

    to crush use a leaf shredder with a bag on the discharge end, make sure the biochar is dry to not clog up the machine or but not toooo dry which will make a lot of fine dust…..I use the TLUD 55gal barrel method which is: load, light and check every now and then to see when it's time to put it out with water

  • Mark /

    Add it to new compost and it will be inoculated by the composting process. You have tons and tons of compost so just add it like you would any other composting material

  • Mason Koller

    I’ve watched so many guarding videos before this and I never understood the point of bio char or a practical way to make it until I watch this. Thank you so much!

  • Rob Rob

    This is they second video of yours that i have watched. You are incredible!! You do full research prior, then you show all aspects of what u did. You are one of the best youtubers!!! New sub over here!! 🙂

  • Adrian G Eyre

    some good ideas. I have tried making it my myself like you say its a pain to put out. I did make a load from wood chips no need to brak it up. I just add it to the compost heap then its read with the compost to go on garden.

  • alsternerd

    The good thing is that biochar also readds carbon to the earth, in larger quantities, you could store more CO2.
    Pretty neat version with the cone. 🙂

  • Bonnie Doon Homestead

    Look into skillcult youtube channel, he has taken this to a much more reasonable approach using a trench allowing larger branches and less cutting to realize the same benefit. The cool thing is you make your trench fit your fuel rather than cutting your fuel to fit your cone. Brilliant.

  • Project Malus

    I think one of the best uses is for adding garden area where the soil is crappy to begin with. If the soil is already good, it's not so effective. My way would be to make and inoculate the char, spread it and till it in, then grow cover crops to break it down further and add organic matter plus nitrogen. Do this over a few years, let nature do the work to make awesome garden space. The hard part is waiting…we all want results right away.

    A safety concern with the outside pit is that looking at the fire can fry the eyeballs, all that radiant energy I guess. Be careful! I really like using an 18 inch piece of stovepipe in the wood stove, since the heat is put to use. Another method might use the heat to boil maple syrup. I don't worry too much about crushing the stuff, I put it in a galvanized bucket and take the spade to it, drive the spade down into it. Also what's nice is that it happens over the winter, like a daily event that is part of the routine and not something that takes too much time.

    I did the trench method too and it was quite smokey. It does produce quite a bit, but the can method (if hardwood sticks are used) makes premium stuff. It really should be combined with coppicing.

  • Thomas de Boer

    I am curious if the quenching with water creates a material similar to activated charcoal which may be why it can hold so much more fertility within.

  • Niko Maderbacher

    Cool method – terra preta is great and is a climate saver. But the charcoal should be "activated", which means you should put it together with biowaste and let compost it – then the coal is full of fertilizer and this lasts for years!

  • ran dom

    You would have more yeild if bured in a sealed barrel onto of a fire. A roller would break it up well. Can you press this stuff into briquettes

  • Flux Umia

    These videos are very cool.

    given that the cone shape of the fire is keeping it all in one place. Could you get a dome to smoother the fire to reduce the amount of water needed? perhaps like a dome grill maybe affixed with some method of spreading water over the fire wile removing access to fresh air to burn. Alternatively, perhaps mixing some of the composting into it and turning it there to mix in the compost and dampen the fire with the damper compost.

    I don't have access to the simplest of gardens nor have I, just ideas that came to mind.

  • Vash TheStampede

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svNg5w7WY0k&list=PLjsgr2rd-hIjQ9kqGThnj1p5Hhga3GjZT&index=44&t=0s Making Biochar Maybe do it in the spring and use the heat to warm the floor of the seedlings?

  • hgk

    I suggest for an experiment, you can make charcoal in different ways and different sizes, and inoculate them with similar dosages. Then you can prepare different beds for each type and garden them with a same method, then just report results with time. Great video, btw, I didn't know about this type of charcoal making before. I'm planning to try this method in the future.

  • mike dee

    always interested in your low tech approach to gardening methods…..keeping it simple is usually the best way……

  • gantz4u

    I burn off tree cuttings to get rid of them and started spraying the fire off with the water hose and adding the charcoal to the compost bin instead of just the pot ash. I see no reason or benefit of creating it in a low oxygen environment. Things I think The Amazonians where working with to create terra preta than simply the addition of biochar: Composting their urine and feces and the soil "micro herd" of a rain forest. There's no need to produce compost in a jungle. A jungle is in a constant state of rapid compost.Composting before fruit falls from the tree. Once it touches the ground it doesn't stand a chance. I estimate 80% of any potential naturally occurring fruit to be eaten by the jungle floor. The rest it gets on the back end of some animal then eats it's corpse. The thick layer of organic matter and activity on a jungle floor quickly erodes when the jungle is removed and quickly becomes comparatively trash quality land. They find evidence of "animal feces" in tera preta. I surmise some or all of that is human. I`m not sure the Amazonians where adding the charcoal logically. This may have been a happy accident in a war against a jungle retaking their plots in the middle of a RAIN forest. I do think it helps fixate water soluble compounds such as "compost tea" and possibly potassium nitrates created with the addition of urine and human manure that would be otherwise eroded during the heavy rain season. The Amazonians impact on deforestation of the rain forest was relatively small specks. I can see the rain forest trying to easily reclaim these plots and creating an effect of green manure crops and being so small may not have had any effect on the jungle soil within the plot being in such close proximity to the jungle for jungle rot and protection the canopy provides. In my mind you would have to get the ball rolling on climate change and create the snow ball effect of millions of years of composting evolution of hyper growth and hyper composting to attempt to recreate the important addition of a jungle floor and canopy. Without it the prized land containing terra preta is a quickly dwindling finite resource.

  • Francis Lim

    Since ancient time,fire were the surest ways to fertilises the ground,from the open prairie fields and African savannah,fire burns old hays during lightning,those minerals rich ashes replenish the soil,natives would chop and burn the forest,in fact,burning is a lot faster than compost making.

  • JackSpeed 439

    One thing it can do is fix atmospheric gasses such as nitrogen and carbon from carbon dioxide. Some how. Hmm maybe you could grow a few tomatoes side by side but both with and without biochar? Since tomatoes are nitrogen hogs and quickly show low nitrogen very obviously I think they would be a good trial crop. Then you could see for yourself if you are getting a benefit or not.

  • Nord Kitten

    It's interesting, my family has always burned extra branches in a pit we dig in the garden just before we till, I never knew why and my family only ever said that it helped the soil. never had a name for it until now though.

  • ABaumstumpf

    There have been many studies on this already and the results are conclusive – "biochar" or rather just charcoal – does NOT contain the carbon for long, rather it releases it back into the environment just as fast as normal composting does with no longterm positive effects.
    "Terry preta" is something entirely different too, it was not created just by adding coal but the long process of adding different types of compostable waste and other things.

    And far worse – producing charcoal by burning the wood is then just the cherry on top – cause that is really harmful to the environment. Burning wood produces a shitton of different emissions to the point were using mined coal becomes less harmful. Yes – digging up coal form the ground is less damaging to the environment than burning wood for coal.
    There is a reason why industrial charcoal production works entirely different – they have to follow regulations to make it viable and safe for the environment.

    But right now the science tells us just these 2 things:
    You have no longterm benefit for your soil and you are harming the environment.

  • baddoggie101

    Biochar was used in the Amazon as it substitutes for the usual soil colloids. Montmorillonite and illite clays can hold cations and prevent those from being washed away, so too can humus (the fully decomposed form). But in the high rain (and acidic) conditions of the Amazon, the clays were degraded over millions of years leaving only sesquioxide clays that cannot hold cations. In the very high temperatures of the Amazon, a leaf that falls will be eaten overnight by microbes, the nitrogen will be turned partly into nitrogen oxides and evaporate or be converted to nitrates that are easily washed away, hence there are no humus colloids and the soil is sterile. The charcoal will survive those conditions and is able to not only hold ions to its surface, but its huge surface area also provides habitat for microbes. Unless you have another reason, such as sequestration of carbon, biochar may not work in a high ph soil as it will suck up all the hydrogen ions and buffer the soil to an alkaline condition. You, however, live in a high rainfall area so after a while, the biochar will be saturated with hydrogen ions and then the soil will become fertile. That could take years.

  • Robert Rudnik

    Why not to make the biochar in winter in your wood stove, with the same technik off air managment. Heat goes for heating house, biochar and ash is extra product.

  • Donald Scott

    You could use a cement mixer and some rocks to crush the charcoal up. It should beat it to a powder fairly quickly.

  • B G

    Perhaps quench with soil or compost by smothering the charcoal instead of dousing it with water? Oxygen deprivation may be a more effective way to prevent burning into white ash…

  • king james488

    I was thinking about doing something like getting a fire going then throwing on a bunch of weeds and crap to burn them up into ash and kill any seeds, then putting it out and throwing the whole thing in a compost pile to finish breaking down any left over wood and get the char saturated with nutrients and things.

  • Justin Schroeder

    If you're still working on this, for crushing the biochar, you can modify a rock tumbler of sorts, by putting a mesh on the bottom. For burning, you can also use a process similar to wood stoves for home use. If you burn a small amount of the wood fully, you can heat the rest of it to carbonization by pyrolysis.

  • CandymanSEHTx713

    No no no. Put it in a metal container on a fire. Itll produce wood gas and whats left over is charcoal because its baked not burned.

  • Younes al Almani

    This method seems to be much less efficient than the traditional method. Especially when using small twigs a lot of the material will burn

  • John Motzenbecker

    RED Gardens ; Very interesting , I've liked , and subscribed . This Biochar you speak of , I live in Florida , Southwest Florida , and our soil is very sandy , " VERY , VERY SANDY " , and no organic's to speak of . On top of this , in a small garden with various types of plant's trees , and shrubs , not to forget other flowering plants , it's not long before the soil is ' spent ' . Think about the soil in a small garden not much bigger than fifteen feet , by fifteen feet , occupied for the most part by the same plants for at least the past twenty five years , on top of all this the use of wood chips for a ' GROUND COVER ' , god I hate ' wood chips ' ! I wish Garden Centers , and Landscapers would stop using it . It is true esp. here in Florida where our Summers can get so hot , ground covers can help the garden , deal with the 'heat' . I have for sometime believed it would be more beneficial to the garden and the soil if a more biodegradable " Ground Cover were to be used . With the use of wood chips , no mater how careful you might be in raking away , the old ' chips ' , before laying Down the new , they always work their way into the soil column , now wood chips are ' organic ' but because they are ' long lasting ' , and can take some time to decompose , in the meantime they can promote fungal growth , unwanted pest , and air pockets in the soil which is not good for root growth . Now because we can't , since we don't have the room to do the ' burning ' , is there somewhere we can buy good Biochar ? Also short of tearing up an entire garden , and working in this biochar to amend the soil , is there anyway of using it , well like a ' TEA ' ? ? ? Jack ? ?

  • Robert Lombardo

    I love making charcoal. So many uses, so easy to make.

    And we all know how interesting a little bit of lump charcoal gets, mixed with some powdered sulphur and some stump remover from the garden section… 😏

  • Corbally Cobwebs

    Interesting. Would the Steppe have this in their rich [black] soils due to the slash-and-burn metod utilised by the old Slavic tribes?

  • Ajax Telamonian

    Great use for Willow especially in areas where not many other trees grow well due to the waterlogged conditions.

  • Matthieu Lacombe

    Rocket stove with sealed container inside. Lower amount of wood even dry leaves can be used to get it easily to more than a 1000 degree Celsius doing a pyrolysis on the wood inside the container

  • nunya bisnass

    You can also get a large steel can that can be sealed, load it with wood, seal it, poke a few small holes in the lid to allow gasses to escape, and chuck the can in the fire until no more flames shoot out of the holes.

  • Charles Coker

    Is the Biochar improving your soil. Is it worth all the effort? How deep did you mix the char into your soil? You see different videos Some say it was a big difference. Some show where it hurt their yield.

  • Stefan

    Hi Bruce,
    Thanks for your work. I discovered your channel a few hours ago and find it quite beneficial.

    About two months ago, I stumbled about the topic of Terra Preta and since then I work continuously on this to make a huge global impact in many ways.

    I'd like to scale this whole thing on a global level to cover three areas.

    1. Greening the globe by fertilization of the soil.

    2. Producing energy as a byproduct by the usage of flammable gases produced in the pyrolysis process.

    3. Capturing CO2 emissions as a byproduct and store it in the ground/soil in the form of biochar.

    I discovered that all the details are more or less at hand. We just need to connect the dots, start implementation and work on continuous improvement.

    Are you interested in cooperation? One aspect which I haven't figured out yet is how to get the substrate incorporated into the soil properly. It should be done easily and cost-effective. I’m thinking of some sort of machinery which is easy to use for professionals and non-professionals too.

    My initial thought was to start with a depth of about 25 cm to have quick results. Later on or in more arid areas we could go deeper for more sustainable results.

    Can't wait for your update on biochar.

    At the moment I activate the biochar by mixing it directly into the compost through the turnings. In addition, I use urin and effective microorganisms for the activation of biochar.

    In my understanding it’s better to have a certain size of the biochar pieces. One of the benefits of biochar is it ability to hold water caused by the porous structure. I think the smaller the pieces the lesser the inner surface which translates to lesser water holding capacity. I look also for the optimal size of the biochar pieces and how to produce it easily.

    I think using human poop would also be a great thing. However the implementation of this is a bit of a challenge at the moment. I have it on my list.

    Warm greeting from Berlin 😃

  • dstyd

    Biochar as you call it is used by forests. This is a big reason for forest fires. Fires also help keep bug populations down so certain areas can grow more healthy as time goes on. Biochar is also good for taking unwanted stuff out of the soil as long as it's done right. I would say don't use it to often but maybe once a year maybe longer before using it again. You could turn some of those fertility bombs as you put it into biochar. It could help with the acidity.

  • EmLill Things

    Build a matchstick-house over the pit, with a couple 'floor(s)', and start the fire from the top. Then feed the fire as you would in the pit, until it collapses into the pit (proceed from there as you did if needed). Much less smoke, much less cutting, much shorter burn-time. If wind is bothersome, lean thicker pieces on the side where the flames are blown, and thinner pieces to block the wind.

    This method is good for everything from small bonfires, to something ridiculous over a snow-pit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9mIy2YvF7E (skip 3 min) where it's after a while gets big enough to do the green without much smoke. (scale tried is an experimental pyrophilia)

    Not that you need a pit, just light from the top of brush (watch Skillcult), or wall in your fire with thicker logs to simulate a pit.

    Hope it helps finding a desirable process

  • Sustainably Yours Homestead

    I'm really glad I found your channel! It is very educational. This is just the second video I've watched, but I can already tell that I'm going to end up starting from the beginning of your catalogue and viewing every one while taking lots of notes.

  • Mark Evans

    New sub here, love the scientific and trial and error approach to your channel! I take it you are based in Ireland based on you description? I'm over near Cambridge in the UK so similar growing conditions to yourself!

  • FullMetalTrucker

    I used the double barrel (retort) method. But instead of using wood in the inner barrel, I used cocoa hull mulch. The pieces are very thin; and anything not burned will still help the soil. I've had luck in making at least 95% of the material into char.

  • Sapioit

    If would be interesting to note what trying to turn fruits into biochar would do. I mean, the liquid produced would sink to the bottom, which would possibly keep the coal from turning into ash.

    How fine you crush the biochar depends on how fast you want it to release the nutrients. Do you want a batch to release for multiple years (and with thicker branches and entire logs, even decades)? Don't crush it at all. Do you want a fertility bomb? A rather fine powder would do just fine.

    One way to do it is to make biochar from entire logs (about a human head in thickness), or even branches (about a fist in thickness) and bury a few of those in the soil at a depth which would make the removing of the plants fairly easy, during the harvesting season. Normal planting soil can be used on top. The thick biochar material also serves as a water reserve, if it's that thick. It's one way to slowly help the soil recover with minimal work, if you can wait a few years (or more).

  • Prjndigo

    For crushing the char you should be able to find an old manual oat rolling mill, use the ribbed wheels on it (this is also good for crunching stuff for the compost). They're not large and it'll be a little hard to crank but it'll beat the hell out of stepping on it.

    You could also make a conical crusher like used in the rock industry and make it a day task for 3 or so people. Might be more work to make. I'd go with the roller mill.

  • BracesandBoots1

    I crush my char into dust using an electric cement mixer filled with large nuts and bolts (like a ball mill except less professional).  I use a big shop magnet to remove the metal after it's finished pulverizing the char to dust.  I worry about igniting the char dust, so I I wet it with compost tea.  What I end up with is a slurry that I turn into my compost pile while it's still wet.

  • Jaakko Laurila

    I mix chicken manure into the water that I pour to the hot charcoal. It forces the nutriens inside the charcoal effectively, and it is ready to be used.

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