Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Warm Heart FC Trough

The Warm Heart FC Trough

The Warm Heart team has been developing a new type of flame cap / flame curtain (FC) biochar production unit. These are FC Trough units, which are defined as above ground FC units with a non-square, rectangular top aspect.
The general design was developed as a result of considering the easiest low tech way to pyrolyze a great variety of the feedstock types available to the small holders in developing countries, that is, with a minimum amount of processing &/or transportation of the feedstock beyond the initial harvesting.

Given this economy of effort/cost and the basic growth pattern of much potential feedstock, the design will be of interest to the small to medium low tech, distributed biochar makers in developed regions. These are derivatives of the original Japanese technology and are Top Fed Open Draft FC units and not to be confused with kilns since they do not fit the Standard English definition of kiln.
The Warm Heart team took the basic FC trough concept and, with the support of management, come up with a special FC Trough design which features reduced weight without sacrificing durability and without greatly increasing fabrication cost or difficulty.

This is accomplished by reducing the thickness of the firebox sheet metal and laying out the base and long sides as a single rectangular panel so that the sides are simply bent up from the central base section of the panel at the desired angle.

The ends are inverted isosceles trapezoids congruent with the outline of the bent base and long sides. They are welded on at right angles to the base. This lightweight fire box is cradled in a light weight supporting frame made of box iron (or square iron – iron bars with a hollow square cross section).
To further strengthen the unit and secure the firebox in place, four angle irons encircle the top of the unit with the downward facing arms on the inside of the unit and the opposite arms making the uppermost rim of the unit. Thus the firebox rim is sandwiched between the box iron cradle rim and the angle iron (See schematic details, photos 22 &23).
This basic concept will be referred to as the Warm Heart Trough design.

Friday, 7 October 2016

US Consulate General Chiang Mai Goes BioChar After Conference with Warm Heart

US Consulate General Chiang Mai Goes BioChar After Conference with Warm Heart: The US Embassy has declared that it will go fully BioChar after a conference today with Michael Shafer from Warm Heart introducing the facts and theory behind the burning technique, followed by a demonstration to officials and a training program for the gardeners at the embassy.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

BBF newsletter - soil remediation

The latest newsletter features the following articles:  David Werner (Newcastle University) and Sarah Hale (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute) on ‘Biochar applications in sediment and soil pollution remediation’  and Richard Copley (livestock farmer from Lincolnshire) on ‘Climate mitigating cattle?’

Sunday, 11 September 2016

BIORICHAR - new product release from Malaysia

Theeba Manickam has been leading biochar research at MARDI for a number of years. It is great to see some commercial progress in Malaysia.

(not sure how to edit the video HTML to smaller screen size... try right click and 'full screen' to view)

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Biochar technology for mine rehab - Philippines

"Nickel mining companies Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. (MMDC) and Benguetcorp Nickel Mines Inc. (BNMI) have been given the green light by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to engage in a mine rehabilitation project using activated biochar technology. According to Marcventures vice chairman Isidro “Butch” Alcantara, the project is not only in compliance with the new policy direction of the DENR to rehabilitate mined-out areas, but also complements the Surigao nickel miner’s initiatives in providing sustainable, organic and environmentally enhancing livelihood activities." ...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Asia-Pacific Biochar Conference, Korea 19-23Oct

Date: 29 August 2016 at 15:57
Subject: 3rd Asia Pacific Biochar Conference (APBC 2016) Korea, October 19-23, 2016
To: 옥용식
Cc: Yong Sik Ok

Dear Colleagues,

The 3rd Asia Pacific Biochar Conference entitled “A Shifting Paradigm towards Advanced Materials and Energy/Environment Research” will be held in Cuncheon, Korea on October 19-23, 2016.

You can visit the APBC 2016 website ( for more information.

Please kindly share this announcement with your colleagues. We are looking forward to seeing you all at the APBC 2016, Korea!

Thank you very much.

On behalf of

Conference Chairman
Yong Sik Ok, PhD, Full Professor, Director
Honorable Ambassador of Gangwon Province
Korea Biochar Research Center
Kangwon National University, Korea

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Kontiki biochar production in Vietnam

My thanks to Prof. Stephen Joseph for the following...

Biochar use for climate-change mitigation in rice cropping systems (Vietnam)

My thanks to Prof. Stephen Joseph who has sent me the following publication. Please let me know if you would like me to forward a copy to you...

Biochar use for climate-change mitigation in rice cropping systems


This study estimated the climate change effects of alternative rice production systems in North Vietnam with different residue management options, using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The traditional practice of open burning of residues (System A) was compared with the alternative of converting residues to biochar, which was returned to the same land area from which the residues were obtained (System B). Pyrolytic cook-stoves and drum ovens were assumed to be used by households to produce biochar, and the cook-stoves produced heat energy for cooking. The annual rate of biochar applied was determined by the amount of biochar produced from the straw and husk available. We assumed that agronomic effects of biochar increased with each annual biochar application until reaching maximum benefits at 18 Mg ha 1 , which takes eight years to be produced in pyrolytic cook-stoves and drum ovens. The largest contributor to the carbon footprint of rice at the mill gate, was CH4 emissions from soil, in both systems. Biochar addition reduced the carbon footprint of spring rice and summer rice by 26% and 14% respectively, compared with System A, in the first year of application. These values substantially increased to 49% and 38% after eight years of biochar addition. The climate effect of System B was most sensitive to the assumed suppression of soil CH4 emissions due to biochar application.

 Ali Mohammadi a, * , Annette Cowie a, b , Thi Lan Anh Mai c , Ruy Anaya de la Rosa a , Paul Kristiansen a , Miguel Brandao~ d , Stephen Joseph a, e, f

a School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia 
b NSW Department of Primary Industries, Beef Industry Centre, Trevenna Rd., Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia 
c Thai Nguyen University of Sciences, Thai Nguyen University, Thai Nguyen Province, Viet Nam 
d Division of Industrial Ecology, Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering (SEED), School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden 
e Discipline of Chemistry, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia 
f School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia