99. A mobile biochar producing vehicle.
The problem is green house gas overload, depleted, overworked soil and dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Biochar and the by-products of its creation can help with all three. With a mobile unit I hope to provide a service to farms, orchards, vineyards etc, that want to use the biochar produced from what otherwise may be wasted cuttngs, brush etc. to amend their soil and increase fertility, thereby increasing crop yield. The syngas and bio oil produced may also be used by the location as fuel to power equipment, and to produce heat for greenhouses, and barns.
Biochar is a modern take on a 2400 year old solution to poor soil health used by natives of the Amazon Basin. They burned wood in covered pits and created charcoal that over time, helped to make the soil more condusive to growing food crops. When using biomass to make compost, or allowed to sit on the surface and rot, carbon is allowed to escape into the environment adding to the carbon problem. Studies have shown that Biochar puts back and holds carbon in the soil, limits also helps keep methane in the soil as well. Biochar by being porous, helps the soil to retain water and nutrients in the soil, provides areas for microorganisms to live and thrive. Biochar can be used as a filter medium for hydroponic and aquaponic systems, When finished as a filter medium it and the nutrients can be returned to the earth. The modern process uses a method called pyrolysis that burns waste biomass in low oxygen conditions which if done correctly and sustainablyis a carbon neutral process. The by-products of biochar production includes fuel sources such as syngas and bio oil, both of which can be used as a fuel source Synthetic gas and bio-oil is already being used all over the world to produce energy, heat
Why it should be recognized:
The solution works on several levels. It helps the atmosphere by sequestering carbon, the soil by helping to rejuvenate overworked soil, and the fossil fuel problem by using a renewable resource to make bio oil. By making the process mobile and using the biofuel to power the biochar unit and vehicle, fossil fuels do not need to be used. This type of vehicle could be used not just here in the US, but all over the world as well.
Submitted: Jan 31, 2013
Author: David Lantz
  • Energy (Resources)
  • Materials (Resources)
  • Water (Resources)
  • Resource/Waste Management (Regional)
  • Transportation (Regional)
  • Food/Agriculture (Industry)
  • Transportation (Industry)
  • Air Quality Regulation (Planetary System)
  • Climate & Natural Hazard Regulation (Planetary System)
  • Energy Capture, Transport, Storage (Planetary System)
  • Population & Biodiversity Management (Planetary System)
  • Soil Vitality, Erosion & Chemical Pollution Control (Planetary System)
  • Waste Recycling (Planetary System)
  • Ocean System (Planetary System)
  • Food Production, Transport & Storage (Planetary System)