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Carbon Neutral Farming


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I reckon that on our sheep farm here in the west wimmera, we could be carbon neutral by making charcoal. We would use dead timber, but I reckon straw from cropping or sugar cane waste would do as well.

Is there any payment to farmers for producing charcoal?  If not, I wonder why.

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Bruce, there are carbon credits available to farmers under "certain circumstances", for using "biochar". I don't know what those precise circumstances are, I guess the people to contact, are on the website I've linked to, below.

 

https://carbonfarmersofaustralia.com.au/carbon-farming/available-methods/

 

What is biochar?   https://warmheartworldwide.org/biochar

 

One of the difficulties I see is constructing a facility for making charcoal that doesn't produce smoke, and generate undesirable gases, that contribute to air pollution and climate change.

 

In the '30's and '40's, charcoal production was a sizeable business here in W.A. (and in other States, too I guess - but I have no personal knowledge of what went on in the other States, back then).

Back then, the charcoal burners would merely excavate a largish pit and cut local timber and stockpile it in the pit, and burn it to produce the charcoal. I've come across many of those old pits in the Wheatbelt of W.A.

 

I don't know what the local charcoal burners did to enclose their charcoal pits here, to exclude oxygen from the burning timber - but I note that charcoal burners in other places such as Poland use iron retorts.

The problem I see, is being able to produce satisfactory volumes of charcoal or biochar to make a difference over the large area of a sizeable farm.

You need a setup capable of holding a pretty large volume, and excluding air effectively.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charcoal_burner

 

Edited by onetrack
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You'd have to combust the volatiles that come from making it. Some of that heat could be applied to the process. Done properly there shouldn't be any visible smoke.  You also don't want methane which comes off Dams and rubbish tips when things rot and is much worse than CO2 for greenhouse effect.

   In a similar way, Coke is made from suitable coal and coal gas was obtained during the process for town use.. THAT was your "usual" Town GAS that came through pipes from a GASOMETER (a Variable volume tank sealed by a water barrier between two lower cylindrical concentric walls located by helical runners. This  provided the pressure to  reticulate the gas.

  Australian soils are very LOW in organic matter which  reduces their fertility  as it then doesn't support micro organisms that release nutrients to the plants and make the soil Ph closer to neutral.  acidic and alkaline soils lock up nutrients .  That's why lime is often used after  a lot of superphosphate applications which makes the soil acidic.  Nev

Edited by facthunter
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