Pete’s comments about burying or landfilling carbon black, brought to mind the amazingly fertile, enigmatic Tierra Preta of the Amazon basin.
Terra preta owes its characteristic black color to its weathered charcoal content, and was made by adding a mixture of charcoal, bone, broken pottery, compost and manure to the low fertility Amazonian soil. A product of indigenous soil management and slash-and-char agriculture, the charcoal is stable and remains in the soil for thousands of years, binding and retaining minerals and nutrients.
Does the “stable for 1000s of years” answer some questions about the utility of buring carbon black?
A new hypothesis for the origin of Amazonian Dark Earths
Is this new hypothesis correct? IDK.
But, the carbon has been sequestered in these soils for a 1000+ years, these soils are acknowledged as significantly more fertile than the typical rainforest soil, and highly productive.
it makes me think that perhaps capturing CO2 in an appropriate carbon form, mught be used to improve farm land soils.
I’ve visited / toured experimental sites on which biosolids compost was added.
While there are definite benefits, the COSTS associated with composting, the aesthetics (smell and NIMBY) of the composting operations, the costs of buying, transporting, and spreading the compost were significant obstacles.
AND - EPA regulations regarding allowed amounts of nutrients (N, P, K; due to runoff water pollution) that could be spread on a given area, were at odds with the amount of compost required to achieve the compost benefits.
The EPA regulations (based on NPK content) permit something like 2mm of compost to be spread, while getting the soil and biological benefits require 5 to 10 cm.
Food for thought?
As to biosolids, many of us add peat moss to our gardens to improve soil. To break up heavy clay soils or to help retain moisture in sandy soils. It does work but it also rots. Probably to green house gases like methane.
Charcoal has been around for eons. Coal does not degrade under ground. Addition of carbon black to farm land should be harmless and maybe beneficial. Storage capacity is huge.
Hey there !
Paul E. writes “As to biosolids, many of us add peat moss to our gardens to improve soil. To break up heavy clay soils or to help retain moisture in sandy soils. It does work but it also rots. Probably to green house gases like methane.”
Well … here on the farm in central Illinois, we have 130+ sheep! We compost the sheep shytt for 2-4 years and use that to improve our soils - from white timber soil to yellow clay. MAN !! With the good moisture and sunshine this year, we just can’t keep up with the production !! We usually outdo the neighbors but this year will be a record “bin buster” for sure! WOW !! Can’t wait 'til yearend totals on 209 acres !
It’s great to hear from you, haywool. (Sounds like you have lots of wool too.)
And corn over 10ft tall. (Is that like tall cotton?)
And maybe a break before harvest. Good prices too, i hear. But expensive fertilizer.
Are you signed for an electric tractor?
An electric tractor … … …
Now there’s an animal that will REALLY need to prove itself.
We need weight for traction … but too much weight and you’re stuck in the soft soils.
Recharging … that much horsepower could (not “will”) cause some charging problems … we work when the weather is fit. Some “days” a tractor will run 36 to 48 or more hours non-stop (multiple operators). During planting and harvest seasons, there may not be an occasion to recharge.
we’ll wait and see …