What is Biochar?
“Biochar” is an umbrella term defined as “the solid material obtained from the thermochemical conversion of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment”. Don’t be alarmed if that sounds complicated – biochar is just another name for charcoal intended for use as a soil amendment.
How are Biochars Made?
Biochar, charcoal, and activated carbon are all produced by heating biomass, like wood, grasses, or grain husks, in an oxygen-limited environment – a process known as pyrolysis.
Every good boy scout knows you need three things to make fire – fuel + heat + oxygen. This is called combustion. When materials are burned through combustion, much of the carbon they contain is oxidized and escapes to the atmosphere as CO2 and other compounds, leaving behind a highly alkaline gray ash.
In contrast, fuel + heat without oxygen (or with limited oxygen) prevents oxidation and leaves behind rich black carbon in a beneficial solid form.
Further processing “activates” the carbon by opening up micropores, significantly increasing the surface area of the carbon and amplifying the structures’ ability to perform its most vital functions as a soil amendment.
Mirimichi Green Activated Biochar
Just like with composts, biochars vary greatly depending on how they were produced and from what material.
To ensure our products contain a biochar that supports professional performance, Mirimichi Green focuses on the consistency of biomass source materials and finely-tuned process controls throughout pyrolysis. In fact, our process produces a biochar that contains less than 4% ash, as opposed to the typical 10%+.
Our biochar is then “activated” to provide an optimal home for our biologicals and nutrients.