Kelpie Wilson - IBI's Communications Editor
IBI's Communications Editor Kelpie Wilson provides a review of the book (from the August 2010 IBI Newsletter):
I want to call this book: "Biochar, the Missing Manual". This compendium of practical how-to articles on the art and science of biochar bridges the current gap between research and implementation of biochar systems. While basic research on the mechanisms of biochar-soil interactions proceeds at research institutions around the globe-farmers, blacksmiths, colliers, and crafty inventors of all sorts have jumped into the business of biochar production and utilization. The Biochar Revolution collects the results and best practical advice that these entrepreneurs have to offer to the biochar community.
In the book you will read about the challenges of designing low-emissions biochar production systems from small-scale stoves to farm-scale pyrolyzers. Biochar producers show how they add minerals and nutrients to maximize the effectiveness of biochar, and seasoned biochar business operators share the rudiments of their business plans including information on feedstocks, flow rates, and financing. One section of the book is devoted to explaining simple tests to characterize biochar and methods for conducting valid field trials. Because biochar is rooted in an ancient, proven practice, farmers feel empowered to experiment, and are beginning to accumulate and document their results. But because biochar is new to science, it is not always possible to account for these results in a predictable fashion.
We are fortunate to have a vibrant, grassroots movement of biochar practitioners who are so generous in sharing their results with the community. When practice and theory advance to the point where they meet in the middle, then we will truly see a biochar revolution.
author, journalist and IBI Communications Editor