Monday, April 21, 2008

Terra Preta

The terra preta are some seriously fertile soils in the Amazon Basin. They are a man-made agricultural wonder, made even more amazing by the fact that these soils were created about 9 to 10 thousand years ago.

There is a great BBC documentary called The Secret of El Dorado which discusses the terra preta soils. If you can find the video online, via YouTube or Google Video, it's worth the watch.

Another amazing thing is that we have no idea how they actually did it. Todays scientists are trying to replicate the terra preta using biochar.

1 comment:

Erich J. Knight said...

I hope you become as passionate as I have to spreading the news of the multiple solutions Terra Preta (TP)soils provides and post it to your cite.
I'm sort of a TP cub reporter for the list, most of my post are on news and collaborative efforts caught in my Google filters., my lobbying efforts with writers, companies, academics, journals or governments.

If you have any other questions please feel free to call me or visit the TP web site I've been drafted to co-administer.

It has been immensely gratifying to see all the major players join the mail list , Cornell folks, T. Beer of Kings Ford Charcoal (Clorox), Novozyne the M-Roots guys(fungus), chemical engineers, Dr. Danny Day of EPRIDA , Dr. Antal of U. of H., Virginia Tech folks and many others

Below is my current TP posting of News & Links which I promiscuously post to anyone who has an iron in this fire .


This technology represents the most comprehensive, low cost, and productive approach to long term stewardship and sustainability.Terra Preta Soils a process for Carbon Negative Bio fuels, massive Carbon sequestration, 10X Lower CH4 & N2O soil GHG emissions, and 3X Fertility Too.

UN Climate Change Conference: Biochar present at the Bali Conference

SCIAM Article May 15 07;

After many years of reviewing solutions to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) I believe this technology can manage Carbon for the greatest collective benefit at the lowest economic price, on vast scales.

S.1884 – The Salazar Harvesting Energy Act of 2007

A Summary of Biochar Provisions in S.1884:

Carbon-Negative Biomass Energy and Soil Quality Initiative

for the 2007 Farm Bill

BIG Terra Preta Soil news;

Biopact, a leading bioenergy web site, has announced the creation of a "Biochar Fund" to help poor farmers improve their quality of life without hurting the environment.

Glomalin, the recently discovered soil protien, may be the secret to to TP soils productivity;

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) conference held at Terrigal, NSW, Australia in 2007. The papers from this conference are posted at their home page;

All the Biochar Companies and equipment manufactures I've found:

Carbon Diversion

Eprida: Sustainable Solutions for Global Concerns

BEST Pyrolysis, Inc. | Slow Pyrolysis - Biomass - Clean Energy - Renewable Ene

Dynamotive Energy Systems | The Evolution of Energy

Ensyn - Environmentally Friendly Energy and Chemicals

Agri-Therm, developing bio oils from agricultural waste

Advanced BioRefinery Inc.

Technology Review: Turning Slash into Cash

Genesis Industries, licensee of Eprida technology, provides carbon-negative EPRIDA energy machines at the same cost as going direct to Eprida. Our technical support staff also provide information to obtain the best use of biochar produced by the machine. Recent research has shown that EPRIDA charcoal (biochar) increases plant productivity as it sequesters carbon in soil, thus reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.