This won’t be news to anyone following this blog but researchers have now quantified the result of composting biochar. Rather than composting I prefer soaking my biochar in organic liquids like aged urine (nitrogen and phosphorus), worm tea (plant growth hormones), and compost extracts.
Ideally during the creation of biochar and the boiling off of volatile organic compounds we would be capturing, cooling and passing the gasses through bubblers to capture them and later soak the biochar in.
Researchers found that dissolved organic substances played a key role in the composting of biochar and created the thin organic coating.
“This organic coating makes the difference between fresh and composted biochar,” Kappler said. “The coating improves the biochar’s properties of storing nutrients and forming further organic soil substances.” Hagemann added that the coating also developed when untreated biochar was introduced into the soil — only much more slowly.