Simply Green News and Entertainment

On Chicken Poop and Biochar

Jake de Grazia - Contributing Writer
Posted on Thursday 11th February 2010

Photo: USA Today
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Yesterday, USA Today profiled a West Virginia chicken farmer named Josh Frye.

The article doesn't have much to say about chickens. It's about heat and fuel and fertilizer, about the fact that Mr. Frye burns his chicken manure for heat, buys 80% less propane than he used to, and is finding a market for the black stuff his high tech poop incinerator spits out.

Biochar it's called, and not only is it a high quality organic fertilizer, but it's also an exceptionally effective means of depositing carbon into the soil and keeping it there long term.

Under normal circumstances, the carbon in waste material — a leaf that falls to the forest floor, for example — decays naturally, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere... The carbon in biochar is particularly resistant to that conversion, so it stays "locked into" the soil much longer than other, unprocessed substances — as long as 1,000 years in some cases.

Read the whole article for more detail.
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