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View Diary: The Establishment of Soil Carbon as the Universal Measure of Sustainability (22 comments)

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    the variability is attributed to how the bio-char is made.  Some use more O2, some less.  Some cook it hot, some cook it cool.  All these differences in preparation make a difference in how the C pyrolizes, and what type of aromatic ring it makes, which is what determines whether it is bio-available or not.  Essentially, if you don't truly pyrolize the C, you've just added toasted carbon, which microbes can readily use in metabolism and therefore soil respiration will increase.  If it is pyrolized completely, then the C will be locked away in a non-bio-available form which microbes can't eat and no increase in soil respiration.
    Johannes Lehmann is one of the leading researchers on bio-char and Terra Preta.  Most scientific articles are locked away behind pay walls, but public universities or libraries often have access to them.

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