I would like to produce Terra Preta As a demonstration of simple and local ways to work for a lower carbon future. Terra Preta or Amazonian black earth is an amazing type of soil that can hold atmospheric carbon in the form of a stable and rich growing medium. Terra Preta is essentially charcoal combined with compost. This simple combination creates a unique soil type that holds nutrients, microbes and importantly carbon. Scientists now believe that this soil type is an essential component of the lush fertility of the Amazon, and can bind carbon for hundreds if not thousands of years. Building Terra Preta soils is one of the few carbon sequestration strategies that can actually make a significant difference in global atmospheric carbon. To make proper charcoal for Terra Preta requires heating biomass in the absence of oxygen in a biochar kiln. Only when it has been properly processed in the kiln will the carbon attain its highly stable state that makes it an ideal soil medium. These kilns are simple and elegantly illustrate scientific principles. The feedstock is waste from woodshops, yard waste and other organic sources. My awesome project is to build a demonstration kiln to raise awareness of this simple technology that can help us begin to start sequestering atmospheric carbon on a local level.
Funded by Washington, DC (December 2019)