Archive | blog

The Results Are In!

Last week we harvested our 19 finger millet test plots, each grown using varying amounts of biochar combined with different nutrient inputs: a 15% human urine solution, compost, and inorganic fertilizer (di-ammonium phosphate – DAP) in both half and full applications. After a week of drying and processing, the results are in. As we expected, […]

Continue Reading

Harvest

We are reaching the end of the “long rains” season here in Bungoma. Farmers are now beginning to harvest their crops – typically maize and/or beans – from the season. An acre of fertilized maize typically yields about 20 sacks of grain, which translates on the market into roughly $600. Some of this earned money […]

Continue Reading

Charcoal Testing Data

As noted in a previous blog post, we are entering the charcoal business in western Kenya with a sustainable alternative to conventional lump charcoal that can compete on both cost and quality bases. We have spent the last month experimenting with different binders and charcoal made from different parent material to find the optimal charcoal […]

Continue Reading

Introducing Rutuba/Climate Kiln Version 2.0!

After several months of development and testing, the re:char team is excited to announce the launch of its new Rutuba/Climate Kiln Version 2.0. The kiln is the only mass-produced biochar kiln in the world that can be ordered online with one click. We designed Kiln 1.0 to be low-cost, capable of being produced anywhere in […]

Continue Reading

re:char goes to Cannes

I recently had the pleasure of presenting our work at the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Cannes Lions is considered the ‘Oscars for the Advertising Industry,’ and brings together some of the top leaders in media, publishing, technology and advocacy. I was honored to be invited by one of our funders, the Bill […]

Continue Reading

Step by Step Guide to Making Biochar Briquettes

At re:char, we are die-hard devotees of open-source methodology. We believe that it’s the responsibility of  innovators to document their work and share it with the world. The only way technologies like biochar will scale is through radical openness. To that end, we offer the below step-by-step guide to producing charcoal fuel briquettes from biochar. […]

Continue Reading

Charcoal

We at re:char are starting a new line of business in Bungoma, Kenya: charcoal production. Charcoal is one of the most popular and demanded sources of fuel in urban Sub-Saharan Africa. Specific to East Africa, the FAO reported in 1987 that 26% of Nairobi’s dwellers use charcoal as their primary source of energy. The report […]

Continue Reading

Green Pyromania Class

In the Bay Area? Check out our class on biochar production and rocket stoves. I’ll be demonstrating assembly of our DIY climate kiln as well as coaching attendees on how to monitor a burn for optimal biochar production. Attendees will gain an understanding of how to make their own biochar from agricultural waste and apply […]

Continue Reading

Biochar & Farm Profits

We’re excited to read a working paper from our friend Andrew Crane-Droesch on biochar’s effects in Western Kenya.  Andrew focuses on what matters most to farmers: how does biochar impact farm profitability? Andrew reaches some exciting conclusions: “We estimate that biochar increased crop yields between 20 and 40%, while reducing fertilizer expenditure and increasing farm-level profitability […]

Continue Reading

Biochar + An Unusual Fertilizer

Our test plots are showing good results! The finger millet we planted in mid-April is growing well, and the biochar planted there is demonstrating its positive impact on plant growth. The test plots that combine biochar with one of the organic fertilizers – a 15% solution of human urine – are doing exceptionally well. On […]

Continue Reading