Equipment

Some of the BNNZ members sell equipment that you can buy to then make biochar, but there are also many ways to make your own container or kiln. This American website has many examples to garner inspiration from: https://wilsonbiochar.com/gallery

Containers can also be placed inside of a fire - this is known as a retort. A search such as this will again reveal many examples to get inspiration from. The simplest and smallest version of this is a milo or biscuit tin with many small holes holes drilled into it, that is filled with biomass and then inserted into a wood burner once it is burning hot (if lid pops off drill a few more holes). This will heat the biomass so that it off gasses out of the holes which burn like little blowtorches. Leave tin in fire overnight and remove the next morning when cold. Empty out lovely char into a large bucket and moisten. Doing this every night over the winter will result in a decent and very ethical supply of biochar for your garden! Use a mulcher or similar to make it as small as you can before charging with nutrient and adding to your soil.

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BNNZ acknowledges the generous support of Soil Conditioner Products Ltd, NZ Biochar Ltd, Black Moa Biochar, and Slow Farm Ltd