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A Carbon Conservation Corps to Restore Forests with Biochar Using Flame Cap Kilns
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: 2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting 2100361.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100361)
Authors: Kelpie J Wilson
Keywords: Air quality, biochar, biomass, burn pile, CCC, carbon sequestration, carbon sink, drought, emissions, flame cap kiln, flame carbonization, forest, fuels treatment, LCA, natural climate solutions, slash, smoke, thinning, vegetation management, wildfire.
Abstract. In the western United States, climate change, drought, and a century of industrial forestry and fire suppression have created a wildfire crisis that threatens ecosystems and communities. As forests go up in smoke, we are experiencing the loss of one of our most important natural carbon sinks. Ramping up fuel treatment programs may be our best hope for reversing this troubling situation. However, one of the biggest challenges in utilizing forest biomass is its widely distributed nature. Often the best solution is to treat it in place, especially if it can be converted to biochar and applied to forest soils to promote forest health and improve the carbon sequestration capacity of forests. Converting forest slash to biochar has many ecological advantages over current practices, but new approaches to project design and implementation are needed. This paper describes the use of portable flame cap biochar kilns operated by hand crews, and shares economic, social and climate impact analysis of the results. A new Carbon Conservation Corps (CCC) is proposed, that can take on this work. A new CCC will not only bring about ecological and economic benefits, it will also educate and inspire a new generation to make a direct impact on climate change by physically engaging in the hands-on work that must be done. As more people have this direct experience of sequestering carbon through biochar, a new CCC will also help publicize the value of biochar and highlight solutions to climate change that are within our reach.
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