Use of dirt or wood ash to cover hum...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Use of dirt or wood ash to cover humanure in bucket/bin
Author: Bella (Bella)
Sunday, April 08, 2012 - 8:14 pm
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Thanks so much Ecointerest! This is the information I need! Haiti? My, Press On! Thank you for taking the time to care!

Author: Ken (Ken)
Sunday, April 08, 2012 - 2:24 pm
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Here is a youtube link that explains what biochar is and is not. Hope this helps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=mfu_in_order&playnext=1&v=w-9u9Nl8xKQ&list=TL9ZasR8N3H78

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Sunday, April 08, 2012 - 11:14 am
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The complete URL for that site is:

http://oikos.com/library/compostingtoilet/pathogens.html

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Sunday, April 08, 2012 - 11:11 am
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Folks, I am currently in Haiti and fortunately able to do a bit of research.
This website has some interesting info: www.oikos.com concerning the use of wood ash etc., in compost. If I may quote just a little of it here:

Composting versus Drying

Drying toilets are increasingly popular in the developing world where arid climates can dry excrement fast and where water is scarce. Many of these systems rely solely on dehydration to desiccate the feces. This matter is then put out on fields. Urines is diverted and drained into the nearby soil. (Urine can make an excellent fertilizer, but it is rarely collected from these systems.) Often caustic lime or wood ash is added to control odors, but these additives are a double-edged sword: They do aid in odor control, but they can also inhibit or stop the natural biological decomposition process. The result is dried, unstable feces and toilet paper.

Author: Ken (Ken)
Friday, April 06, 2012 - 3:58 pm
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Bella, you could try and see if the school would let you have the biochar or find out if they use it for other purposes.
Lots of good info out there on biochar. Google "gardening with biochar" by Phil Small. He is a soil scientist.

Author: Bella (Bella)
Friday, April 06, 2012 - 12:13 am
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Biochar. One of the schools in our community uses biomass to heat their buildings. Will I be able to obtain biochar from them? I am learning here as I go...thanks for the insight to both Ken and Knothead...

Author: Ken (Ken)
Thursday, April 05, 2012 - 11:47 pm
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Bella,
Here is another link for biochar and a simple stove to make. The article also explains more about biochar and how to use it.
Knothead has some good videos on his stoves.

http://www.bioenergylists.org/files/1G%20Toucan%20TLUD%20for%20Biochar%20Jan%202010%20-%20final_0(3).pdf

Author: Knothead (Knothead)
Thursday, April 05, 2012 - 10:07 am
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Bella, here is a thread that discusses biochar and has some links for more information.
I followed the links from our fellow member Ken and have been making experimental stoves ever since. Almost any bio mass can be charred, but some materials work a lot better than others.
Research the terms; biochar, terra preta, tlud, pyrolisis to learn more.

Here are a couple of videos of my stoves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-AHUECnnlE&list=UUib-4zwIFkOko-kucUIhNPg&index=3&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ihN7HLGGhE&list=UUib-4zwIFkOko-kucUIhNPg&index=5&feature=plpp_video

Author: Bella (Bella)
Thursday, April 05, 2012 - 12:55 am
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Great information, thank you! This "pulverized charcoal"/biochar, where does one get this stuff? Is this the same as what people would use to barbacue? (Sorry for my ignorance.) I want to do this right! Your advice is greatly appreciated...

Author: Knothead (Knothead)
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - 8:13 pm
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Soil would be better than ash. Pulverized charcoal (biochar) is a great thing to add to the compost. Ashes don't really help. They should be added directly to the soil.
The course sawdust could be mixed with some soil or biochar to make it more effective.

Author: Bella (Bella)
Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - 11:30 pm
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Not sure if this posted earlier or not. Can someone please let me know if it is okay to use wood ash and/or top soil to cover the humanure in the bucket or the bins for composting. Read in "The Humanure Handbook" under "Don't" column regarding wood ash and lime. Just want to make sure we do this right. Did get some sawdust from a sawmill down the road, but it seems coarse, more wood chips than dust. Will this be okay? Looking forward to some advice. Thanks!

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