Tag Archives: dolph cooke

Working hard to make a living!!!!

I think Jimmy Barnes said it best when he said “Working Hard to make a living building shelter from the rain a fathers son left to carry on blue denim in his veins” as part of the song working class man.

rand0269.jpg Making Shelters from the rain

allow me to put a new spin on it. Working hard to make my 1st kiln, building blocks are a pain, a visionary with a dream working alone with biochar in his veins Oh oh oh oh hes a planet guardian man.

The adam retort is an award winning design, to bring clean charcoal to a village scale for our brothers and sisters who still only cook with wood. One of its exciting features is it can be built from reused material, this feature alone is a great one for the planet yet the features keep stacking up from this brilliant design. Let us remember our kin whom get sick and die from the gases of burning wood inside thier homes, just to make the family meals. If we can make charcoal cleanly and cheaply available for villages then we have helped them not get sick.

Paul Taylor PhD below showing Biochar at World Enviroment Day 2010


So how did we get an adam retort? Paul Taylor PhD of Biochar Solutions and the creator of www.biocharrevolution.com Has commisioned BiocharIndustries First official project for the Biochar Education Centre in Kunghur Northern NSW.

So Here I am working hard to make my first kiln : )

Finding materials


Unloading Materials


Stay tuned for the next installment of Biochar Industries Adam Retort Project.

Charmaster Dolph

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Biochar Industries Newsletter #1

I was in the middle of watching a Harry Potter movie when Dolph rang me, full of his usual zany enthusiasm, and bubbling with delight over the latest progress in the Biochar Project. (I’ll tell you about that in a minute.) I got off the phone thinking, “How the hell does he do that? He attracts everything to him that he needs-it’s like magic.”

Dolph the Wizard

It wasn’t until I was walking my dog in driving rain later on Cabarita beach that it suddenly it hit me­­-Dolph is a JK Rowlings and wizard rolled into one.

His vision for The Biochar Project and what it can do for the planet came to him in a kind of ‘mental download’ like Harry Potter’s creator experienced. And from then on all the pieces of the jigsaw that were needed to make the vision a reality started turning up like magic. Whenever he needed something else-it was always there.

For instance, to make biochar you need trees, right? Lots of them. Plus the means for felling them…and something to make the biochar in in reasonable quantities. You need a market, and the business needs to be financially viable and self-sustaining. You need people with the skills to help.

The list goes on.

So where’s the magic, you ask?

Well how’s this for starters?

Dolph receives the grand vision for this Biochar Project, then:

  • He meets a bloke with over 3000 acres of trees that need to be sustainably managed (including a LOT of felling). He basically hands it to Dolph on a plate-along with a dozer, bobcat, sheds, etc, and permission to make it into a public centre for workshops and education. It’s just out of the village of Kunghur, in the powerful Byron-Mt Warning region where there is already an awareness of, and interest in, biochar.

Lots of Trees needing help

  • A business up Noosa way that manufactures huge biochar furnaces offered Dolph one to put on the site and use. They later amended their offer to a bigger, better model, once production ramps up. It’s worth several hundred thousand dollars.

BigChar 1000 Prototype being loaded into The biochar education centre from Malaney and Mackay based BIGCHAR

  • People with the skills and expertise needed for setting up and running the Project have been gravitating to Dolph. For instance Gillie is a wiz with web sites and graphics, and I am an editor. (We’re both pretty good cooks too, but we like to think that’s not Dolph’s main reason for having us on the team). There are others I have yet to meet-and others yet to turn up, drawn by that strange force Dolph emanates when there’s something or someone the Project needs.
  • He now has his first market-an order for 700 tonnes of biochar initially, increasing up to 3,700 tonnes per year. This means the project will be financially viable, generating income even from its early days.
  • According to the ABC’s Landline program recently, Australia’s forestry plantations are facing financial ruin. The bottom has fallen out of the timber industry, and farmers are ready to bulldoze the lot into the ground. Talk about a timely opportunity. How about them setting up or hiring a biochar plant and turning their forests into biochar, becoming part of The Project co-operative and selling to the new markets?


  • And let’s not forget the carbon credits issue-biochar is a perfect antidote for greenhouse gases. And you don’t just have to burn trees to make biochar. Municipal waste will do as well. Hands up any councils who want to reduce their greenhouse gases debt, not to mention their ever-increasing landfill? And don’t forget the increasing government pressure and incentives to do so.

Are you starting to get the idea of Dolph’s magic? His timing is spot on and the resources are rolling in.

But to get back to that phone call I mentioned at the beginning that had me shaking my head in amazement. Dolph has somehow come up with this idea of daisy-chaining retorts to the main biochar furnace in such a way that biochar is created in each unit-all drawing heat from the one central furnace. This vastly multiplies the amount of biochar that the system can make, with no extra fuel.

But get this-last week, just after he got this idea, he had three PhDs come out to the Kunghur site. When he described his concept they firstly shook their heads, then scratched their heads, then finally nodded their heads. They had to admit it would work-but were obviously stunned that the idea had come from Dolph and not some intellectual experts (not thinking of anyone in particular). So it seems that Dolph’s just pulled another one out of the hat and taken this project to a whole new level.

I have to ask: Dolph-do you get regular visitations from an advanced alien species or something?!

Anyway, that’s enough for now, though there’s lots more juicy stuff. I’ll be briefer in future, but we just started officially on 1/1/11, so a bit of a sum-up was needed.

Stay tuned for info on how to get involved in this incredible project, including setting up the co-operative so we can get the ball rolling with the business side of things.

Ciao for now (why isn’t it Cow for niao?)


For Dolph, Charmaster



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Biochar Crusader Rhetoric by Erich

Woopi little fire we had healings with OK , Since you are a Crusader now, you must have some crusade rhetoric;

Agriculture allowed our cultural accent and Agriculture will now prevent our descent.

Wise Land management; Organic farming and afforestation can build back our soil carbon,

Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, ( living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.

Every 1 ton of Biomass yields 1/3 ton Charcoal for soil Sequestration (= to 1 Ton CO2e) + Bio-Gas & Bio-oil fuels = to 1MWh exported electricity, so is a totally virtuous, carbon negative energy cycle.

Biochar viewed as soil Infrastructure; The old saw;
“Feed the Soil Not the Plants” becomes;
“Feed, Cloth and House the Soil, utilities included !”.
Free Carbon Condominiums with carboxyl group fats in the pantry and hydroxyl alcohol in the mini bar.
Build it and the Wee-Beasties will come.
Microbes like to sit down when they eat.
By setting this table we expand husbandry to whole new orders & Kingdoms of life.
( These oxidised surface charges; carbonyl. hydroxyl, carboxylic acids, and lactones or quinones, have as well a role as signaling substances towards bacteria, fungi and plants.)

This is what I try to get across to Farmers, as to how I feel about the act of returning carbon to the soil. An act of penitence and thankfulness for the civilization we have created. Farmers are the Soil Sink Bankers, once carbon has a price, they will be laughing all the way to it.
Unlike CCS which only reduces emissions, biochar systems draw down CO2 every energy cycle, closing a circle back to support the soil food web. The photosynthetic “capture” collectors are up and running, the “storage” sink is in operation just under our feet. Pyrolysis conversion plants are the only infrastructure we need to build out.

The Terra Preta Prayer

Our Carbon who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name
By kingdom come, thy will be done, IN the Earth to make it Heaven.
It will give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our atmospheric trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against the Kyoto protocols
And lead us not into fossil fuel temptation, but deliver us from it’s evil
low as we walk through the valley of the shadow of Global Warming,
I will feel no evil, your Bio-fuels and fertile microbes will comfort me,
For thine is the fungal kingdom,
and the microbe power,
and the Sequestration Glory,
For ever and ever (well at least 2000 years)

Mount warning Kungar Australia

Soil Carbon Commandments:

1) Thou shalt not have any other Molecule before Me

2) Thou shall not make wrongful use of the name of Biochar, It will not acquit anyone who mis-charactorizes it’s name

3) Observe the Fallow days and keep them, as Sustainability commands thou

4) Honor your Micro Flora & Fauna , as the Soil Carbon commands you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that High Soil Carbon has given you.

5) Thou shall not murder the Soil Food Web

6) Neither shall thou adulterate the Soils with Toxicity

7) Neither shall thou steal Biomass from the Soil Food Web

8) Neither shall thou bear false witness against your neighbors Biochar, or about Thy own

9) Neither shall thou covet your neighbor’s Fertility

10) Neither shall thou desire your neighbor’s house, or field, or Pyrolysis Reactor, or farm implements, or anything that belongs to your neighbor, as thou may Create thy Own

Soil Carbon Dream

I have a dream that one day we live in a nation where progress will not be judged by the production yields of our fields, but by the color of their soils and by the Carbon content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, a suite of earth sensing satellites will level the playing field, giving every farmer a full account of carbon he sequesters. That Soil Carbon is given as the final arbiter, the common currency, accountant and Judge of Stewardship on our lands.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made forest, the rough soils will be made fertile, and the crooked Carbon Marketeers will be made straight, and the glory of Soil Sequestration shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see a Mutually assured Sustainability.

This is our hope.

My apologies to Dr. King, but I think he would understand my passion


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Wood Pile from UKI saw mill

Uki Saw Mill a Biocharians dream come true


Today a friend and I went on a MAN tour of our local sawmill. It was such a great place. Some of the fattest logs I have ever seen where getting cut in half by the biggest saw blade I had ever seen. This place is fantastic from more than one perspective. It is an old school mill where the men didn’t even need gloves their hands were so tuff. Big Man sheds and Bigger Man toys like a monster log pickeruperer but nothing bigger or better to this Biocharian than the waste wood pile that the boys said I can take as much wood as I can carry all day everyday what a complete dream.

Check out the photos….

Fat LogsWood Pile from UKI saw millSawdust

Things I learnt today Include.

A. The formula for spreading biochar 10 tonnes to the hectare breaks down to 1 kg per meter squared.

B. If you don’t ask you don’t get

C. There is more than just me out there interested in biochar.

D. The real price of Biochar

Dolph Cooke