Smoke from crop waste burning is definitely a problem.
This method is used all around the world by small farm holders who are trying to eke out a living through farming.
The solution for this problem is very simple. Once farmers learn how to use their crop waste productively by making biochar with it the smoke is gone.
This particular solution goes way beyond just eliminating the smoke. For the farmers, it provides additional income. They can use the biochar they have made to enrich their soils, improving the quality of their produce while increasing crop yields. Extra biochar that they do not use can be sold.
But the beauty of this solution does not end there.
In addition to the benefit of eliminating the smoke, when the farmers put biochar back in the soil it sequesters carbon. Both of these actions are crucial to reducing global warming.
Research and Development
Warm Heart began testing how to make this a workable solution to help stop the smoke.
Our first efforts resulted in a huge biochar oven which worked great for demonstrating how the process works. It was perfect for show and tell, but not a practical solution for farmers on their land.
The team continued to work on a solution and the TLUD barrel oven was designed. This design is efficient, cheap and easy to build, perfect for farmers.
The barrel oven is useful for small feedstock, but cannot handle large tree limbs, bamboo, etc. so Warm Heart designed the Flame Cap Trough. This method is a great additional tool for making biochar.
While both of these methods offer a solution to farmers for convert crop waste into biochar, we found we needed to bring the technology down just a bit more. We discovered for some farmers the materials to build either type of oven was not available to them. So we designed the Trench method, which is widely used by our partners in Africa.
Our goal was to provide a cheap, easy to build way for farmers to turn their crop waste into biochar.
Our Stop the Smoke Campaign‘s purpose is to share this solution with farmers everywhere, education is understanding a new way of handling crop waste that benefits the farmers directly, and when we are able to Stop the Smoke we all benefit.