rot wrote:Let the microbes in the soil nest in the charcoal pockets. I want the microbes in my pile to eat and not hide out.
First of all ,from what i understand, microbes (in compost) only hide and go dormant when the temperature isnt suitable and other microbes dominate. These other microbes consume, out number and win in the competition of decomposing due to the temperature swings a compost goes threw. So if bacteria or fungi are hiding out, its because ther dormant. All microbes need to eat to live(eating = decomposing) and if ther not eating then there probably getiing eaten or turned to a protective endospore, waiting for more favorable conditions to become active again.
throwing a handful of charcoal or smoldered organic matter during the heating stage of composting may be extremely helpful to the numbers of mesophilic microbes in your end product. And i would imagine the same benefits during the curing or cooling stage of composting too. Microbes in compost can accumulate/breed or nest in the pockets right before you apply to your garden soil. Helping compost support a more diverse microbial community.
I also would imagine the coal or the smoldered organic matter would make nice air pockets, witch will improve the decomposing in the compost.
rot wrote:Humus means a structure. Humus structures are built on carbon. Get carbon into the soil as soon as you can and you will be that much closer to humus or a structured soil.
Humus by definition refers to any organic matter that has reached a point of stability, where it will break down no further and might, if conditions do not change, remain essentially as it is for centuries, if not millennia. Humus is also sometimes used to describe matured compost.
SO If matured compost is sometimes described as humus, then wouldnt your humus structure built on carbon comment, be enough to answer your original question?
rot wrote:Exactly what is gained by putting charcoal in a compost pile as opposed to just putting it into the soil
I also don't know any buddy who compost and doesnt eventually add it to ther soil.
rot wrote:Maybe a rocket stove with one of those pots inside but it seems to me the ends don't justify the means. Burning stuff to make a soil amendment strikes me as inefficient. Too much is consumed in the flames and goes up in smoke.
Biochar i believe is being pushed to be used by waste management. Landfills are a problem and biochar (burning organic matter) can help... alot. Also i think its the fumes from burning this stuff that is used as energy?? could be wrong though
SO if this is true, all the cow dung (in my neck of the woods) that spews out methane a GHG can be burned and use as energy and the end product would be biochar, a good soil amendment...Sounds good
But thats me & to answer your orginal question, to me i see plenty of benefits when adding a stable carbon source to compost.