Great Lakes Permaculture

Is Black the Next Green? – Wood Vinegar

Biochar is agricultural charcoal (similar to char generated by forest fires) that is made for incorporation into soils to increase soil fertility while providing natural carbon sequestration. The incorporation of biochar into soils can preserve and enrich soils and also slow the rate at which climate change is affecting our planet.

Wood vinegar is a liquid substance that is obtained when organic materials such as wood, coconut shell, bamboo, prairie grass, and other plants are placed in a heating chamber. When these materials are heated, their juices, oils, and liquid contents evaporate as steam or vapor. The vapor passes through a tube where it will be allowed to cool. When cooled, the vapor will turn into liquid (condensation process). The chamber is heated by burning firewood at the lower portion of the chamber. The liquid (wood vinegar) flows from a tube into a container ready for packing, storage, or use.

Wood Carbonization

Wood Carbonization

Since the 1950’s, Japanese farmers have been using wood vinegar to improve crop and livestock production. They use it as:
1) foliar spray, particularly for fungus (grey molds)
2) insecticide when mixed with hot pepper
3) enhancer for compost-making
4) soil conditioner to improve the soil when mixed with agricultural charcoal (biochar)
5) feed supplement or additives for livestock feeds
Wood vinegar contains 80-90% water and 10-20% organic compounds including more than 200 chemical components with mainly acetic acid. It also contains various kinds of phenol, carbonyl and alcohol compounds.

Wood Vinegar Trials

Wood Vinegar Trials

Chart of Wood Vinegar Dilution Ratios

Chart of Wood Vinegar Dilution Ratios

Remember to always use the wood vinegar in diluted form. You can contact the following agencies for more information.

Japan Biochar Association http://www.geocities.jp/yasizato/JBA.htm
Wood Vinegar Australia http://www.woodvinegar.com.au/
Asian Journal of Food and Agro-Industry http://www.ajofai.info/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *