Maccy Biochar is a community-based, not-for-profit, volunteer group set up in 2019 in Macclesfield , SA.
Our objectives are to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gases; reducing our town’s carbon footprint; and improving local soils.
We do all of this simple by making biochar!
Biochar is a form of charcoal that is good for the soil and combats climate change by sequestering carbon.
It has a very porous structure that allows water absorption along with water-borne nutrients. So when biochar is mixed into the soil it helps the soil retain water and nutrients.
The porous nature of biochar also encourages micro-organisms to reside within its structure. Thereby helping with the exchange of nutrients between plants and the soil.
Biochar is also quite tough so does not break down in the soil readily. This increases the porosity of the soil itself which tends to improve aeration of the soil.
Our wood collection team provides a valuable community service by picking up tree litter from under trees on private properties and collecting unwanted tree prunings. (We take care not to encroach on sensitive sites or bush-care areas, but will assist bush-care groups when asked).
The collected wood is stored at our operating site which also serves as a free delivery point for those residents who are able and willing to bring their tree litter to us.
During the non-fire ban months (typically May to November) we convert the stored tree litter to biochar. We use very simple open kilns called flame-capped kilns to partially burn the wood with limited oxygen so that char and ash are produced. When the kiln is full the contents of the kiln are completely quenched with fresh water and allowed to cool. When cool the water is drained and the remaining char is bagged up for sale. All very labour intensive but also very simple!