Wood waste is a big problem, and it’s growing bigger every day. Seventy million tons of it are collected each year, and 30% of all waste generated worldwide is wood or vegetative-with only 29% get recycled.
The U.S. Forest Service and Air Burners are working together, through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), to research, develop, and test the utility and marketability of Air Burners CharBoss. This innovative mobile machine creates biochar out of piles of wood waste.
“Collaborations and partnerships with companies like Air Burners help us improve forest management and discover new market applications for environmentally-friendly products like CharBoss,” said Charlie Becker, CF, Natural Resource Specialist at the USDA. CharBoss is the newest wood waste reduction machine in a long line of self-contained air curtain burners made exclusively by Air Burners. Air Burners’ technology has been tested and proven to be an efficient, economical, and environmentally-friendly way to eradicate the ongoing threat of potential tree hazards while maintaining and sustaining forest management that helps prevent wildfires. According to Becker, “The research we’re doing is trying to produce Biochar. CharBoss allows us to make a product out of something we usually just burn to ash.”
CharBoss eliminates unwanted woody biomass but also provides another critical benefit: Biochar. The patented air curtain burner system separates charcoal during the burning process, creating less particulate matter, like smoke, and uses a conveyor belt to separate and purge the Biochar from the burner. As a result, the high-quality, marketable Biochar restores the soil by improving water and nutrient retention, improving forest health and restoration, and helping farmers extend vegetation growth. Jim Archuleta, USDA Regional Wood Innovations Coordinator, adds, “The biochar could be used to augment the soil organic matter, increase water and nutrient holding capacity. That could be beneficial to farmers.”
CharBoss delivers on two fronts: the environmentally-friendly process removes wood waste and creates biochar. It’s a win-win for forest management and climate change.
Archuleta concludes, “Air Burners seem to be the most efficient and the most economical way to reduce impact on the soil. That’s because we’re burning at a lower intensity and duration on the soil, so we have less environmental effects on the soil.”
Discover what the U.S. Forest Service already knows: The mobile CharBoss replicates the natural process of turning wood waste into a soil-restorative Biochar while significantly reducing the harmful effects of open burning. Watch the video.