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Terra preta


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Newspaper Articles about our work


Runoff irrigation received attention from a variety of newspapers and we had a good response from the readers. (takes a little language talents for our non-German guests...)




and English discussion here:-


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Ich köntte versuchen diese Deutsche Texte zu übersetzen, aber auf die Beitrage mit Untertitlung habe ich bisher wenig Respons bekommen.

I could try to post English translations of these German newpaper clippings, but so far I have very few reactions on my postings with subtitles.

Die Deutsche Texte sagen auch nicht viel mehr als wass schon in das Englische forum ûber Terra preta gesagt ist. Übersetzung wäre also nur wichtig für Leute die ihr Deutsch üben wollen. Und die Texte sind deutlich nicht für Anfänger.

The German newspaper articles don't provide much more than what is already said in the English forum about Terra preta. Translation would only be important for people who want to practice ther German. And the texts are clearly not intended for beginners (when it comes to German).

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Es wäre "Danke schön",

Danke schön

Forgive my ignorance, unfortunately I don't speak any language other than Australian.

I was just posting some German links on Terra preta. Here is another although this abstract is in English, the publication is German


The 'Terra Preta' phenomenon: a model for sustainable agriculture in the humid tropics

Journal Naturwissenschaften

Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg

ISSN 0028-1042 (Print) 1432-1904 (Online)

Subject Biomedical and Life Sciences, Chemistry and Materials Science and Earth and Environmental Science

Issue Volume 88, Number 1 / February, 2001

DOI 10.1007/s001140000193

Pages 37-41

Online Date Thursday, February 19, 2004



Bruno Glaser, Ludwig Haumaier, Georg Guggenberger, Wolfgang Zech



Many soils of the lowland humid tropics are thought to be too infertile to support sustainable agriculture. However, there is strong evidence that permanent or semi-permanent agriculture can itself create sustainably fertile soils known as 'Terra Preta' soils.

These soils not only contain higher concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, but also greater amounts of stable soil organic matter.

Frequent findings of charcoal and highly aromatic humic substances suggest that residues of incomplete combustion of organic material (black carbon) are a key factor in the persistence of soil organic matter in these soils.

Our investigations showed that 'Terra Preta' soils contained up to 70 times more black carbon than the surrounding soils.

Due to its polycyclic aromatic structure, black carbon is chemically and microbially stable and persists in the environment over centuries. Oxidation during this time produces carboxylic groups on the edges of the aromatic backbone, which increases its nutrient-holding capacity.

We conclude that black carbon can act as a significant carbon sink and is a key factor for sustainable and fertile soils, especially in the humid tropics

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  • 4 months later...


Michael, going to that link I only get the English (short) article. Clicking on the links provided in that gives me only a "page not found" message. I'm trying to obtain the original from contacts I have, but can not promise you anything.


Since this is the German forum, here is the German translation of the message above.

Michael, mit dieser Link bekomm ich nur das kurze Englishe bericht. Weiter klicken auf die Links in dieses Bericht gibt mir nur eine Meldund "Seite nicht gefunden". Ich versuche uber meine Kontakte das Original zu bekommen, aber ich kann leider nichts versprechen

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  • 3 months later...
  • 10 months later...


Slash and Char as Alternative to Slash and Burn

soil charcoal amendments maintain soil fertility and establish a carbon sink





* Steiner, Christoph


Bayreuth, 06. Dezember 2007

Seiten: 190

Auflage: 1

Sprache: EN

ISBN-10: 3867274444

ISBN-13: 9783867274449

Zugeordnete Fachbereiche:


Chemie | Geowissenschaften | Geographie





Download (5401.9 kB) 10,80 € In den Warenkorb

Print Version 27,00 € In den Warenkorb



Keine Kurzbeschreibung vorhanden



The extraordinary fertility of manmade Terra Preta soils in the Brazilian Amazon provided the incentive to study the effects of soil charcoal amendments on soil fertility, nutrient cycling, and soil biology.


The existence of Terra Preta suggests that tropical soils, which are notorious for being infertile, can be greatly improved. The agricultural produces charcoal out of fallow vegetation instead of converting it to carbon dioxide through burning. Slash and char improves soil quality by transferring organic carbon into recalcitrant soil organic matter pools. This newly described agricultural practice has important implications for the earth’s carbon budget and sustainability in tropical agriculture.

Slash and Char as Alternative to Slash and Burn [Cuvillier Verlag]

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Sweet! :eek_big:


Sentences such as this make me wonder:

This newly described agricultural practice has important implications for the earth’s carbon budget and sustainability in tropical agriculture.


Perhaps this is one of those rare occasions where it seems the science is behind the times. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ich würde sagen, dass wir den Thread hier lassen, aber falls es weitere englische Kommentare geben sollte, einen neuen im TP Forum zu starten, der an diesen hier linkt.



I would say that we leave this thread here, but in the case that there are other english comments, start a new thread in the TP forum which links back to this one.

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  • 4 months later...
Making the Most of Manure

By Ann Perry

October 1, 2008


Manure from livestock could someday be used as a value-added bioenergy fuel for on-farm heating and power, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists studying this approach.


This will be good news to U.S. livestock producers, who need environmentally friendly ways to manage the manure generated by about 96.7 million cattle and 67.7 million hogs and pigs.


ARS agricultural engineer Keri Cantrell, environmental engineer Kyoung Ro, and research leader Patrick Hunt work at the ARS Coastal Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research Center in Florence, S.C. They have teamed up to study how to use a technique called wet gasification to convert wet manure slurry into energy-rich gases and produce relatively clean water.


The team developed a cost-benefit model of a wet gasification technology patented by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to calculate estimated returns, and concluded that liquid swine wastes can generate a net energy potential comparable to brown coal.


The ARS researchers are also investigating methods for producing a type of charcoal—or biochar—called “green coal” from manure. Green coal can be burned on the farm for energy or transported offsite to coal plants for fuel. It can also be added to the soil, a practice that would reduce greenhouse gases by permanently sequestering carbon in the soil in the form of the green coal.

Making the Most of Manure / October 1, 2008 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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