CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Agriculture

Published on January 16th, 2009 | by Amiel Blajchman

11

Biochar: A Soil Additive that Fights Global Warming

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

January 16th, 2009 by
 
Biochar

Biochar. It’s been around for a little while, but is only beginning to gain traction in climate change and global warming circles for its carbon negative properties. Biochar is a charcoal soil additive that is created through the “thermal treatment” (burning) of biomass residues such as rice and peanut shells, tree bark, sludge from paper mills, and other organics.

How does it all work? During the production process, carbon contained within the biomass residues is captured as biochar and as energy (which is used as heat, power or both). The biochar itself is then used as a soil additive. Since the biochar itself is inert, it is not consumed by any organisms and is considered to act as a carbon sink (no less than the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification has identified biochar as a carbon sink).

As a soil additive, biochar has been demonstrated to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and water and soil retention in marginal soil quality.

Photo Credit: The International Biochar Initiative

[social_buttons]

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Print Friendly

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , ,


About the Author

Amiel is the founder of the Globalis Group, an organization whose motto is "combining action and thought for a sustainable world." His experience includes working with the Canadian government on greenspace projects, sustainable development programs and on policy documents on issues as diverse as climate change, sustainable development, and the environmental and social impacts of transportation. He is listed on the UN’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory’s list of GHG experts, and has sat on the Canadian Environmental Certifications Board’s Greenhouse Gas Verification and Validation Certification committee.



  • new_biochar_land

    You want to know all the secrets about biochar ?
    This book will help !

    http://www.biochar-books.com

    Here practice and theory merge under a single cover of “The Biochar Revolution” and reveals hidden secrets of science called Biochar

  • Steve Savage

    Biochar is a great way to turn waste-streams into both clean energy and a super soil amendment. Good post!

  • Steve Savage

    Biochar is a great way to turn waste-streams into both clean energy and a super soil amendment. Good post!

  • Iker

    Jumbo, check out this website.

    http://www.biochar.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=3

    It’s pretty easy to do, but that method is not intended for large scale production. There’s more info on the net… I think for large scale they use holes in the ground.

  • Iker

    Jumbo, check out this website.

    http://www.biochar.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=3

    It’s pretty easy to do, but that method is not intended for large scale production. There’s more info on the net… I think for large scale they use holes in the ground.

  • Jumbo

    This is great innovation that if well researched can save the environment from what will it be in the next decades. I’m just new in the field but the idea of using Biochar seems the best way for reducing the green house emmisions. Can someone give me more information on

    1) How to produce Biochar.

    2) How long does it take to produce it?

    3) What kind of material do i need to produce Biochar?

    4) What kind of technology do i require to produce more Biochar in little time?

    Jumbo

  • Jumbo

    This is great innovation that if well researched can save the environment from what will it be in the next decades. I’m just new in the field but the idea of using Biochar seems the best way for reducing the green house emmisions. Can someone give me more information on

    1) How to produce Biochar.

    2) How long does it take to produce it?

    3) What kind of material do i need to produce Biochar?

    4) What kind of technology do i require to produce more Biochar in little time?

    Jumbo

  • Choco
  • Choco
  • chris

    The use of partially burned biomass, converting to charcoal, was used centuries ago by native Amazonian cultures who created a fertile soil that today is still rich and several feet thick. No records or people survive with the knowledge of how the original people knew the combination. It’s nice to see we may be able to rediscover one of the best soil engineering techniques before we destroy what is left of the planet

  • chris

    The use of partially burned biomass, converting to charcoal, was used centuries ago by native Amazonian cultures who created a fertile soil that today is still rich and several feet thick. No records or people survive with the knowledge of how the original people knew the combination. It’s nice to see we may be able to rediscover one of the best soil engineering techniques before we destroy what is left of the planet

Back to Top ↑