Electron scan of biochar’s porous structure.
Biochar and what makes it special?
Biochar is a highly porous carbon material made from organic biomass waste.
Biochar is produced in an oxygen starved environment under high heat, optimally between 1000° and 1200°F. This process is known as pyrolysis and is the oldest known method of thermal processing, dating back to ancient Egypt.
This porous material allows it to hold nutrients and water from leaching while allowing them to be available to the roots of plants. When utilized in agriculture it significantly improves soil fertility and reduces water erosion and fertilizer runoff, acting as a sponge with a hard shell that does not break down.
This alone mitigates nutrients from entering our waterways that contribute to the growth of blue green algae and the eventual death of the living creatures and organisms within them, not to mention the steady decline in real estate values and tourist dollars for properties around these bodies of water.
When utilized in agriculture biochar significantly improves soil fertility and reduces water erosion and fertilizer runoff, acting as a sponge with a hard shell that does not break down.
Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.
– Sanskrit text, 1500 BC
Biochar builds and sequesters carbon in the soil.
Biochar is a carbon sink. It recovers and stores large amounts of carbon in the ground which is necessary to reduce atmospheric green house gas (GHG) levels. It minimizes odors when added to manures and when added to poultry litter can control ammonia emissions and prevent nutrient loss while improving the health of the animals.
It is estimated that the global demand for food will double by 2050.
The availability of fertile soil is not infinite. Humans have been good at depleting our soils. We must meet this challenge by including sustainable agricultural practices to restore degraded lands while mitigating climate change, building and sequestering soil carbon, addressing manure management and sanitation practices and promote job creation while building back a global economic community that is able to feed everyone.
Biochar is one of the best tools we have
to fight climate change.
It sequesters twice (2.35%) as much carbon as its own weight. It improves soil fertility. We suggest adding compost or manures to biochar for greater benefits, and to grow stronger, healthier plants with greater yields while using less water throughout the growing season.
Biochar is a highly stable product
It does not break down for many years; research tells us easily over 100 years. What you bury today will remain in its same state continuing to act as a soil conditioner 100 years later.