Biochar

last edited 11/14/2018:

Background and resources: Many know biochar as a soil additive and soil enhancer; but few appreciate its carbon negativity and importance in Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) a necessary part of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR):


BOOKS/LINKS/ATTACHMENTS:

  • David Montgomery’s book on soil restoration – dedicates a chapter on biochar: Growing a Revolution; Bringing our Soil Back to Life, May 2017

  • Soil carbon sequestration and biochar as negative emission technologies: Smith-GCB-10.1111-gcb.13178-2016

    • 2009 summation on the subject by Smith: (click here)

  • Draft: Philanthropy beyond Carbon Neutrality: (click here for 65 page pdf)

  • National Geographic  February 2016 and/or from Ron Larson:

    • International Biochar International (click here)

    • Go here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/ and in the section called “CHANGING THE WORLD WITH BRIGHT IDEAS” there’s a video about stoves ” Could This Stove Save Thousands of Lives?”

      Did you know that nearly half the world’s population cooks on an open fire? Would you be surprised to learn that more people die each year from respiratory illnesses related to indoor air pollution from cooking emissions than from malaria and HIV/AIDS combined? 

  • What Stockholm is doing as a model for other cities?: https://www.bloomberg.org/blog/stockholm-biochar-project-mayors-challenge-winner-opens-first-plant/
    • Excerpt:
      …the facility turns plant waste from parks and homes – everything from grass clippings to trees and limbs – into carbon-capturing charcoal that residents can then use in their window boxes and gardens to promote plant growth. Biochar is a powerful soil conditioner, it decreases carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere and, through its production, it will even create enough energy to provide heat and hot water for more than 80 apartments in the city….

Presentations and other info:


  • BIOCHAR: A possible Game changer for mitigation and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) – as well as agricultural benefits!
  • Biochar is a way to enhance the soil, improve soil-moisture retention and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

  • It is a solution to reducing the global impact of farming as well as utilize and in reduce and make use of agricultural waste.

  • Since biochar can sequester carbon in the soil for hundreds to thousands of years,[2] it has received considerable interest as a potential tool to slow global warming.

  • The burning and natural decomposition of trees and agricultural matter contributes a large amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere. Instead, pyrolized Biochar can store this carbon in the ground in the form of charcoal and provide the micro-porous habitat for fungi and bacteria continue to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and thus aid in reducing atmospheric CO2 from the atmosphere.

  • At the same time its presence in the earth can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity and reduce pressure on old-growth forests.

  • See links below on its history first discovered by the Amazonians and more recently by the Japanese (seeking links for the latter).


  • Left – a nutrient-poor oxisol; right – an oxisol transformed into fertile terra preta using biochar.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar
  • Biochar seems to be presently popular as a soil enhancer; NOT FULLY APPRECIATED is its sequestering capabilities. Please read the following 2 articles (more might be added later) and disseminate/thanks:
  • – The potential for land-based biological CO2 removal to lower future atmospheric CO2 concentration-Tim Lenton, University of Exeter – click here
  • – Sustainable biochar to mitigate global climate change – Woolf, Amonette, et al. 2009 – PDF
  • Good slide show: Terra Preta –CLICK HERE

Excerpts from the International Biochar conference video highlighting Cool Planet link – somewhat overstated but you get the idea(s): YouTube;



Related Articles:


OTHER Links:


  • Links/work on this page prepared in fall of 2016 for a presentation for OLLI class hour lecture OLLI south 1-3 p.m. as part of the OLLI course “Achieving Food Sustainability in the Future” facilitated by Bayard Breeding – biochar-notes-food-sustainability-in-the-future-20161013m PPTX
  • http://www.ithaka-institut.org/de – need to hit “translate”

  • STANFORD – SOIL SCIENTIST FROM CORNELL TALKING AT STANFORD click here
  • Japan times – climate change threatens Nation’s agriculture: click here
  • An email from Ron Larson:click here
  • GOOGLE TED TALKs BY:
  • LOPA BRUJNES
  • Robert Lerner
  • Josiah Hunt
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