What is biochar?

Be a part of the biochar, Carbon, design, nanotech, economic and financial fractals. 

So, what is biochar?

According to the International Biochar Initiative,

Biochar is a solid material obtained from the carbonisation of biomass.

Biochar has appreciable carbon sequestration value [thereby decreasing the acceleration of climate change/chaos]. 

 

Biochar can be used in a cascade of uses eg. beginning with water filtration or coupled with molasses for livestock food, however much attention has been given to the improvement of soil functions and fertility, which includes:

  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions from soil such as nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) (decreasing the acceleration of climate change/chaos)
  • increased soil carbon content (microbial food) and carbon sequestration if used at the end of the cascade (decreasing the acceleration of climate change/chaos)
  • increased soil microbial activity, biochar being more effective if charged/activated with bacteria before entering the soil - important for soil food web, general soil fertility and plant growth
  • increased water conservation through high water holding capacity (WHC) - less irrigation water required
  • improved cation exchange capacity (CEC) - with one of the benefits of slow release fertiliser if biochar is charged/activated with nutrients before entering the soil eg. nutient reclamation from agricultural wastewater. Added bonus of reducing the need for ecologically harmful chemical fertilisers or organic fertiliser in general
  • improved soil structure/drainage - more beneficial in poorly structured soils like sandy loam
  • reduced need for ecologically harmful pesticides due to healthier plants

In fact, there are many more benefits to soil - more and more new research is being released every year about this ranging from small pot trials to large-scale agricultural trials

It is expected that biochar and other Carbon-based technologies like graphene and biocomposites will eventually substitute many out-of-date and polluting technologies in the economy of the future.  My hope is that eventually we will see closed-loop or circular economies emerging in industrialised countries with less industrialised countries leap-frogging the unsustainable technologies of the past and present.

 

 

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