Biochar is defined by the International Biochar Initiative as “The solid material obtained from the thermochemical conversion of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment”, a process commonly referred to as pyrolysis. It is a black, stable and carbon rich solid that can endure in soil for thousands of years. In addition, it can improve the water retention capacity and increase the activity of microbiota drastically, thus leading to additional carbon storage. As a consequence, it is considered as a key material for accelerated land and soil restoration. Biochar is non-toxic and may even be transformed to active charcoal, used in filters or pills against digestive problems.
Usable biomass for biochar production is available around the world and in most cases can be obtained locally: Household biowaste, agricultural & industrial organic residues, sewer sludge or urban plant litter are some possible sources. Biomass is especially abundant in tropical regions but nowadays often burned or discarded together with mixed residues. Here biochar production can be a key driver in realizing new economic incentives for better waste management, leading to a growth of the local bioeconomy.
The production process can be realized through technologies ranging from fully automated production plants to repurposed barrels from the scrap yard. Exactly here lies the beauty of biochar, as it is possible to find a solution for every reality on this wide scale of possibilities. In this context, we are empowering local communities to produce biochar according to their economic reality and necessity. We will buy this biochar and provide it to our carbon farmers to apply it to the degraded land.
Here are some studies we recommend for a deep dive:
Schmidt, Hans‐Peter, et al. “Biochar in agriculture–A systematic review of 26 global meta‐analyses.” GCB Bioenergy (2021).
Dynarski, Katherine A., Deborah A. Bossio, and Kate M. Scow. “Dynamic Stability of Soil Carbon: Reassessing the “Permanence” of Soil Carbon Sequestration.” Frontiers in Environmental Science 8 (2020): 218.