Biochar

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Description

Gustav Peebles and Ben Luzzatto:

"Biochar is produced when organic biomass is heated at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Under these conditions the biomass rids itself of volatile gases without combusting. What is left behind is an emptied-out matrix composed primarily of carbon. The result of this process, which is called pyrolysis, is a stable form of sequestered carbon. When inoculated later and integrated properly into soils, biochar can serve as a resilient habitat for new growth. Biochar is also a versatile additive in manufacturing; used in everything from building materials (such as plasters, bricks, and asphalt) to carbon fiber composites and 3D printer filament." (http://www.publicseminar.org/2019/09/more-precious-than-gold/)


Discussion

Methodologies

Daniel Christian Wahl:

"Regenerative agriculture and the wide range of land management methodologies associated with it have the potential to create multiple win-win-win solutions. In addition to offering a timely response to the spectre of run-away climate change, these techniques help to restore soils, revitalize rural communities, build food, water and energy sovereignty, and support the process of re-localizing production and consumption — thereby building systemic resilience as the basis of thriving regenerative cultures."

...

"Biochar can be obtained on farms from the carbonization of biomass through pyrolysis or gasification. The International Biochar Initiative maintains that — applied correctly — “the carbon in biochar resists degradation and can hold carbon in soils for hundreds to thousands of years”. It needs to be applied in combination with organic nutrients (e.g. liquid compost) to have a positive effect on yields. “Biochar and bio-energy co-production can help combat global climate change by displacing fossil fuel used and by sequestering carbon in stable carbon pools” (Biochar International, 2015)." (https://medium.com/@designforsustainability/regenerative-agriculture-effective-responses-to-climate-change-561b5e2bdba9)


Example

The The European Biochar Certificate

"The European Biochar Certificate (EBC) has been developed by biochar scientists to become the voluntary European industrial standard. The EBC ensures a sustainable biochar production and low hazard use in agronomic systems. It is based on the latest scientific data, it's economically viable and close to technical and agricultural practice. Users of biochar and biochar-based products will benefit from a transparent and verifiable monitoring and independent quality control.

Biochar produced in accordance with the standards of the EBC fulfils all the requirements of sustainable production and a positive carbon footprint. These standards guarantee ecologically sustainable procurement and production of biomass feedstock for biochar production, compliance with emission standards and environmentally safe storage. Biochar quality is comprehensively monitored and documented. All threshold values, corresponding to those of the Ordinance on Soil Protection are complied with." (http://www.european-biochar.org/en/)