Biochar from Plant Waste to Soil Fertility and Reduce Emission

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A study conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington has found that plant waste can also be converted into biochar besides biodiesel or ethanol. In addition to enrich the soil, biochar can also reduce carbon emissions up to 12 percent.

Biochar is a kind of charcoal that can be buried in field and is able to lock the carbon for thousands of years if necessary. According to the research which based on computer model showed that turning the world’s available plant waste into biofuels would reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent. But if we can converting plant waste into biochar, it could bring down emissions by up to 12 percent.

Biochar produced by a pyrolysis process, is heating plant waste in an oxygen-free environment.
The pyrolysis process will produce the bi-products that are syngas and oil that can be burnt as fuel. The biochar able to work to enrich the soil by increasing the pH of acidic soil, and helps it to retain nutrients such as ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

Researchers also stated that some biochars can also increase soil water retention in dry areas because they are quite porous and can trap moisture. Biochar can boost both biomass and grain yield.

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Eric Brooks said...

For a more measured and critical view of biochar see:

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