Biochar

TerraLogix Biochar Video:

Biochar Corn
The difference in Corn produced with Biochar (on the left.) image credit: Nikolaus Foidl/AnthoTerra
 Biochar is a fine-grained, porous charcoal substance that, when used as a soil amendment in combination with sustainable production of the biomass feedstock, effectively removes net carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  In the soil, biochar provides a habitat for soil organisms, but is not itself consumed by them and most of the applied biochar can remain in the soil for several hundreds to thousands of years.  Biochar does not in the long-term disturb the carbon-nitrogen balance, but holds and makes water and nutrients available to plants.  When used as a soil amendment along with organic and inorganic fertilizers, biochar significantly improves soil tilth, productivity, and nutrient retention and availability to plants.

Biochar is created by pyrolysis of biomass and is comprised of a stable solid rich in carbon content. It differs from charcoal produced through aerobic, low-temperature combustion by the complexity of molecular forms, as well as by the incorporation of various forms of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur bound within the newly formed carbon matrix.  Binding of nutrients and minerals largely prevents leaching of these nutrients as pollutants into surface and ground waters.

Sources: International Biochar Initiative, Wikipedia, “Nasty to Nice” TerraLogix White Paper.

Biochar Production Process