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CAN BIOCHAR AMENDMENTS IMPROVE SOIL QUALITY AND REDUCE CO2? A Climate Change Mitigation Approach through Regenerative Agriculture
 

CAN BIOCHAR AMENDMENTS IMPROVE SOIL QUALITY AND REDUCE CO2? A Climate Change Mitigation Approach through Regenerative Agriculture

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ABSTRACT ...

ABSTRACT

Variations in rainfall, increased mean surface temperature, persistent drought, reduced soil moisture and nutrient, and crop failures have all been evidently linked to anthropogenic-induced climate change, which impacts food security. Agricultural soils can be used to reduce atmospheric CO2 by altering the physicochemical composition of soil organic matter through biochar soil amendments. This study draws on current literature published online, in peer review journal articles, books, and conference proceedings to assess the implications of biochar soil amendments to enhance soil quality, while reducing atmospheric CO2 concentration. Building on the critical analytical approach, biochar use as soil amendments have been tested to have promising environmental potential, which improves soil quality and quantity thereby enhancing soil moisture status and reduces atmospheric CO2. Analyses of biochar amended soils in terrestrial ecosystems reduces about 12% of the total Carbon (C) emitted through anthropogenic land use change. Biochar amended soil systems are dependable in tracing and quantifying sequestered C and can stay in the soil for thousands of years. The challenge with biochar as soil amendments is the type of biomass that can yield high quality biochar through the pyrolysis process.


Key words: Biochar, amendments, regenerative agriculture, food security, climate change, atmospheric CO2, pyrolysis, Carbon, soil moisture.

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  • Biochar Carbon Stability Test Method designed to quantify “BC+100”—defined as the stable carbon in biochar expected to remain 100 years after its addition to soil. <br />

CAN BIOCHAR AMENDMENTS IMPROVE SOIL QUALITY AND REDUCE CO2? A Climate Change Mitigation Approach through Regenerative Agriculture CAN BIOCHAR AMENDMENTS IMPROVE SOIL QUALITY AND REDUCE CO2? A Climate Change Mitigation Approach through Regenerative Agriculture Presentation Transcript

  • CAN BIOCHAR AMENDMENTS IMPROVE SOIL QUALITY AND REDUCE CO2? A Climate Change Mitigation Approach through Regenerative Agriculture BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN A Final Review Research Project for Climate Change, Energy, and Development taught by Dr. Jennie C. Stephens, Ph.D. Presented By Jenkins Macedo, M.A. IDSC December 6, 2013 Charcoal remedies, 2013
  • The Biochar Blues First you take a big old drum Then fill it full of dry cow dung Make sure the lid’s on really tight Then just stick in a small stove pipe Light a fire under the drum Cook that cow dung till it’s done Open the door and there you are What you’ve got is biochar -International Biochar Initiative (IBI) Source: Fiona Harvey, 2009. http://astraea.net/blog/?p=631
  • SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND & CONTEXT o Scientific consensus on anthropogenicinduced GHG emissions (IPCC, 2013). o Annual CO2 increased by 3% since 2000 (IPCC, 2013; Woolf et al., 2010). o Increased surface temperature impacts ecosystems regimes, biodiversity, soil organic matter, reduces soil moisture status and crop productivity (Brown & Fuck, 2008; Lal, 2009b, 2010d; Gregory et al., 2005). o Agricultural productivity contributes about 24% of GHG emissions (Searchinger et al. 2013; Vermeulen et al., 2012; EPA, 2011): • • • Recent Global Monthly Mean CO2 13% MH4 & N2O livestock, fertilizer applications, and other agrochemicals. 11% CO2 allocated to operating farm machineries and tillage. 75% of the total global land use change is attributed to agriculture (Vermeulen et al., 2012; EPA, 2011). Source: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends /global.html
  • CURRENT CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION APPROACHES Mode of capturing and storing CO2 o o o o Oceanic Pedologic Biotic systems Geological formations Proposed Approaches o o o o o o Carbon capture and storage (Stephens & Verna, 2006; Robertson et al. 2006). Geo-engineering (Pacala & Socolow, 2004; Crutzen, 2006); Bengtsson, 2006). Eco-Efficient Agriculture (Wilkins, 2008; Keating et al. 2010; Lal, 2010b). Energy Technology Innovation Systems (Gallagher et al. 2012). Renewables and Nuclear Energy (Ausubel, 2007; Waide & Gerundino 2007). Biochar Amendments (a win-win-win approach) (Lehmann, 2007; Laird, 2008; Woolf et al. 2010; Ippolito et al. 2012).
  • RESEARCH QUESTION Can biochar amendments improve soil quality and reduce carbon dioxide emissions as a regenerative approach to mitigate climate change?
  • WHAT IS BIOCHAR? Biochar: is the carbon-rich product when biomass (such as wood, manure or crop residues) is heated in a closed container with little or no available air (Lehmann & Joseph, 2012). Source: http://www.biochar-international.org/technology/feedstocks Temperature range =(400–500 °C (752–932 °F) (Biochar) > 700 °C (1,292 °F) (Liquid/gas fuels)
  • PYROLYSIS SYSTEMS Michigan Biochar Group Biochar Production in Serbia International Biochar Initiative Biochar Farms Hawaii Biochar Project
  • HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT o Indigenous land management practices in the Northern Brazilian Amazonia terra preta soils (Lehmann et al., 2003; Fraser et al., 2011). o Japan (Ogawa & Okimori, 2010). o Africa (Cornelissen et al. 2013). Source: Woolf et al., 2010
  • Flowchart Illustrates inputs, process, outputs, applications and impacts on global climate Source: Woolf et al. 2010
  • BIOCHAR IS CARBON-NEGATIVE Diagram Source: Courtesy of Nature Publishing Group posted at http://www.biocharinternational.org/biochar/carbon
  • ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF BIOCHAR o 2050 2.2 gigatons of Carbon will be sequestered o 12 percent of global GHG emissions could be offset with biochar. o Enhances soil fertility, increases crop productivity, preserves agricultural lands, and reduces agro-chemicals usability. o Retains soil water, prevents nutrients from leaching, and preserves groundwater resources. o Sustainable use agricultural wastes (plants & animals biomass) to generate bioenergy, soil fertility management, and reduce Carbon. o Discourages deforestation by enhancing degraded croplands. o Removes heavy metals on soil/or water.
  • THE ESSENTIAL STABILITY OF BIOCHAR Lehmann et al. 2006. Bio-char Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • CHALLENGES OR LIMITATIONS o Biochar scalability o Financing biochar research and development o Establishment of standardized tests, tracking systems, classification systems, sustainability criteria and assessment for biochar production and application. o High yield biomass classifications product o The chance of producing biomass solely for biochar production could potentially impact crop production (e.g. ethanol production).
  • RESEARCH QUESTION REVISITED Can biochar amendments improve soil quality and reduce carbon dioxide emissions as a regenerative approach to mitigate climate change?
  • CONCLUSION Source: UK Biochar Research Center, 2013
  • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH o Investment in pilot projects in developing countries o Definitions, standards, and guidelines.
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  • Bibliography (cont...) Pacala, S. & R. Socolow. 2004. Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies. Science 305:968-972. Paustian, K., R. Lal, O. Andren, H. H. Janzen, P. Smith, G. Tian, H. Tiessen, M. van Noordwijk, and P. L. Woomer. 1997. Agricultural Soils as a Sink to Mitigate CO2 Emissions. Soil Use and Management 13:230-244. Robertson, K., J. Findsen, and S. Messner. 2006. International Carbon Capture and Storage Projects Overcoming Legal Barriers. Stephens, J. & P. Verma. 2006. The Role of Environmental Advocacy Groups in the Advancement of Carbon [US-EPA] United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2011. Global anthropogenic non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions: 1990 – 2030 EPA 430-D-11-003. (Draft.)  Office of Atmospheric Programs, Climate Change Division. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Vermeulen, SJ, Campbell BM, Ingram JSI. 2012. Climate change and food systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 37:195–222. Waide, P. & D. Gerundino. 2007. International Standards to Develop and Promote Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources. IEA, Paris, France. Wilkins, R. J. 2008. Eco-Efficient Approaches to Land Management: A Case for Increased Integration of Crop and Animal Production Systems. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences 363:517-525. Woolf, D., J. E. Amonette, F. A. Street-Perrott, J. Lehmann, and S. Joseph. 2010. Sustainable Biochar to Mitigate Global Climate Change. Nature communications 1:56.