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D uall benefits of biochar cafs uk

D uall benefits of biochar cafs uk






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    D uall benefits of biochar cafs uk D uall benefits of biochar cafs uk Presentation Transcript

    • The Benefits of Biochar Donna Udall Donna.Udall@coventry.ac.uk
    • Some Definitions The carbon rich product obtained when biomass such as wood, manure or leaves, is heated in a closed container, with little or no air (Lehmann and Joseph; 2009). Charcoal made in modern technology, from sustainable resources and is used for any purpose that doesn’t result in it breaking down rapidly back into CO2, like burning it as a fuel (The British Biochar Foundation). What is Biochar?
    • The Potential Benefits of Biochar Reduced waste through waste recovery options e.g. pyrolysis Reduced environmental impact (odour, land use, burning) Increases crop yield by improving soil fertility, soil structure, water-holding capacity, cation exchange capacity and soil microbial activity. Locks carbon in the soil and reduces emissions of other Greenhouse Gases Producing biochar generates heat, oil and gases Climate Change Mitigation? A Source of Renewable Energy? Improving Soils? Transforming Waste? Increases efficiency of fertiliser use, decreases nutrient run-off and binds contaminants.
    • Biochar as Climate Change Mitigation The Problem… • Climate change - a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. The Biochar Solution… Store carbon: away from the atmosphere, in the form of biochar buried in soils – known as carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration: (the process of capture and long-term storage of atmospheric CO2) only works if two conditions are met; • Plants have to be grown at the same rate as they are charred • The product needs to be more stable than the biomass from which it was formed – biochar is. Diverting 1% of the annual net plant uptake into biochar would mitigate almost 10% of current anthropogenic carbon emissions RESULT
    • Biochar in Transforming Waste The Problem… • Crop and animal waste pose a significant environmental burden, polluting land and water. The Biochar Solution… • Through pyrolysis, waste volume can be reduced and the product reused. Pyrolysis is; the thermal decomposition of organic material under limited supply of oxygen, at relatively low temperatures (Lehmann and Joseph; 2009). • Decreasing methane emissions from landfill • Decreasing industrial energy use & emissions due to recycling & waste reduction • Decreasing energy used in long-distance transport of waste • A saleable environmentally friendly product RESULT
    • Biochar to Produce Energy The Problem… • A worldwide requirement for renewable energy The Biochar Solution… • During pyrolysis, gases, oils and heat can be produced and taped off. However, adding biochar to soil instead of using it as a fuel, does reduce the energy efficiency of pyrolysis bioenergy – BUT – the emission reductions associated with biochar additions to soil appear to be greater than the fossil fuel offset in its use as a fuel (Gaunt & Lehmann, 2008) Pyrolysis offers either the production of gas, oils or clean heat. This is needed at a national and local level. For instance, pyrolysis cooking technology results in lower indoor pollution by smoke than usual biomass burners. RESULT
    • The Problem… In both industrialised and developing countries, soil loss and degradation is occurring at unprecedented rates (IAASTD, 2008). The Biochar Solution… Biochar can influence physical nature of soil systems by changing soil depth, texture, structure, porosity and consistency through changing the bulk surface area, pore size distribution, particle size distribution, density and packing It influences the chemical nature of soils through the presentation of sites for chemical reactions and an improve cation exchange capacity It also provides protective habitats for soil microbes, influencing the biological aspects of soil fertility Biochar can alter the physical, chemical and biological nature of soil such that it returns significantly higher yields when applied with other amendments (e.g. Chan et al. 2007, Downie, A. 2011) RESULT Biochar as a Soil Amendment
    • Loamy sand Sandy Loam Silt Loam Loamy sand Sandy Loam Silt Loam Figure 1. WHC of three soils amended with maize stover biochar at three rates Figure 2. WHC of three soils amended with sawdust biochar at three rates Focus on Water (Dugan et al. 2010) The Problem… Globally, the proportion of Earth's surface in extreme drought is projected to rise from about 1% today to around 30 % by late this century—if our heat-trapping emissions continue to rise at high rates (Hennessy et al. 2007). The Biochar Solution… So far research has found; biochar addition to boreal agricultural soil increases water holding capacity by 11% (Karhu et al, 2011). Dugan et al (2010) found WHC was increased when biochar was applied at all rates compared to zero application. RESULT
    • Real world pyrolysis running costs Product revenue streams Cost savings from re-use of waste Farm scale trials Biochar cost analysis Implications for land use Pollution and biodiversity impact Carbon life cycle. Carbon credits Food Security (implications from land use Impact on farmers – time, resources, economics, well-being Impact on rural economy. Employment opportunities Research into Biochar Production and Use – Consequences for Profit, People and Planet Profit Planet People Drought protection (through improved soils) Flood protection (through improved soils) Next Steps . . .
    • Thank you! • Dr Julia Wright – for suggesting I ‘may’ be interested in biochar . . .! • Gemma Forster – Design and Grammar Guru! • Dr Francis Rayns – for providing the wellies that keep my feet on the ground • Dr Lindsey Shutes – for being just generally brilliant Any questions? Email me; donna.udall@coventry.ac.uk