Biochar: A Low Cost Solution to the Impending Global Food Crisis

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Biochar is a plant based charcoal used to prevent drought in plants, increase yields by up to 140% in staple crops, retain fertilizer, decrease water usages, and sequester carbon in the soil for ...

Biochar is a plant based charcoal used to prevent drought in plants, increase yields by up to 140% in staple crops, retain fertilizer, decrease water usages, and sequester carbon in the soil for thousands of years. Go to International Biochar Initiative for more info!

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Biochar: A Low Cost Solution to the Impending Global Food Crisis Biochar: A Low Cost Solution to the Impending Global Food Crisis Presentation Transcript

  • BIOCHAR: A Low Cost Solution for the Impending Food and Climate Crisis
  • What is it? • Biochar is a form of plant based charcoal that is produced for the purpose of soil improvement. • Biochar was first discovered as layers of fertile terra preta soils prized by farmers in Amazonian regions. • It was discovered that terra preta is composed of charcoal intentionally placed by early Amazonian peoples to improve water and nutrient retention in poor soils.
  • How Biochar Works • Biochar works through its micro-pore structure. • These micro-pores provides a, “soil reef” for microorganisms beneficial to food crops, such as nitrogen fixing bacteria. • The micro-pore structure also retains more essential nutrients and water better than average soil. • One teaspoon of biochar contains approximately 100 sq yards of surface area!
  • How it Benefits Agriculture • Experimental applications of biochar have increased yields by 140 percent in staple crops such as corn and wheat! • Biochar increases root mass, making plants more resistant to drought. • Biochar retains nitrogen and applied fertilizers. This decreases costs to farmers and runoff that is damaging to aquatic life and water quality. • Many of the most carbon deficient soils are found in Sub-Saharan Africa. These regions are also projected to be worst hit by the effects of climate change induced drought.
  • How it Benefits Ecosystems Biochar improves ecosystems by: -Recapturing atmospheric carbon to reduce the effects of climate change. -Improving water and nutrient retention in soils to increase plant biomass. -Promoting the growth of fungi and microorganisms beneficial to plant life and soil. -Preventing poisonous runoff of applied fertilizers into nearby watercourses. -Reduces methane emissions, a major greehouse gas.
  • How it Prevents Climate Change • Biochar presents the simplest and safest way to recapture carbon from the atmosphere and store it in soil for thousands of years! • Biochar presents a multitude of economic benefits by creating a saleable product with technology and raw materials that are extremely accessible worldwide.
  • Production of Biochar heat source Flammable wood gas • Biochar is produced through pyrolysis. • The process involves heating wood or other plant material in an oxygen free environment. • Pyrolysis separates out the chemical constituents of wood and leaves behind charcoal. • This is the same process used to create cooking and smelting charcoal for thousands of years! • The byproducts are biochar, flammable wood gas (which can be used as cooking fuel), and biocrude (a tar fuel).
  • Home Scale Kilns • Biochar may be produced from any dry agricultural or yard waste like wood chips, grass clippings, or sawdust. • There have been many simple designs for home scale biochar kilns composed of essentially three parts: -A metal barrel to hold plant material -A small fire to start pyrolysis -A supporting and insulating stone structure -An, “after burner” stove pipe or collection system for flammable wood gas
  • Industrial Scale Kilns • Industrial sized kilns have been developed and are already in operation. • This portable unit is produced by Colorado based Biochar Solutions Inc. • This unit is rentable to farmers as a way to produce a saleable product from agricultural waste during the autumn or used to improve their own fields.
  • Additional Benefits of Biochar 84mph truck powered solely by woodgas Clean and efficient cooking stoves in developing countries
  • Continued… +
  • References International Biochar Initiative http://www.biochar-international.org/ Biochar Solutions www.biocharsolutions.com BioChar Info: How to Make a Carbon Zero Experimental Biochar Kiln http://biochar.info/biochar.CarbonZero-Experimental- Biochar-Kiln.cfml