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Biochar: what, how, why and who?

An attempt to summarize the burning questions of this topic.

Torbjörn Granberg

on 30 September 2012

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Transcript of Biochar: what, how, why and who?

BIOCHAR Biochar is a solid material obtained from the carbonisation of biomass WHAT? HOW? WHY? 10g of biochar has the area of a football field WHO? Biochar is made through a process called pyrolysis Pyrolysis is the combustion of organic matter in the absence of oxygen resistant to degradation in soil
percistant for >1000 years The pyrolysis products are
gases The gases are combusted outside of the pyrolysis chamber, producing heat for the process a continous feed of biomass ensures a self sustaining process but... Torbjörn Granberg 2012 Sustainable biochar is a powerfully simple tool to fight global warming. This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and discourage deforestation. Sustainable biochar is one of the few technologies that is relatively inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable.
-www.biochar-international.org Includes a wide range of sources agricultural
back yard
oceans and lakes (?) and then again... Scaleability production units can range from a few grams to tonnes of biochar/day
the pyrolysis process is most efficient/ecological when the biomass is aquired in the vicinity of the pyrolysis unit
also the biochar should not be transported long distances from the site of production to avoid unnecessary emissions. Biochar is stable Biochar is very porous knowing what, brings us to the... ...this means YOU could start making biochar today!
since pyrolysis is an exotherm reaction the process produces excess energy in form of heat that can be used for heating or/and production of electricity
CHP units of different size could power communities or factories pyrolysis is not a new invention evidence show that amero-indians of the amazon created fertile soils out of the tropical oxisols by adding compost mixed with biochar
this was 2000 years ago!
in fact a great percentage of the energy in developing countries still comes from wood and here lies the problem charcoal is produced from unsustainable logging of natural forsests
the most widely used techniques release most of the wood gases directly into the atmosphere polluting the environment
but solutions to these problems are emerging solutions using low-tech solutions, emissions from pyrolysis can be made very clean
efficient biochar kilns can produce both biochar and heat for cooking this has additional benefits on indoor air quality (smoke being one of the top death causes for chilren under 5 in developing countries) Biochar is used as a soil amendment to improve soil fertility and has the potential to fight global warming ...but production of biochar is not just limitied to small farmers in developing countries because of... Combined Heat and Power in conclusion biochar is a carbon dioxide negative energy source
biochar can improve soil fertility and provide additional benefits to rural as well as urban communitites
biochar can be produced in different quantities but should always be made on sustainable grounds
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