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What is “biochar”?

Comparison with "biochar"

Comparison with “biochar”

Some day everybody will know what “biochar” is, but for now we use the name “horticultural charcoal”.  In the simplest form, we are talking about CARBON that is used in restoring soils for improving agriculture. Carbon comes from the atmosphere in the form of carbon-dioxide and when it ends up in the soil it stays there. The best presentation we have seen is on YouTube by Cornell University, called “The Promise of Biochar”.

Carbon dioxide is one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases that are affecting our climate. The President, along with nearly every world leader,  has asked us to reduce our use of things that put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Plants, like trees for example, pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and release the oxygen for us to breathe, while they save the carbon in their structures. When we convert this “biomass” into charcoal and put it into the soil it will stay there for centuries.

When we dig or pump fossil hydrocarbons (petroleum), coal, natural gas, out of the ground to burn for energy fuel we need to replace them, or they end up in the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. When we harvest parts of plants we need to replace the carbon that we removed. Survival of life as we understand it requires us to do this, and if we bury carbon and get remarkably better yields of food as a result, it is a win-win solution to many of our problems.