Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Biochar does "sequester" carbon

There is some question about whether biochar is actually a form of sequestration. Leader of the Opposition Malcolm Turnbull got it right when he likened biochar to geosequestration: " There is absolutely no question about the science or the fact that that charcoal, once restored to the soil, does result in carbon being stored—just as much as if it is taken from a coal fired power station and pumped under the ground." If "Sequestration" means "capture and hold", Biochar certainly holds carbon, but it does not capture it. Who, then, 'owns' the sequestration rights?

The IPCC Glossary gives the following meaning for Sequestration: "The process of increasing the carbon content of a carbon reservoir other than the atmosphere. Biological approaches to sequestration include direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through land-use change, afforestation, reforestation, and practices that enhance soil carbon in agriculture. Physical approaches include separation and disposal of carbon dioxide from flue gases or from processing fossil fuels to produce hydrogen- and carbon dioxide-rich fractions and long term storage in underground in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, coal seams, and saline aquifers."

Biochar would qualify under "practices that enhance soil carbon in agriculture".

1 comment:

Erich J. Knight said...

There is real magic coming out of the Asian Pacific Biochar conference.
15 ear per stalk corn with 250% yield increase,
Sacred Trees and chickens raised from near death
Multiple confirmations of 80% - 90% reduction of soil N2O GHG emissions

The abstracts of the conference are at

Biochar Reports:
This new Congressional Research Service report (by analyst Kelsi Bracmort) is the best short summary I have seen so far - both technical and policy oriented. .

This is the single most comprehensive report to date, covering more of the Asian and Australian work;

Given the current "Crisis" atmosphere concerning energy, soil sustainability, food vs. Biofuels, and Climate Change what other subject addresses them all?

This is a Nano technology for the soil that represents the most comprehensive, low cost, and productive approach to long term stewardship and sustainability.

Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.