Thursday, October 03, 2013

Soil carbon biochar methodology goes on show

Soil carbon generated by enhanced microbial activity in the root zone when biochar is applied will qualify for offset credits under a new methodology revealed this week in the US. The methodology also quantifies and credits both the avoided emissions from combustion or decomposition of biomass in the baseline. The methodology applies to biochar produced by the pyrolysis process from forestry and agricultural residues, municipal waste and other biomass. The methodology outlines the conditions necessary in order for carbon offset credits to be generated for biochar. Eg. biomass grown specifically for pyrolising into biochar does not qualify. Feedstocks must meet the definition of biomass residue. Among other requirements, the ratio of hydrogen to organic carbon must be less than 0.7. The resulting biochar must also be applied to land or mixed with another soil, compost or amendment medium. The American Carbon Registry has opened the meth up for public comment. The methodology was prepared by The Climate Trust, the Prasino Group, the International Biochar Initiative, and Carbon Consulting. ACR, a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, is a carbon offset program that is active in the voluntary carbon market and is an approved offset project registry for the California Cap-and-Trade Program. An Australian Biochar methodology is due to be delivered in the 2nd quarter of next year by Prof. Annette Cowie.

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