Biochar In The News
Jan 11, 2011 Influence of pyrolysis temperature on production and nutrient properties of wastewater sludge biochar
The important challenge for effective management of wastewater sludge materials in an environmentally and economically acceptable way can be addressed through pyrolytic conversion of the sludge to biochar and agricultural applications of the biochar. The aim of this work is to investigate the influence of pyrolysis temperature on production of wastewater sludge biochar and evaluate the properties required for agronomic applications ...
This report, available for a fee from Penny Hill Press, briefly describes biochar, some of its potential advantages and disadvantages, legislative support, and research and development activities underway in the United States.
Results from a short-term pilot field study - We measured the fluxes of N2O, CO2, and CH4 after adding 9 t ha-1 biochar on an agricultural soil in Southern Finland in May 2009. Biochar addition increased CH4 uptake by 96% and soil water holding capacity by 11%.
In this study, scientists evaluated the influence of biochar type, time after incorporation into soil, dose rate and particle size on the sorption, biodegradation and leaching of the herbicide simazine. They concluded that biochar application to soil will reduce the dissipation of foliar applied pesticides decreasing the risk of environmental contamination and human exposure via transfer in the food chain, but may affect the efficacy of soil-applied herbicides.
This update on the UNFCCC process through the COP16 Cancun negotiations addresses the current state of the Framework Convention with regards to agriculture, and by extension, opportunities for biochar as well.
Jan 28, 2011 Developing Carbon-Negative Crops
This article outlines a project to develop black oil sunflower seed as a specialty crop that can be sold as a Jersey Grown birdseed. A significant component of the project's attempt to reduce the crop's carbon footprint is the use of biochar on the crops and restored grasslands.
Entrepreneur Jason Aramburu's re:char technology that aims to convert human waste into biochar receives funding from Bill Gates' foundation.
Nov 9, 2011 Using Biochar to Boost Soil Moisture
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are leading the way in learning more about "biochar," the charred biomass created from wood, other plant material, and manure.
While not specifically about biochar, Jim Hansen has released a new paper demonstrating that extreme weather events, such as the drought and heat waves in Texas this past year, have become increasingly likely in the past 30 years. Texas Governor Perry has repeatedly declared that global warming is a hoax, and his proposed solution is to issue proclamations asking his constituents to pray for rain.
Jim Hansen, in this paper, comments "Science cannot disprove the possibility of divine intervention. However, there is a relevant saying that 'Heaven helps those who help themselves.'"
Nov 26, 2011 Biochar cook-stoves save lives and trees
SeaChar.Org, seeking funding for a project through GlobalGiving.org, has developed a stove that burns 90% cleaner and uses 50% less fuel than a traditional stove. Built from local materials by local women, these stoves can also produce biochar, a valuable carbon-rich soil amendment, as a by-product.