Biochar is a well-liked soil amendment, that can help raise soil fertility and agricultural production. It’s produced when wood undergoes pyrolysis; essentially, when you put wood under high heat, without oxygen, it will produce bio-oil and syngas, which can be used for energy, and biochar, which can be used as a soil additive. It kind of looks like charcoal, in case you’re wondering, like this:
Biochar can also be a carbon sink, trapping carbon in soil for long periods of time. It’s increasingly interesting to find ways of pulling carbon out of the atmosphere as we come to grips with the fact that our emissions are not declining. Biochar is one of those ways. Scale will be a problem, but it’s worth exploring for now. Today, I donated to a kickstarter project that is hoping to build a small biochar facility in Italy.