Biochar is characterized as having high carbon content and being very stable.  The specific properties of biochar lend itself to several applications including improving soil fertility, filtering water in the soil, and storing carbon.  In fact, biochar is a carbon sequestration technology that is widely discussed as being one possible solution to the increasing levels of CO2.  Unlike other charcoals biochar has higher carbon content and since it is an extremely stable material, biochar is able to “lock” carbon in the soil for 100’s to 1,000’s of years.  Biochar could prove to be an invaluable resource in returning and storing carbon in the soil.

When applied to soil, biochar has these specific benefits:

Increased water holding capacity
Increased soil pH
Increased nutrient retention
Positive effect on soil microbes that aide in plant processes
Increased crop production
Decrease in soil greenhouse gas emissions

Many of these benefits lead to a reduction in irrigation and agri-chemical requirements.  This is largely due to the ability of biochar to absorb and hold onto compounds like water and fertilizers.  These same characteristics lend itself to other uses such as waste site clean-ups by absorbing harmful compounds and landfills to limit emissions of methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas.

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