Sustainable Agriculture for a Sustainable World


Biochar is a fine-grained, porous charcoal-like product formed from the thermochemical combustion of biomass in the partial or total absence of oxygen. Properly produced and utilized as a soil amendment, biochar offers one of the world’s only carbon-negative technologies for helping to combat global climate change, while also revitalizing and enhancing the health and fertility of the world’s soils. If practiced on a large enough scale, biochar production and utilization could offer a low-technology, high-impact tool to help reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Biochar systems in the rural and developing country context can also help to alleviate soil degradation, desertification, and poverty, while enhancing food and agricultural security, energy security, and sustainability.

Information on Biochar

Biochar Articles

 Charcoal - Out of Grill, Into Ground - GeoTimes article: 7/2008 (163 KB)
  What's in the Rising Tide - Nitrogen Cycle - Nature article: 10/2007 (2.44 MB)
  Charcoal Addition on Soil N2O Emission - Yanai SSPN article: 2007 (276 KB)
Handful of Carbon (Biochar Sequestration) - Nature article: 5/2007 (998 KB)
Down-to-Earth Fix for Carbon Crisis - New Scientist article: 12/2006 (21 KB)
Biochar Letters - Hayes, Woods - Nature: 9/2006 (87 KB)
Slash-and-Char Improves Amazonian Soil - BioScience article: 4/2006 (122 KB)

Biochar Projects

  Biochar Poster - Iowa State University R&D Project: (1.78 MB)
  Biochar Poster - Soil Restoration and Pyrolysis: 2007 (60 KB)
  UGA Biochar Pyrolysis Poster: 2007 (330 KB)
  UGA Biorefinery (Biochar) Brochure: 2007 (654 KB)

Biochar in the 2008 Farm Bill

  Biochar Research-2008 Farm Bill: (501 KB)

Biochar Presentations
  Biochar and Terra Preta Webcast: Black Gold Agriculture: 6/2008

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI)
The IBI is a consortium of research, commercial, and policy-oriented institutions and people devoted to the sustainability of the world’s soils, and to sustainable bioenergy production.
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The Ohio Biochar Demonstration Project:
This Project will address nonpoint source agricultural water quality issues in the Great Lakes Basin.
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Terra Preta

 The Good Black Magic: Terra Preta - Yoga+Joyful Living article: 10/2006 (1.95 MB)
 Terra Preta: Black is the New Green -Nature article: 8/2006 (1.61 MB)
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