Sustainable Agriculture for a Sustainable World

The Ohio Biochar Demonstration Project

The Ohio Biochar Demonstration Project will address nonpoint source agricultural water quality issues in the Great Lakes Basin. The project will pyrolyze livestock manure to produce Biochar for use as a soil amendment in lieu of land application of manure, which has been linked to a significant increase in water quality problems in the Lake Erie Basin, particularly from increased phosphorus and nitrogen loading. The Biochar production process also produces renewable energy as a co-product, which will be captured for on-farm use.

Besides replacing some of the chemical fertilizer inputs, Biochar as a soil amendment has been shown to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from croplands by 50-80%, and to significantly reduce leaching of phosphorus and nitrogen. Biochar applications to soil additionally boost crop productivity; enhance soil tilth, fertility, and moisture retention; and reduce soil erosion. The project will test biochar impacts to the specific crops and soils in Northwestern Ohio, and to the water resources in the Great Lakes basin.


Information on Biochar
Ohio Demonstration Articles

Ohio Biochar Demo Project Exec Summary: 1/2008 (18 KB)

Project Funding Sources

We would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Joyce Foundation for a 2-year grant in August, 2007, that made planning and implementation of the Ohio Demonstration Project possible. Also, we gratefully acknowledge the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for awarding us a Conservation Innovation Grant in July, 2008, to assist with Project implementation.