Using Biochar To Save The Planet

Using Biochar To Save The Planet

         Carbon dioxide is the main component responsible for climate change. Currently, we have no sustainable solution to limit the amount of carbon dioxide we produce as humans. This is causing us to continue to put CO2 into the atmosphere, adding to climate change.  However, with the utilization of carbon sequestration, we can at least attempt to become carbon neutral in a sustainable fashion.

Carbon sequestration is when we take carbon from either the air or another source and place it deep into the ground. This allows us to walk back some of the CO2 we put into the atmosphere. It is sustainable because the carbon stays in the ground for a long time. One such carbon sequestration project is biochar. 

Biochar is charcoal that is made from biomass via a process known as pyrolysis. Biomass is any plant or animal material that is used in energy production. Some examples include the waste from food crops, wood leftovers, and even animal manure. Pyrolysis is a process where carbon-based materials are burned in an environment that contains and absence of oxygen. This creates a combustion reaction that leaves the biomass with the majority of its carbon molecules intact, which means that CO2 is released in minute amounts in this process. By allowing the biomass to retain its carbon, you can then sequester it into the ground, where it is unable to add to the CO2 in the atmosphere. 

Another issue is that most of our organic waste ends up in landfills, which can cause higher levels of gases like methane to be released into the atmosphere. By taking in these waste products and converting them to biochar we prevent this from happening. 

Biochar is also really good for the soil as a fertilizer alternative as it increases soil fertility and can provide protection against some soil-borne plant diseases. Biochar is great at water retention (hygroscopic).  When used in combination with fertilizers and other farm chemicals, it can prevent phosphorus and other chemicals from leaking into a water supply.

Also, research was done that explored biochar as an additive to fodder. It has been found that it helps assist in digestion and reduces methane production in cattle. Newer research suggests that biochar also may result in increased milk production and odor reduction in dairy cattle.

A carbon-negative process is where you remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than released. Such a thing naturally happens when we use our waste products to create biochar. Even when biochar chemically is turned into a bio-fuel it still is a carbon-negative process as the less CO2 is produced from the burning of this fuel. Also, we really should start making our fuel out of things like Biochar as it is fuel from our waste products. This is way better than stealing the planet's waste products aka fossil fuels. By creating our fuel for cars, planes, boats, and electricity. By doing this, we can take the step to be both a zero-waste society as well as a carbon-neutral society. This allows us to create a sustainable civilization that saves the planet in the process of our daily activities. 

In all, take the time to explore these technologies as they are our future. Biochar at its core is a solution based on science, and it is important to fund and encourage these solutions to save our planet.