Biochar For Agriculture
What is Biochar?
Biochar refers to biocarbons that are generated from plant matter like wood chips and agricultural waste after methods such as pyrolysis and gasification have been used to convert the plant matter into gases that can be turned into clean energy. These biocarbons can then be used as a soil amendment. The benefits to using biochar as a soil amendment in agriculture are as follows:
- Rebuilds depleted soils that have been aggressively farmed by restoring needed organic matter to the soil
- Creates a microporous sponge which holds the water in the soil.
- Biocarbons help soil hold nutrients, thus helping prevent leaching and increasing soil fertility
- Retaining moisture in the soil allows for the conservation of water resources and reduces farming costs
- Stored or sequestered biochar in the soil removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
V-Grid biochar is made with a High-Temp process that produces almost pure carbon that can remain sequestered long-term in the soil for 1000s of years. Other biochars, which are made at lower temperatures, have problems with residual hydrocarbons (such as PAHs) and can release CO2 and methane as they decompose.
3 most significant things to know about V-Grid’s biochar for agriculture
1 – Field tests show biochar can rebuild soil health and fertility – Compounding Productivity Effect
2 – Makes the Fundamental Principle of Carbon Negative Energy possible
3 – Has a Positive Climate Impact by reducing atmospheric CO2 – Long-term Carbon Sequestration
The Fundamental Principle of Carbon Negative Energy
If biomass is used as the fuel to make electricity, and some of its carbon is converted to stable, high temperature biochar, and buried, the process effectively removes carbon from the air on a permanent basis and, thus, is considered carbon negative.
The Discovery of Terra Preta Shows how to Sequester Carbon Long Term
A breakthrough occurred a few decades ago in the Amazon rainforest with the discovery of super-fertile Tera Preta soils which demonstrate that plant carbons can stay in the ground for hundreds of years under special conditions and provide a tremendous productivity gain for humanity.
Terra Preta soils typically have 3-7% char
which carbon dates as 1500+ years old
Experimenters have attempted to duplicate this ancient carbon with pyrolysis biochars which improve soil productivity for a while, but can oxidize in a few years. Per the above USDA study, the biochar must be formed at very high temperatures to be oxygen-free and, thus, have long term stability.