Biochar: A Great New Carbon Negative Fertilizer
Imagine a material that is good for your plants, increases the yield and is made from a process that takes carbon out of the air and sequesters it in solid materials that takes hundreds of years to degrade. You have just discovered Biochar, a new by-product made from coal processing.
No doubt, this is exciting and the world will watch the research continue with bated breath. One of the great things about the pyrolysis process that creates biochar is that you can also create energy because coal is the main ingredient used in the process.
The principle of biochar has been in use for thousands of years. Typically a forest fire is a natural event that can be good for arability in certain places. Farmers of the past would create a forest fire in an area and let the ground lie fallow with charcoal so that the soil could become enriched with nutrients.
Read more about this wonderful old innovation that is slowly turning into something new and hopefully mass produced in the near future. ES&T Online News. [pubs.acs.org]