Biochar is a form of high-quality charcoal that is created by heating organic waste at high temperature without the use of oxygen. It can endure in soil for thousands of years, giving it the potential to help mitigate climate change via carbon sequestration. Among its many benefits, biochar produces clean energy, builds healthy, supported soils and increases fertility, reduces the risk of water table contamination, and raises agricultural productivity.
Biochar is often associated with Terra Preta, or the rich “black soils” of Amazonia. Utilizing simple (appropriate) stove technologies, biomass (including bamboo — which is excellent for making qualitybiochar!) can be quickly transformed into a porous by-product (using little energy and emitting little smoke and emissions), capable of holding moisture, nutrients, bacteria — like safe shelter for soil life.
Therefore, biochar can be and is widely recognized as an excellent complement to conventional composting and organic soil-building processes, where the marriage of durable soil structural improvements and rich nutrient cycling combine to form a win-win scenario. Quality biochar and compost regimes can provide effective, balanced and timely soil restoration — together.
Recent enthusiasm for utilizing biochar has emerged around the world, especially as a response to both climate change impacts and food insecurity. Connecting biochar production with sustainable bamboo cultivation unites two excellent resources for addressing these and other issues.
Pacific Bamboo Resources is committed to advancing education and demonstration of accessible biochar methods and related bamboo resources for sustainable communities and economic development. In 2012, PBR was awarded $20,000 from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to support a series of biochar training workshops.
To learn more, check the links, documents and films below. Enjoy!
- New England Biochar
- US Biochar Initiative
- International Biochar Initiative
- European Biochar Research Network
- The Basics of Biochar: A Natural Soil Amdendment
- US-focused Biochar Report
- Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture
- Biochar and the Biomass Recycling Industry