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June 02, 2007



This sounds too good to be true. What is the downside here?


Another group working on the same technology:



Carbon is good for plants? I was told that it was killing the planEt? Silly rabit, tricks are for Gore.


Well, it certainly isn't perfect.

However as is, most fertlizer comes from natural gas being turned into ammonia.
(CH4 into NH3)

Merely replacing the fossil fuel fertilizer should have it's benefits.

Not to mention it cuts down some 40% on the decomposition of the fertilizer, reducing the ammount of methane and N2O it releases.


That said, thats assuming biochar for food crops.

Biochar for fuel crops might not be so beneficial.


But to produce char from fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum, in order to sequester the carbon, will require massive amounts of energy.

My guess is that 80% of the energy of fossil fuels comes from the carbon component producing CO2, while only 20% comes from the hydrogen component.

So in order to sequester the carbon, we have to reduce the efficiency of coal and petroleum combustion by 80%.

Therefore, this is DOA as a method of sequestration. However, as an alternative to fertilizer it does make sense. But I am sure it is not as good a fertilizer, and will degrade the soil after its concentration increases. So you need to find more farms and forests with low-char content and after a while you will run out of land. IOW, this is not sustainable.

I still think the best solution is nuke plus nLiFePO4 batteries and electric vehicles, and ethanol/plastics produced from nukes and biomass carbon. I am told vitrification of nuke waste will be safe for at least 1000 years, and then at that time, we can just dump it into the sun.

Ronald Brak

Beek, char is made from wood.


To be available to most plants, most soil nutrients have to be in a water-soluble form. But if they are water soluble, then they can be leached out of the soil, or perhaps already have been leached out of the soil. Char consists of very small, high surface area particles that can bind nutrients, and hold them in the soil despite leaching, hence may very well be interest in promoting the fertility of depleted tropical and sandy soils. More of the nutrients added to high surface area soils, whether by nature or art, stick around long enough to actually be useful to plant growth.


As for sustainability, though it's not mentioned in the article, there are anthropogenic soils in the Amazon that are notably black, as opposed to the yellow of the surrounding tropical clay. The present understanding of these soils is that native villagers produced them by amendments of charcoal, and lived on them for a few centuries. One European expedition encountered this network of villages in the mid 1500s. Subsequent explorers found nothing; presumably the culture abandoned its sites amidst the epidemics, warfare, and general disuprtion of the period.

J.C., Sr.

The Engineer Poet, At the Ergosphere Blog posted a piece called, worth the wait on Nov. 22, 2006. All of the original thinkers who have come up with the. " I've got a great idea" should take another glance through this post. The man has many other sound and practical solutions that would help this country achieve a shot at oil for energy independence.
J.C., Sr.


A company in North America , w2energy , is proposing using fossil fuels in a similar way to biochar . The fossil fuels can be used to produce hydrogen fuel and then the remaing carbon is decomposed into a humic acid type soil conditioner . As a result it would increase plant growth and reduce CO2 levels . Carbon negative fossil fuel !!

forklift equipment manufacturer

I agree, I think the best solution is nuke plus nLiFePO4 batteries and electric vehicles, and ethanol/plastics produced from nukes and biomass carbon.



“The Biochar Revolution” with “The Biochar Solution”
The Biochar Revolution collects the results and best practical advice that these entrepreneurs have to offer to the biochar community. When practice and theory advance to the point where they meet in the middle, then we will truly see a biochar revolution.


I heard about biochar a few months ago from a friend of mine. I never thought that something as simple as charcoal could do so much for the soil and the environment.

I was amazed after reading "The Biochar Revolution" from http://biochar-books.com/The_Biochar_Revolution.

Check it out. It was a great help in opening my mind to issues that affect us all.

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