Biochar for Construction

The interest in biochar has been largely sparked due to its ability to enhance soils and promote plant growth. However biochar has a variety of properties which mean it could be put to number of different uses.

The highly complex structure with intricate networks of tunnels and a huge surface area means the biochar acts as a fantastic insulating material – capturing large quantities of practically immobile air. At the Ithaka institute in Switzerland they are using biochar as a building material where it is incorporated into plaster and bricks.

When in plaster it can help insulate the building and also help regulate humidity in the internal environment by absorbing moisture from the air. In bricks it can be used as a replacement to some building materials meaning the weight of the bricks can be reduced significantly.

If the building materials are applied to landfill at the end of their lives, could this be a way of making zero-carbon or even carbon negative buildings?

Please see a link to the article in the Biochar journal here: