Being a relatively new product on the market, it is likely you’ve never heard of biochar before. This charcoal substance can be used for a range of different purposes including a soil conditioner or also an additive to animal feed to boost health and growth. The list of uses for biochar are almost endless. To help you understand more about this substance, here are five facts about biochar that you didn’t know.
1. Biochar can be made from almost any biomass
Biochar is made from the pyrolysis of biomass, which is essentially any form of organic matter. Pyrolysis is a term used for the burning of this biomass in the absence of oxygen. Biochar can be made from any of this biomass, including any plant material (logs, leaves and branches) or even animal waste such as manure. If proper methods are used to create biochar, it can also kill any living contaminants that are in the biomass, making it a clean solution for a whole range of problems.
2. Biochar is fighting climate change
Biochar can be considered a carbon negative substance. This means that the process of creating biochar has a net effect of removing carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere. This is because biochar is a carbon sequestering substance, which means that it is able to store carbon dioxide in its structure for what scientists estimate to be anywhere for a decade to a millennium. This not only shows how long biochar can potentially sequester carbon for, but also how long it could potentially provide benefits to soil and water to.
3. Biochar can come in many forms
As biochar can be used for a range of different purposes, it can also come in a range of different forms. Biochar can be sold in raw form, pellets, mixed with fertiliser, mixed with water or other liquids to produce a slurry or even banded into rows. This means that
biochar can be made into a form that best suits what you need it for. The pelleting and mixing of biochar also prevents fine dust from potentially being an issue if you were to be dispersing on a windy day.
4. Creating Biochar can lead to seamless green waste management
Dealing with green waste can be a tough and expensive issue for businesses to deal with. Creating biochar using a pyrolysis plant can be a cost effective way of reducing transport of green waste as well as completely eradicating the dumping costs. The biochar created can either be used to benefit other crops or animals or be sold to further off-set the costs of the green waste.
5. Not all Biochar is created equal
There are multiple factors that can determine the properties of the final biochar. All biomass can be used to create biochar, however using only natural logs, leaves and branches will result in a higher quality biochar. The temperature and time for pyrolysis can also effect mineral content and pH levels of the final biochar. Therefore, it is important to use suitable pyrolysis equipment to make your own biochar or only buy from reputable distributors.