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Biochar Scalability

  1. -Industrial Level Biochar Kiln (
      Describes the biochar kiln, made in Europe. 02-15

  2. -The Biochar Story and Next Steps ( star
      Talks about biochar, the next stage in climate action. "A concise breakdown of '2012 US Biochar Conference' along with corresponding visuals to illustrate the vast potential of Biochar as a solution to climate change, desertification and the global food crisis." 02-15

  1. -1,000 Acre Biochar Demonstration (
      "In 2015, after two years of encouraging experiments, commodity grain farmer JR Bollinger in Sikeston, Missouri made a full commitment to regenerate his soils with Carbon-Smart Farming using biochar, sea minerals and microbes. After careful research, JR's genius was to build tillage equipment to inject liquid & dry ingredients in narrow bands. In April, JR tilled formulated TerraCharge biolyzer into 6-inch strips, with half his normal NPK fertilizer, and planted 1000 acres of non-GMO corn." 10-18

  2. -Biochar Production Estimates (
      "Biomass currently provides 3% of the total energy consumption in the U.S. To meet the goal of a 30% replacement of the current U.S. petroleum consumption with biofuels would require approximately 1 billion Mg (megagram = dry tons) of biomass feedstock per year (Perlack et al. 2005). A study conducted by DEO and USDA (Perlack" et al. 2005) estimated that over 1.2 billion Mg (1.3 billion dry tons) could be generated in the U.S. forestry and agricultural sector per year. They assume that about 336 million Mg (370 million dry tons) of sustainable biomass could be produced on forestlands and about 900 million Mg (one billion dry tons) could come from agricultural lands." 02-15

  3. -Industrial Level Biochar Production (
      "Cool Planet is commercializing a technology to create green fuels and an advanced soil amendment that can change the world for good. The company’s green fuels are chemically identical to fossil fuels, and its CoolTerra™ advanced soil amendment product increases crop productivity and promotes more robust plant health while reducing water and fertilizer requirements. The process is capable of being carbonnegative, reversing the consequences of CO2 build-up from fossil fuels. Cool Planet’s technology has a broad portfolio of pending and granted patents. Strategic investors include BP, Google Ventures, GE, ConocoPhillips, NRG Energy, the Constellation division of Exelon, and leading venture capital investors, including North Bridge Venture Partners." Began manufacture of its first commercial plant in March of 2014. 02-15

  4. Biochar Application Methods (Biochar Application Network)
      "Line trenching and backfilling may lend itself to high biochar application rates in soil for carbon sequestration while still increasing the agronomic performance of soils. While labor and carbon intensive, the combination of high saturation rates and improved agronomic productivity may make the practice viable. However, like deep banding and subsurfing, it is unknown how well biochar migrates vertically through the soil profile, and performance may deteriorate at small distances from the point of application." 07-11

  5. Biochar Scalability (Biochar Application Network)
      "The Biochar Application Network was formed to foster the development of biochar application methods that are technically, economically, and environmentally viable at scale. Through applied research, industry partnerships, and targeted outreach, biochar specific application methods will be developed, verified, and brought to market." 07-11

  6. Biochar Scalability (
      "US carbon emissions currently run about 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon each year, and the US population is about 300m, so emissions per person are 6 tonnes/year of carbon."

      If wood is the source for biochar, "we would need to char and bury about 30 m3 of wood to offset the emissions of each person in the United States - roughly a medium sized tree."

      "What would be potentially more reasonable is an incentive, on existing farmland only, to do biochar of agricultural residues."

      "You might expect to get, very roughly, about the same amount of carbon in the residues as there is in the food supply - a couple of gigatonnes globally. Given about 1.5 billion hectares of arable land globally, or 4 billion acres, 2 gigatonnes of carbon is about 1/2 ton of carbon/acre, which is 1.25 tonnes/acre in carbohydrate terms, which is consistent, for example, with current estimates of harvestable corn stover of 1-1.5 dry tons/acre. Globally, it could be somewhat more or somewhat less, but that's the ballpark."

      "So a few gigatonnes of biochar carbon sequestration would be very useful, but it's not a panacea for even the current level of 8.5 gigatonnes of fossil fuel emissions, let alone the growth trajectory."

      Editor's Note: The author is counting only corn stover, not spoiled agricultural waste (up to 50 percent in some countries), wheat residue, or other organic or agricultural waste. Organic waste emits eight times more carbon emissions each year than fossil fuels. 03-10

  7. Biochar Scalability (
      "Flux Farm is currently conducting several targeted research projects relevant to renewable energy and carbon sequestration development in the Intermountain West. In a region where little is known about the actual opportunities and limitations to bioenergy and biochar development, special program emphasis has been placed on increasing the availability of relevant information in these fields. The following is an overview of our current research initiatives."

      "Despite building interest among scientists and policy-makers over the potential benefits of biochar, little is known about the logistics of applying biochar to soil at scale in an agricultural setting. In addition, little relevant information exists on how biochar might fit into degraded range and pastureland systems. Application rates are unknown, materials handling procedures remain elusive, and the physical act of applying biochar at scale remains difficult. Flux Farm has been working closely on filling in these gaps and aims to develop biochar best management strategies for the Intermountain West." 07-11

  8. Biochar for Carbon-Negative Results (
      "Counting only the impacts of biochar burial in soil, and without considering the displacement of energy from fossil fuels, we can conservatively offset one quarter of a gigaton of carbon annually by 2030."

      "Optimistically, we could achieve one gigaton of offsets annually before 2050." 01-13

Purchase Resources
  1. -Biochar State of Industry 2013 (
      "This report provides a broad overview of the current state of the biochar sector as identified by surveys and other data throughout 2013 and gives the expert as well as the layperson a snapshot of commercial and non-commercial biochar operations and activities." 02-15


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