Biochar: Cheap Fuel Plus CO2 Sequestering
I found a clip that shows the essential process in making biochar, a cheap way to generate heat while sequestering some of the carbon in agricultural waste.
It would be terrific if agriculture became carbon negative while still generating revenue. And biochar puts this within reach of not just wealthier nations, but developing countries as well.
The biochar process involves heating organic waste products, like manure or plant clippings, in a low oxygen container to a high enough temperature that the combustible molecules break their chemical bonds, releasing gasses that can be burned as fuel. The remaining biochar, which is essentially charcoal, can then be used as fertilizer. This increases soil fertility while trapping carbon in the ground for a net reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.
By the way, those of you inspired to experiment with burying regular charcoal as a fertilizer and carbon sink, please use the charcoals that don’t have the easy start additives.
Wikipedia has a great article on the process.