I recently stumbled upon an article in The Guardian called “20 big green ideas” and I was incredibly impressed by advancements in green technology over the years, but one idea that I found particularly interesting was the idea of using biochar to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Biochar is a form of charcoal produced from plant matter that can be stored in the soil in order to capture CO2 that is sitting in the atmosphere. It is deemed to be 5x more effective than plants and trees at sequestering carbon dioxide while also increasing the longevity of soil nutrient content to benefit the plants surrounding it.
This method can apparently be attributed back to ancient South American civilizations, more specifically Amazonian peoples in the “pre-Columbian” era. At the time, they smoldered agricultural waste to produce the biochar, which was used for enhanced soil productivity.
On top of CO2 sequestering and better soil, it can also benefit in boosting food security in developing countries with severely depleted soils, increasing soil biodiversity, and discouraging deforestation. Biochar has also been said to increase water quality and quantity because of the soil’s higher levels of nutrient retention.
So why isn’t biochar a more mainstream and wider used method? I’ll explore that in my next post!