Biochar

Eco Homes and BiocharIn order to offset the carbon emissions involved in the construction of our eco homes, plus the first 3 years of estimated domestic emissions produced when you live in one of our eco homes, Phoenix Trinity worked with Carbon Gold, the biochar company belonging to Craig Sams, of Green and Blacks Chocolate. Not only do we offset the carbon emissions we use, but we go beyond that, becoming Carbon Reductive – we offset more carbon than we use.

According to Wikipedia, Biochar is charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass, and differs from charcoal only in the sense that its primary use is not for fuel, but for biosequestration or atmospheric carbon capture and storage.

Basically, the biochar is produced by part buning and part baking biological materials (called pyrolysis) locking in a third of the carbon that would otherwise become part of the atmosphere when the bio materials rot or are burned. This is particularly useful in industries like farming, where a lot of biological waste is produced – it also serves to benefit the soil it’s buried in, and oxygen is created by the process.

Charcoal is a stable solid rich in carbon content, and thus, can be used to lock carbon in the soil. Biochar is of increasing interest because of concerns about climate change caused by emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide capture also ties up large amounts of oxygen and requires energy for injection (as via carbon capture and storage), whereas the biochar process breaks into the carbon dioxide cycle, thus releasing oxygen as did coal formation hundreds of millions of years ago.

Biochar is a way for carbon to be drawn from the atmosphere and is a solution to reducing the global impact of farming (and in reducing the impact from all agricultural waste). Since biochar can sequester carbon in the soil for hundreds to thousands of years, it has received considerable interest as a potential tool to slow global warming. The burning and natural decomposition of trees and agricultural matter contributes a large amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere. Biochar can store this carbon in the ground, potentially making a significant reduction in atmospheric GHG levels; at
the same time its presence in the earth can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity and reduce pressure on old-growth forests.

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