Posted by: D. | 09/22/2009

Bio-Char, the ultimate in carbon sequestration?

First off – Educate yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar

Bio-char, a snappy name for making charcoal out of…pretty much any organic matter, is apparently a process that has been around since we were still cutting out people’s hearts for the sun.  That’s right!  The ancient civilizations of central america used this material to make the notoriously nutrient-poor soils of the rainforest into Terra Preta.

So why does this matter?  Why should you, the “average joe” citizen/consumer care?  It’s simple:

By sequestering carbon, in this case for possibly thousands of years, we can attempt to mitigate the effects we as a race are having on the planet.  This is where I usually lose people.  After all, Global Warming is a lie right?

Well, I’m going to save that particular debate for a future post sure to bring out the loonies.  Until then, lets just agree that we are dumping cubic-ape-assloads of CO and CO2 into the atmosphere without REALLY knowing what the effects of that will be.  Seems to me that it would be a good idea (to hedge our bets at the least) to have a mechanism in place that would allow us to pull it back out if needed.  Agreed?

Besides, on top of the whole carbon sequestration thing, it has the added benefit of improving soil quality  by leaps an bounds.  And we’re not talking about single season benefits like fertilization.  The black soils of the amazon are still fertile as hell nearly 5000 years later!

If you would like to learn more about BIO-CHAR, please see these other excellent sites around the web.

http://www.biochar.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=3

http://www.biocharsystems.com/index.html

http://carbonscape.com/

http://www.clt.astate.edu/elind/charcoalvalentine.htm

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