The Environmental Significance of Biochar
Biochar is a charcoal-based carbon rich by-product produced by the downdraft gasification of biomass feedstock. This material presents with a fine-grained, highly porous structure that has a very high BTU content and exceptionally high carbon content levels. The physical properties and characteristics of Biochar see it becoming an increasingly sought after material as a soil amendment/additive for agriculture, horticulture and land rehabilitation. According to the International Biochar Initiative, Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Intensive studies of rich dark soils in the Amazon called “terra preta” has led to a great appreciation of the properties of this unique material as a soil conditioner. In Australia there is also clear evidence of it's importance and heritage use by the Aboriginal's use of fire management where carbon was deliberately returned to the land through fire.