Benefits of Biochar:
Stephen Joseph, the founding vice chairman of the International Biochar Initiative, said: “His research has provided strong evidence that biochar helps mitigate climate change.”
The results showed that biochar helps build organic carbon in the soil up to 20% (3.8% on average) and can reduce the emission of nitrogen oxide from the soil by 12–50%, which increases the benefits of reducing climate change with biochar.
Professor Joseph states: “The intergovernmental panel showed that globally, biochar can reduce between 300 and 660 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050.”
If you compare this with Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions of 499 million tonnes last year, you will find that biochar can absorb many emissions and only requires a will to develop and use it.
In general, the benefits of adding biochar to the soil can be divided into two parts:
Improving soil quality:
Improving and increasing soil fertility and organic matter
Increasing the efficiency of fertilisers (reducing the need for fertilizers)
Improving water retention in the soil (reducing the need for irrigation)
Absorption of pesticide and herbicide residues
Reducing soil acidity
Reducing the leaching of nutrients
Increasing the interaction of the soil nutrient cycle through soil pH adjustment
Improving plant growth:
Improvement in healthy root formation
Long-term storage of nutrients for the plant
One of the most important advantages and characteristics of biochar is its long useful life in influencing and stabilising the structural quality of the soil over time. Biochar is the habitat of a large number of useful soil microorganisms and, as a result, improves the condition of the soil and the health of plants.
Biochar has a high specific surface area and improves soil water retention, cation exchange capacity, microbial activity, and nutrient leaching. The high specific surface area and the structure of functional groups make biochar able to absorb and deactivate heavy soil elements. Also, this product can improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Research shows that the use of biochar in plants that need more potassium fertilisers and a higher pH can increase the yield.