Biochar Technology is on the forefront of showing promise in 4 major areas: Mitigating climate change, improving soil quality, reducing waste, and producing energy as a byproduct. At A Plus Tree, we are committed and passionate about being part of the solution and not the problem.
Because biochar has the ability to capture some of the carbon from the active cycle and return it to the inactive cycle, biochar has the potential to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. As described in the carbon cycle, carbon is always on the move. Living organisms exchange CO2 regularly with the atmosphere. Forest fires and volcanic eruptions belch CO2into the air. But trees, plants, algae, the oceans, soils and fossil fuels are all carbon sinks or sponges. This natural carbon sequestration has been happening for billions of years. Increasing the rate of natural sequestration and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases remains critical. Biochar technology can do both.
Biochar is a granular carbon substance that’s made by burning organic material (such as wood chips) charcoal in a controlled process called pyrolysis. In tree care, biochar is used as a soil amendment and is rich in carbon and a very stable solid which can live in soil for hundreds of decades, if not more. Pyrolysis is the heating of biomass at extremely high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Since there is no oxygen, the material does not combust and instead can be condensed into 3 byproducts: A solid (the biochar), a liquid (bio-oil) and a gas (syngas).
Biochar is highly porous, lightweight and has a large surface area. At the microscopic level it has a honeycomb-like structure which contributes to a phenomenon called adsorption. Adsorbtion is the cabability of a solid to attract gases and solutions. This is relevant it that biochar is able to remove organic and inorganic pollutants from the soil. Other properties include: