Feb 17, 2010

Jason Aramburu on the Promise of Biochar : TreeHugger

Leftovers, blast them with pyrolysis (high heat, low oxygen), and what you get is a crumbly, black matter that could save the world. Making biochargenerates clean energy, and at the same time sequesters carbon dioxide in a charcoal-like substance that just happens to work fertile wonders on crops and gardens. Jason Aramburu is the young whit behind Re:Char, a fledgling startup developing micro-scale reactors, which he hopes to see pumping out biochar on every continent. (He also provided TreeHugger with a special report on mountaintop removal last June.) Jason was a Social Innovation Fellow at this year's Pop!Techconference, which is where we caught up with him and got the scoop on biochar and his new venture.

RE:char concept, and how biochar and pyrolysis can change the world

Dr. James Hansen on Biochar and Storage of Carbon in Soil

The Traditional Agricultural Carbon Cycle: According to the traditional agricultural carbon cycle, carbon stored in agricultural waste biomass is eventually returned to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. When combined with other anthropomorphic sources of GHGs, such as emissions from fossil fuel combustion, these GHGs can contribute to global warming.

the re:char concept: The re:char concept disrupts the traditional agricultural carbon cycle. By converting agricultural waste into biochar, the emission of CO2 via decomposition is prevented. By using biochar as a long-term soil amendment, farmers and producers can lock emissions into soils for thousands of year. With the re:char concept, we can fight climate change while improving the quality of degraded soils.

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