AirToob Lightning

Biochar is an ancient process that is making a comeback. It does many things at once: starting with most urban, agricultural or forestry biomass residues, it can generate energy, enrich soil, and actually remove carbon from the atmosphere. It is not merely carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative.

The biochar process is akin to a process utilized thousands of years ago in the Amazon Basin, where islands of rich, fertile soils called Terra Preta ("dark earth") soils were created through a process similar to pyrolysis (one example of which is the production of charcoal by burning wood with restricted oxygen).

The beautiful picture at the top of this post comes from a superb online National Geographic article called "Our Good Earth". The whole article is worth reading, but you will find a description of Terra Preta ("dark earth") soils starting on this page of the article.

The modern Biochar process is summarized below. Visit The International Biochar Initiative for some great information on the process and the many projects that are using it.

[More links on the Biochar process]
[Terra Preta, the "Black Revolution"]
[My "Environment and Technology" page]