6 ways biochar reverses climate change
When a Charton™ is bought from a un-miner™, it is paying for the quantity of carbon that is actually removed from the atmospheric cycle. This is a clear, simple, trustworthy, reliable and standard measure which reduces bureaucracy. When a person buys this credit they will nearly always be receiving a number of free unquantified carbon offsets as a bonus. There are a number of different ways biochar can offset carbon:
Biochar (70% carbon) is physically removed from the atmosphere in a manner which ensures that it cannot be burned and returned to the atmosphere. This is the only form of carbon offset (sequestration) which is presently traded on www.carbonface.org.
When biochar is add to soil, it becomes more productive and therefore reduces the need for chemical fertilizers which contribute a huge part of manmade global greenhouse emissions. Biochar improves productivity in numerous ways, but one of the most important one is that it acts like a sponge, therefore when chemical fertilizer is used, less of it drains to waterways (causing less blue green algae) and more of it remains where it is available for plants to use. It is possible Chartons™ could, in the future; be awarded to un-miners™ for lowering their chemical fertilizer use but it would be difficult to verify that farmers actually used less fertilizer.
Because plants grow faster when biochar is added to the soil, they absorb more CO2 in their growth process than they would otherwise. This offsetting would be hard to quantify and therefore cannot, at this point, be sold as a carbon offset, even though in reality, it is indeed offsetting carbon through increased vegetative growth.
The best way for biochar to be used is for it to be mixed into animal feed. This creates a higher quality (and less smelly) manure and also helps improve the health of the animals. In the case of cows its use can drastically reduce the amount of methane released through flatulence. Exactly how much of a carbon offset it would be is also hard to calculate.
Smoke from sources like cooking and crop burning, is thought to be responsible for about 10% manmade global warming. This smoke is not a greenhouse gas and dissipates within 50 years but it is still a major issue. Cooking or deposing of crop residues with biochar producing gasifiers eliminates most of this smoke and slows climate change. If used on a large scale it would also save millions of people each year who die from smoke inhalation, not to mention the improvement in general overall health and quality of life.
If the energy created when biochar is being made replaces other forms of energy, then that could be sold as a regular carbon offset. Some examples of this would be:
1. The reduction of the use of wood due to the use of an efficient biochar producing cookstove.
2. The reduced use of fossil natural gases due to fresh natural gas produced by pyrolysis instead.
3. The reduction of fossil fuel used for powering vehicle like tractors because the vehicle is now powered by a biochar producing wood gasifier (www.driveonwood.com).