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16. Biochar and Carbon Sequestration

Title16. Biochar and Carbon Sequestration
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBelcher, Claire M., and Masek Ondrej
Book TitleFire Phenomena and the Earth System: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Fire Science

The concept of biochar as a method for carbon sequestration is fairly new, despite a relatively widespread use of carbonized biomass in agricultural practices around the globe as a soil amendment medium. The uses of biochar fall into four main categories: climate change mitigation, soil conditioning, waste management, and energy, and these may overlap as there is great potential for synergies in application. For biochar to be a sustainable option for climate change mitigation with minimum negative environmental impact, it is important to promote advanced technological solutions with high efficiency of feedstock conversion into good quality biochar and useful by-products over primitive ones. Large-scale deployment of biochar can slow down increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations and eventually lead to reduction once stabilization of emissions from fossil fuels is achieved. The deployment of biochar faces resources, technological, environmental and socioeconomic challenges.