Academic Venture Fund - 2008

Environmental, Energetic and Economic Potential of Biochar

Johannes Lehamann holding nutshells and biochar

Modern bioenergy systems can produce biochar, a stable charcoal product. When applied to agricultural fields, biochar greatly enhances crop yields, while reducing the need for traditional chemical fertilizers - and the environmental impact on croplands. Cornell scientists aim to quantify biochar's potential as a tool to fight climate change. Their integrated economic, energy, and life-cycle data analysis will provide a framework for further research to establish biochar as a major option within the dominant and emerging bioenergy technologies that currently provides carbon-negative energy and safe sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Investigators: Johannes Lehmann, Lindsay Anderson, Norman Scott, Janice Thies, Francis Vanek, Antonio Bento, John Gaunt, Stephen Younger