Biochar

Biochar research by Atkinson Center Fellow, Johannes Lehmann (CSS), is highlighted in the Yale Environment 360 blog 

How Much Can Biochar Slow Climate Change?

February 4, 2014

Biochar

Biochar research by Atkinson Center Fellow, Johannes Lehmann (CSS), is highlighted in the Yale Environment 360 blog:

As Uses of Biochar Expand, Climate Benefits Still Uncertain

Research shows that biochar made from plant fodder and even chicken manure can be used to scrub mercury from power plant emissions and clean up polluted soil. The big question is whether biochar can be produced on a sufficiently large scale to slow or reverse global warming...

Johannes Lehmann, a professor of agricultural science at Cornell University and one of the world’s top experts on biochar, has calculated that if biochar were added to 10 percent of global cropland, the effect would be to sequester 29 billion tons of CO2 equivalent — roughly equal to humanity’s annual greenhouse gas emissions...

Lehmann and former NASA climate scientist James Hansen have emphasized that they oppose such plantations and other unsustainable practices as a means to produce biochar. Rather, Lehmann says, biochar should be sourced from the massive amount of waste materials that normal agricultural and forestry production methods leave behind: corn stalks, rice husks, tree trimmings, and the like. And as the chicken manure example described above illustrates, biochar could also help dispose of the large amounts of manure currently generated by poultry and livestock operations...

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Johannes Lehmann, a professor of agricultural science at Cornell University and one of the world’s top experts on biochar, has calculated that if biochar were added to 10 percent of global cropland, the effect would be to sequester 29 billion tons of CO2 equivalent — roughly equal to humanity’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
Lehmann and former NASA climate scientist James Hansen have emphasized that they oppose such plantations and other unsustainable practices as a means to produce biochar. Rather, Lehmann says, biochar should be sourced from the massive amount of waste materials that normal agricultural and forestry production methods leave behind: corn stalks, rice husks, tree trimmings, and the like. And as the chicken manure example described above illustrates, biochar could also help dispose of the large amounts of manure currently generated by poultry and livestock operations.