What are the advantages of Biochar? Explanation, meaning, definition

The excellent properties of charcoal from plants were already known in ancient times. Even the Incas used Biochar to produce a particularly nutrient-rich topsoil (black earth). Biochar is an absolutely natural product and a very good way to improve the soil. It consists of charred biomass, most of which comes from plant residues. The process is called pyrolysis. Many professional as well as amateur gardeners swear by Biochar because of its versatility. Visually, Biochar is almost indistinguishable from other charcoal, but, provided it carries a recognized organic seal, it is entirely free of pollutants and helps to create and maintain a healthier environment.

Biochar loosens the soil and provides good aeration with oxygen. When combined with compost, it promotes the formation of microorganisms, creating a nutrient-rich humus. Thus, Biochar turns a simple soil into a fertile substrate.

The best features of Biochar: advantages

  • permanent nutrient storage
  • strong binding of CO₂
  • hardly any loss of nutrients
  • soil structure improvement
  • high water retention capacity
  • enrichment of humus
  • Activation of micro animals in the soil
  • increase of biodiversity
  • higher yields in agriculture
  • Biochar as animal feed

In the EU, Biochar may be offered as feed to horses, cattle, pigs and poultry. This old household remedy regulates the digestion of animals, as it can relieve diarrhea and stimulate constipation. Biochar strengthens the immune system and health of animals by binding pollutants in the digestive tract. It also increases hygiene in the barn.

Great benefits of Biochar in agriculture

Biochar has tremendous potential for agriculture. The changed technical conditions in agriculture, but above all the momentous weather phenomena caused by climate change, are also taking their toll on our soils. Persistent drought is just as great a stress factor as continuous precipitation and flooding. As a result of these changes, the demands on our soils are also increasing. Biochar can provide real help here. It has the ability to neutralize the odor of manure. This improves the climate in the barn. It also makes life easier for the animals in the barn, because Biochar adds value to the manure, which in turn can be used later as optimized fertilizer. Clay-rich, very compacted soils are wonderfully loosened by Biochar, allowing a wider range of crops to be grown. Sandy soils also benefit, because if they are enriched with Biochar, they store more water.

Biochar as a means of combating the greenhouse effect

But scientists are promising even more: Biochar is said to be able to counteract the formation of greenhouse gases and thus reduce global warming. This is because Biochar can remove CO₂ from the atmosphere – permanently. 20-60% of the carbon dioxide removed from the air can be permanently bound in the soil (as pure carbon) thanks to Biochar. In contrast, carbon dioxide is released again when green cuttings, leaves and other garden waste decompose. So the environment does not benefit.

How do scientists explain the mitigation of the greenhouse effect by Biochar?

It is only possible because Biochar has an extremely large number of pores that create a very large specific surface area (the specific surface area of one gram of Biochar can be up to 300 m²). The pores ensure that the biological raw material can store five times its own weight in water, including the nutrients it contains. The enormous water storage capacity ensures an increase in yields, which is particularly beneficial in dry regions. Biochar is also capable of binding pollutants. This in turn enables the remediation of polluted soils. In addition, Biochar increases biodervisibility and allows beneficial organisms to colonize.

For home use, Biochar can also be made by oneself. All that is needed is a special stove. It is designed in the shape of a funnel and is similar to a camping stove.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

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