CAN BIOCHAR AMENDMENTS IMPROVE SOIL QUALITY AND REDUCE CO2? A Climate Change Mitigation Approach through Regenerative Agriculture

A Critical Review Research Paper on Biofuel and bio-energy in sustainable agriculture.

December 12, 2013


Variations in rainfall, increased mean surface temperature, persistent drought, reduced soil moisture and nutrient, and crop failures have all been evidently linked to anthropogenic-induced climate change, which impacts food security. Agricultural soils can be used to reduce atmospheric CO2 by altering the physicochemical composition of soil organic matter through biochar soil amendments. This study draws on current literature published online, in peer review journal articles, books, and conference proceedings to assess the implications of biochar soil amendments to enhance soil quality, while reducing atmospheric CO2 concentration. Building on the critical analytical approach, biochar use as soil amendments have been tested to have promising environmental potential, which improves soil quality and quantity thereby enhancing soil moisture status and reduces atmospheric CO2. Analyses of biochar amended soils in terrestrial ecosystems reduces about 12% of the total Carbon (C) emitted through anthropogenic land use change. Biochar amended soil systems are dependable in tracing and quantifying sequestered C and can stay in the soil for thousands of years. The challenge with biochar as soil amendments is the type of biomass that can yield high quality biochar through the pyrolysis process.

Key words: Biochar, amendments, regenerative agriculture, food security, climate change, atmospheric CO2, pyrolysis, Carbon, soil moisture.