Join the International Agrichar Initiative for a conference on Agrichar Science, Production and Utilization, being held in coastal New South Wales, Australia. The International Agrichar Initiative, a program of Renew the Earth, is a new consortium of research and development interests devoted to the sustainability of the world’s soils, and to sustainable bioenergy production.
What is the International Agrichar Initiative?
The International Agrichar Initiative is an informal, newly-formed coalition of research, commercial and policy-oriented people and organizations devoted to the sustainability of the world’s soils, and to sustainable bio-energy production. Agrichar production and utilization can renew the world’s soils through the addition of organic carbon, which can help solve the pressing problem of global climate change. The Agrichar production process also converts agricultural waste into valuable bio-fuels.
History of the Agrichar Initiative
During the 18th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in July 2006 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a group of scientists, business interests, policy experts and others met to discuss the research priorities and challenges of this important area. The result is the International Agrichar Initiative, a movement to pursue a more organized research, development and commercialization effort to further the promise of Agrichar. For information on the July 2006 meeting in Philadelphia and some current Agrichar-related projects and activities.
What is the ‘Agrichar process’?
Agricultural feedstocks such as animal manure, rice hulls, peanut shells, corn stover or forest waste are pyrolized at low temperatures to produce a char product (“Agrichar” or “biochar”) and separate bio-energy streams, in the form of oils and/or gases. The biochar captures about 50% of the carbon in the feedstock, and can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil fertility, stability, and productivity, and to store carbon in the soils, as a means of mitigating global warming. The use of Agrichar in soils mimics the Terra Preta (“dark earth”) soils of the Amazon Basin, which have sequestered high quantities of carbon for thousands of years, and have dramatically improved soil fertility and sustainability without chemical inputs. The bio-energy produced, which accounts for the other 50% of feedstock carbon, can be used to fuel a variety of energy needs.