Biochar Resources and Training Materials

There are lots of biochar reources and climate change resources available on the internet; little of it applies to smallholders in the developing world. On this page we have tried to assemble a few relevant resources that range from the practical (the chemical composition of pig pee) to the big picture (models of innovation systems for development).

Our selection is very peculiar. If you have suggestions for additions, please send us the citation. We are happy to learn and to share.

Warm Heart is a grassroots development organization and we are therefore committed to the free exchange of knowledge. Our designs, videos, training materials, brochures and other publications are all available under Creative Commons licensing rules.

We ask simply that you recognize our work when you use our materials, just as we provide full attribution to the authors of the works we share on this page.

United States Mid-Century Strategy for deep decarbonization

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Dr. D. Michael Shafer, president and co-founder of Warm Heart Worldwide, is featured in the documentary “Smoke: A Crisis in Northern Thailand” which analyzes the burning season and its impact on the economy, environment, and public health. &... read more

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This report offers a review of what is known about opportunities and risks of biochar systems. Its aim is to provide a state-of-the-art overview of current knowledge regarding biochar science. In that sense the report also offers a reconciling view on dif... read more

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Dr. D. Michael Shafer These simple suggestions will help you do what all farmers want to do: increase crop yields and reduce input costs. They can help you grow more and higher quality crops while reducing the amount of money you must spend on fertilizer,... read more

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“This Handbook is designed for both farmers and students to use in the field and during training. It is divided into eight sections, each one containing several topics and all illustrated with large clear pictures. The Handbook can be read from begi... read more

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Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that can be created from most types of organic matter. It is of interest, inter alia, as a long-term carbon store for its agronomic properties. While there has been much discussion of biochar as a sustainable strategy ... read more

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In 1879, the explorer Herbert Smith regaled the readers of Scribner’s Monthly with tales of the Amazon, covering everything from the tastiness of tapirs to the extraordi- nary fecundity of the sugar plantations. “The cane-field itself,” he wrote of ... read more

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The term “biochar” first appeared in the peer-reviewed scientific literature in 1999 where it was used to describe an activated carbon prepared from sorghum grain for use in a reverse-burn gasification (Chem Char) process for treating hazardous waste4... read more

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To meet the challenges of global climate change, greenhouse-gas emissions must be reduced. Emissions from fossil fuels are the largest contributor to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, so a reduction in fossil-energy use is a clear priority1. Yet, becau... read more

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Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas and most are involved in agriculture. In the 21st century, agriculture remains fundamental to economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental sus- tainability. The World Bank’s Agric... read more

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Heads of State and Government and high-level representatives from countries and organizations gathered at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012 to declare a common commitment to ensuring the promotion of an economi... read more

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As multibillion-dollar projects intended to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep geological storage continue to seek financial support, the fertile black soils in the Amazon basin suggest a cheaper, lower-tech route towards the same destination. Scatter... read more

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The poultry industry is struggling more and more with livestock disease. Often this can be traced back to microbial pathogens and ammonia in the litter. The addition of highly porous biochar can serve to reduce toxic ammonia pollution in the coops and reg... read more

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Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas and most are involved in agriculture. In the 21st century, agriculture remains fundamental to economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental sus- tainability. The World Bank’s Agric... read more

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Objectives 1) Biochar Effect on N2O Emission under Different Type of Nitrogen Fertilizer application 2) Biochar Effect on N2O Emission from Rice Paddy and Sugarcane fields Chang Yoon Jeong, Jim J. Wang, Syam K. Dodla, Dustin Harrell, Negar Tafti

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Background: Biochar from pyrolysis of biomass amended in soils to improve nitrogen use efficiency for enhancing crop productivity and mitigate climate change in agriculture has been well documented. However, application of biochar at high rates could be c... read more

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90% of the biochar produced in Europe is used in livestock farming. Whether mixed with feed, added to litter or used in the treatment of slurry, the positive effect of biochar very quickly becomes apparent. The health – and consequently the well-being ... read more

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Although biochar is a new concept to most, prominent environmentalists including Dr. James Lovelock, Bill McKibben and Dr. James Hansen have all talked about the promise of biochar as an amendment to improve soil fertility and sequester carbon in soil. Mo... read more

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Biochar is a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal substance that is distinguished from other charcoals in its intended use as a soil amendment. Biochar is charcoal that has been produced under conditions that optimize certain characteristics deemed useful... read more

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Biochar is a solid material obtained from the thermochemical conversion of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment. Biochar can be used as a product itself or as an ingredient within a blended product, with a range of applications as an agent for soil im... read more

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Biochar enhances soils. When added to soils, biochar’s impressive capacity to retain nutrients can reduce fertilizer requirements while increasing crop yields. It can also be used for commercial potting soils. Research is now confirming benefits that in... read more

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Climate change can create huge risks for agricultural sector. It can worsen food insecurity and poverty problems in Thailand. The adaptive strategy is very crucial for Thai farmers to cope with uncertain weather conditions. Sustainable agriculture in vari... read more

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Biochar research inspired the development of a revolutionary technology that can have tremendous impact on agriculture, water, habitats, energy, health sanitation, livelihoods, environment, and carbon sequestration. This book contributes to the understand... read more

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Thailand covers an area of 51.31 million hectares in the center of the South- East Asian peninsula. It borders Myanmar and Laos to the north, Malaysia to the south, Laos and Cambodia to the east and Myanmar to the west. The north region is mountainous and... read more

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BLACK carbon is estimated to be the second most potent greenhouse warming agent after carbon dioxide. The BC is recently more awareness because of its potential in warming effect that is increased when mixed with other particles, reduces the earth’s alb... read more

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Rice cultivation during four planting seasons by using cultivation system improvements, especially in the management provision of water and fertilizer, other than increasing rice production can also reduce methane emission which is often rumored as a caus... read more

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Biochar is the solid coproduct of biomass pyrolysis, a technique used for carbon-negative production of second-generation biofuels. The biochar can be applied as a soil amendment, where it permanently sequesters carbon from the atmosphere as well as impro... read more

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Rick Burnette wrote an article for Issue 6 (July 2010) of ECHO Asia Notes, titled “Charcoal Production in 200-Liter Horizontal Drum Kilns.” My article takes the charring process a step further by exploring the rapidly re-emerging world of biochar. Bio... read more

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As a result of environmental requirements in many countries and new areas of application the demand on activated carbon is still growing. Due to the unavailability of the main basic materials like hard coal, wood or coconut shells in many countries other ... read more

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Decontaminaton: -Removal of contaminant source (?) -Capping/making safe -Removal of risk (?) Remediation: -Improvement of surrounding environment -Ecological efficiency -Minimising risk Luke Beesley

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Highlights • Biochar significantly increased soil pH, organic matter and immobilized soil Cd and Pb. • Biochar treatment consistently reduced rice Cd and Pb content in three years. • Contaminated biochar from the study field contained much higher he... read more

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Content Effluent decontamination Which contaminants ? Substrates requirements The Biobed family Designing a substrate Requirements Corresponding tests Interaction between soil and chars Char scale Clod scale Pascal Boivin, Pedologist and Soil Scientist

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Conclusion: sorption to biochar • Biochar possesses high porosity and anaromatic structure • Biochar can strongly bind organic compounds and reduce pollutant risk • The right biochar has to be selected • Especially activated biochar is effective,b... read more

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Note: IBI Research Summaries are intended to provide answers about biochar science for the general public. These summaries are based on IBI’s review of published scientific literature. As this literature is updated, IBI will update these summaries. Plea... read more

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The volume of research on the topic of biochar has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. A Web of Science search for articles, reviews, books, abstracts, data studies, and reports including the keyword “biochar” reveals that the number of studies... read more

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In the present study, the adsorption of a mixture of 15 different pesticides (with individual pesticide concentrations of 400 mg/l) from water by untreated and treated (using phosphoric acid) biochars and charcoal has been studied. Solid–water distribut... read more

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Both compost and biochar production are methods to utilize and recycle organic wastes. This paper provides information on the use of biochar in composting and highlights the potential benefits, which include the ability to accelerate the process of compos... read more

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Although biochar can be used to improve soils over the long term, it is not a long-term source of nutrients. Depending on the feedstock and pyrolysis conditions, biochar can contain varying amounts of ash which can provide nutrients for plant growth in th... read more

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Field trials using biochar have been conducted in the tropics over the past several years. All showed neutral or positive results on yields when biochar was applied to field soils and nutrients were managed appropriately. Large scale field trials have rec... read more

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Research has shown that the production and utilization of biochar applied at high application rates can increase soil carbon and crop yields, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce nutrient runoff from soils. However, these high application rates of 10... read more

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Biochar has been shown to be beneficial for growing crops. For farmers and gardeners, biochar provides a unique opportunity to improve soil fertility for the long term using locally available materials. Used alone, or in combinations, compost, manure, and... read more

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Although biochar is a new concept to most, prominent environmentalists including Dr. James Lovelock, Bill McKibben and Dr. James Hansen have all talked about the promise of biochar as an amendment to improve soil fertility and sequester carbon in soil. Ju... read more

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This guide provides an overview of current biochar knowledge pertinent to its application to soil, and gives ideas for using biochar in a variety of soil management systems. Very little data is currently available on practical aspects of working with bioc... read more

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The use of charcoal as a soil amendment and for CO2 sequestration raises many questions about the characteristics of those “biochars” and their impacts on soils and organisms. This paper reviews and revises the analyses of the principal characteristic... read more

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Much attention has been given to mitigation policies designed to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute to atmospheric warming. However, it is generally agreed that as much as 40% of current net warmi... read more

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The paper presents the results of analyses of samples of manure from a pig farm located near Piła, Poland per- formed between June 2011 and May 2012 using a single sampling system. Zygmunt Kowalski, Agnieszka Makara and Kamil Fijorek

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Profitable corn production requires an adequate soil fertility program. Insufficient nutrients will lower yields; excess nutrients will lower profit margins and may damage the environment through nutrient runoff and leaching. L.G. Bundy

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How to make a biochar machine – TLUD In this video we show you how to make a basic Top Lit Up Draft biochar machine. Warm Heart have been teaching hundreds of farmers in the Northern Thailand how to make these machines in order to help reduce the sm... read more

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Biochar and Farming Tutorial – Thai วิดิโอสาธิตการสร้างเตาไบโอชา โครงการถ่านไบโอชาร์ ของมูลนิธิอุ่นใจ เสนอทาง... read more

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In this chapter you will learn: The quality indicators and attributes of biochar. The four constituents that characterize biochar, and the importance of each. How these four constituents are measured, with useful at-home tests and consumer tips. Hugh McLa... read more

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The following 5 part series of white papers “Understanding Biochar” is the work of Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE-CTO. We appreciate his sharing the information with us from his website NextChar.com 

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This essay has seven major themes, as its title indicates. Small farmers transform biodegradable waste at the highest possible level, they closely integrate plant and animal systems, and they deindustrialize the production of food. These three strategies ... read more

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Mining has always been an environmental nightmare. One of the issues is how the mining process creates acid mine drainage, water that has toxic levels of heavy metals that leaches out and pollutes nearby water sources, depleting freshwater supplies in ent... read more