The Basics of Biochar: A Natural Soil Amendment

Soil and Crop Management

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 in agriculture, such as high surface area per unit of volume and low amounts of residual resins. The particular heat treatment of organic biomass used to produce biochar contributes to its large surface area and its characteristic ability to persist in soils with very little biological decay (Lehmann and Rondon 2006).

Josiah Hunt, Michael DuPonte, Dwight Sato, and Andrew Kawabata

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, 2010