Biochar for Climate Change

Sustainable biochar to mitigate global climate change: Supplementary information

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 waste43. The lead author of this paper, Bapat, recalls that they invented the term to differentiate the sorghum-based material from coal-derived activated carbon used in earlier implementations of the process; they had intended to develop similar materials from other grains44. For several years thereafter biochar was used primarily in the bioenergy literature to describe a charcoal prepared from various crop residues for use as fuel. The technological concept of using biochar on a large scale as a climate-change mitigation approach stems from two papers published independently in 1993 (refs 45,46), well before the term itself was invented.

Dominic Woolf, James E. Amonette, F. Alayne Street-Perrott, Johannes Lehmann, Stephen Joseph