Biochar and Terra Preta Soils
Biochar production is modeled after a process begun thousands of years ago in the Amazon Basin, where islands of rich, fertile soils called terra preta (“dark earth”) were created by indigenous people. Anthropologists speculate that cooking fires and kitchen middens along with deliberate placing of charcoal in soil resulted in soils with high fertility carbon content, often containing shards of broken pottery These soils continue to “hold” carbon today and remain so nutrient rich that they have been dug up and sold as potting soil in Brazilian markets.
Biochar is used to improve your soil storing nutrients and water which the plants take up by their roots, as they need them
Soil with nutrient enriched Biochar
- is a nutrient bank that remains fertile and productive for centuries
- as the Biochar does not break down it remains highly adsorbent,
thus reduces nutrient loss due to watering, leads to increasing fertilizer efficiency and therefore reduces associated costs
- simultaneously increases soil water holding capacity – therefore helps plants survive dry conditions better
- no stress fosters smooth, continuous growth
- encourages strong early flowering and fruit set
- helps plants resist diseases
The need for carbon intelligent solutions is growing increasingly urgent. Biochar is one of the key technologies for the new bio-based economy. Biochar will be one of the most important raw materials for sustainable building, electronics, consumer products, energy, health and agriculture.