Thursday, October 1, 2009

Maldives Commit to Biochar



For those who have followed the development of the biochar story, this is the first significant country leader to stand up and strongly support the biochar protocol.


A lot of the commercial focus continues to be on modified pyrolysis which adds an additional level of cost that may simply be even counter productive. I have pointed out from the beginning that the product can be produced as needed at a twenty percent yield using earthen kiln designs that need no special hardware. Hardware devices can improve yields to thirty percent which is likely as good as it can be.


For most of the global population who still rely on subsistence farming, the earthen kiln approach is completely satisfactory.


The limitation is actually having a source of feedstock. Large grasses and maize work well, while wood stocks are unsuitable because of large particle size.


Once supply can be established, application can be done via zai holes which provides a pot like structure for the grower in the field and helps conserve water and competition as fuel.


It is good to see that he has essentially got the story right. There will be many more stepping up on this. Regardless of what one may think of atmospheric CO2, everyone knows that soils them selves need to be improved and protected and biochar is doing both.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009


President of Maldives announces commitment to biochar to meet zero carbon goal


NEW YORK, September 22, 2009 – Mohamed Nasheed, President of Maldives, today affirmed his commitment to biochar as an important means of meeting the country’s goal to be “Zero Carbon” by 2020. Announced as part of Climate Week at the UN in New York, this commitment further solidifies the country’s position as a leader in combating climate change and highlights the potential of biochar as a solution to growing CO2 emissions. The Maldives have partnered with Carbon Gold, the world’s leading sustainable biochar project developer, to implement multiple biochar projects across the country.


“The Maldives is one of the most threatened place in the world and as such know first-hand the global benefits to achieving carbon neutrality. We see biochar as a critical means to achieving this goal,” said President Nasheed. “As a technology that could achieve gigaton-scale CO2 removal, with additional benefits in energy and food security, biochar simply must be part of the equation now as well as the larger deal at Copenhagen.”


Dan Morrell, Carbon Gold co-founder is attending the Climate Week event in New York and working with the Maldivian government to rally support for biochar. He comments:


“We are at critical juncture for the adoption of biochar as tool in the battle against climate change. Only with accreditation of biochar into the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism will we be able to realize the full potential of this nascent technology.


Biochar is the only technology that enables us to take CO2 out of the atmosphere and, by ploughing it into the ground, improve soil fertility. However it will only help to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide if it is sustainably produced. Projects must adhere to strict sustainability, biodiversity and environmental standards and improve the prosperity of the communities involved.”


Biochar, a charcoal produced through pyrolysis, is rich in carbon and can be mixed with organic material to act as a soil amendment. It contributes to three Millennium Development Goals: combating desertification; sequestering atmospheric CO2; and maintaining biodiversity hotspots. An extremely stable substance, biochar also has the potential to lock up its carbon content for thousands of years. When mixed with poor quality soils, it reduces nitrous oxide and methane emissions and helps improve soil structure. The Maldives has partnered with Carbon Gold, the world’s leading biochar project developer, to implement multiple biochar projects across the country’s agricultural islands.



And from the BBC


Back in March, The Maldives announced its plan to become carbon neutral by 2020 through a combination of renewable energy projects and carbon credits. Now, the island nation has added another component to their carbon-cutting goal: coconuts.


Yes, coconuts. The country plans to use the shells along with other biowaste to produce biochar, which will be used as fertilizer instead of the inorganic type the country currently imports. Biochar is made by “slow cooking” the plant waste until it becomes a carbon-rich char that is mixed with soil and buried underground.


The company that is aiding the country with this endeavor, Carbon Gold, claims that this process serves as a kind of carbon sequestration - keeping the carbon created by the plant waste in the soil instead of being released into the atmosphere as it would be if the waste were just left to rot. Whether or not that turns out to be an effective way to keep carbon out of the atmosphere, the use of the biochar will at the very least cut back on the country’s carbon emissions by eliminating the need to import fertilizer.


via BBC News


1 comment:

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