A symposium for the Biochar Sectors
Here are my thoughts after three days of amazing conferences in the 2023 International Biochar Initiative Symposium, with experts in various biochar-related sectors: carbon market, scientific research, biochar production, agricultural and non-agricultural uses, and private financing, among others.
As the title of the symposium suggests, SCALE is the key to scaling up biochar production and use globally. To make this happen, the biochar industry needs to work closely with the scientific community to continue to demonstrate the benefits of using biochar in the agricultural, pharmaceutical, and construction sectors, and to continue to prove the benefits in each sector along with the permanence of the CDR.
The voluntary carbon market has become an important source of funding for biochar initiatives. By selling high quality CDRs, projects around the world have found a source of income that can provide a steady cash flow to grow operations and some outlets for funding new projects by pre-selling CDRs. Today, there are four different biochar methodologies that provide options for project registration. Monitoring and software services to support compliance, validation and verification are also on the rise!
Private sector funding is also paramount to establish and implement more industrial-scale biochar facilities in places where waste valorization through biochar production is a solution, and to provide financial cushioning as biochar markets grow for the established and emerging (which are growing very rapidly, by the way) industries that will use biochar as a primary feedstock.
Benefits of Biochar
Biochar is a powerful tool to:
- Combat climate change
- Promote circular economies
- Reduce waste as we know it
- Create additional sources of income in the global south
- Remediate soils
- Improve agricultural practices
- Currently being used as an aggregate in building materials such as cement, concrete, asphalt, insulation
- And more recently, research indicates that biochar may have a potential effect on electrical conductivity.
As one of the speakers at the symposium said, “We are just scratching the surface of biochar’s potential“. At General Biochar Systems, we firmly believe this to be true, and we are seeing it in our sphere of influence (LATAM) where interest in learning more about the use of biochar in agriculture and cement is growing at an amazing rate.