Using Biochar as a soil amendment is an excellent way to enhance crop production with the added benefit of removing net carbon from the atmosphere. NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen thinks that Biochar is one of the key ways to remove net carbon from the atmosphere.
Biochar, a kind of charcoal that is rich in carbon, traps CO2 from the atmosphere and can store it in soils for hundreds to thousands of years. Biochar soaks up nutrients such as calcium and magnesium, preventing them from leaching out of soil, and thereby boosts soil fertility.
According to Christoph Steiner, a University of Georgia research scientist in the Faculty of Engineering, "The potential of Biochar lies in its ability to sequester-capture and store huge amounts of carbon while also displacing fossil fuel energy, effectively doubling its carbon impact... scientists estimate Biochar from agriculture and forestry residues can potentially sequester billions of tons of carbon in the world's soils." More information on Biochar can be found at the University of Georgia Website.
By speeding up the biomass fuel throughput and adjusting the process parameters carbon content can be increased in the solid output residue from the gasifier. Making these simple changes to Energy Quest's gasifier results in the production of a high quality agricultural grade soil amending Biochar.
A modular gasification bio-energy plant consuming 10 to 12 tons per hour of agricultural waste biomass which can be provided from the surrounding farms such as the system being proposed for Lee County will produce 16 to 18 thousand tons per year of Biochar.
Producing Biochar with Energy Quest's advanced modular gasification design will result in lower set up costs and increased efficiencies. The gasifiers, transportable or stationary design, can also provide clean syngas fuel for heat and/or power generation.