Dr. Johannes Lehmann
Alternative & Renewable
Business & Economics
Technology & Engineering
Published: Mar 12, 2009
Biochar is the carbon-rich product when biomass (such as wood, manure or crop residues) is heated in a closed container with little or no available air. It can be used to improve agriculture and the environment in several ways, and its stability in soil and superior nutrient-retention properties make it an ideal soil amendment to increase crop yields. In addition to this, biochar sequestration, in combination with sustainable biomass production, can be carbon-negative and therefore used to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, with major implications for mitigation of climate change. Biochar production can also be combined with bioenergy production through the use of the gases that are given off in the pyrolysis process. This book is the first to synthesize the expanding research literature on this topic. The book's interdisciplinary approach, which covers engineering, environmental sciences, agricultural sciences, economics and policy, is a vital tool at this stage of biochar technology development. This comprehensive overview of current knowledge will be of interest to advanced students, researchers and professionals in a wide range of disciplines.
'A vital tool for policy-makers and scientists working on climate change mitigation.' Chris Goodall, author of the bestselling How to Live a Low-Carbon Life 'This book, I believe, provides the basic information required to allow implementation of the single most important initiative for humanity's environmental future. The biochar approach provides a uniquely powerful solution, for it allows us to address food security, the fuel crisis and the climate problem, and all in an immensely practical manner. With its careful evaluation of every aspect of biochar, this book represents a cornerstone of our future global sustainability.' From the Foreword by Tim Flannery 'This book provides comprehensive information and analysis on biochar technology and its implications. It is an essential reference in fostering pro-poor policies on energy efficiency and GHG mitigation based on land and soil improvements that could bring more justice into the climate change agenda.' Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Bonn, Germany 'Climate change seems an impossible problem. Impossible, that is, until one looks at the potential for biochar to permanently sequester atmospheric carbon. This wonderful volume is an invaluable handbook for those interested in the science and economics of soil amendment using biochar. A vital tool for policy-makers and scientists working on climate change mitigation.' Chris Goodall, author of the bestselling How to Live a Low-Carbon Life 'A detailed and comprehensive book... while some chapters may be more easily understood by soil scientists, chapters looking at the many advantages of biochar provide interesting reading to researchers and scientists in general.' LEISA 'A real eye-opener of a book that makes fascinating reading.' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
Johannes Lehmann is associate professor of soil biogeochemistry and soil fertility management at Cornell University, USA, Co-founder and Chair of the Board of the International Biochar Initiative, and member of the editorial boards of Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems and Plant and Soil. Stephen Joseph is a visiting professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and Vice Chairman and Co-founder of the International Biochar Initiative.