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Biochar: the emerging economic miracle



The emergence of new techniques & technologies in the field of agriculture is a direct result of the human approach towards generating a sustainable model for the future.(Biochar) The introduction of such techniques mainly tackles the present situational need but due to the imminent threat that humankind is facing, this approach is further rectified to predict & prevent any future miss happenings.

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The present conditions are not encouraging. Climate change & global warming combined, present a much dangerous front for the future of humankind. The effect of which are visible in the present timeline. To deal with it, a program that concerns with the rearrangement of our priorities is the current need. Innovations & advancements that are being carried out should be directed towards a path of economic as well as ecological sustenance.


Emergence & need for biochar


The present-day situation of the agriculture sector looks promising on the face, with increase productivity which caters global population but when we read under the lines we see the extent of damage that has already been done owing to our traditional practices.


Infertility, poor soil quality, soil & water pollution are the main concerns when we consider the scale of the degradation. At this rate, most of the fertile soil will be rendered useless due to overuse & abuse. To tackle such setbacks, biochar is considered a very viable & potent way to bypass all of these concerns without compromising the overall production quantity.


Biochar is a burnt form of organic matter, in technical terms, it is formed via pyrolysis of organic matter in absence of oxygen. Its molecular structure & purity in carbon content makes it rather unique for agricultural use. It comes with a vast list of benefits & can be used as a prime component to counter the rising level of degradation if implied at a large scale.


Economic model revolving around to biochar


Due to its promising potential in the field of energy & environment, it is seen as an emerging industry within the scope of the present agricultural system. Unlike other short-living add-ons to the soil, for example, chemical fertilizers, pesticides & insecticides, biochar comes as a long term solution for a field. The average function life of one application of it is 5 years, further depending upon local climate & ecosystem it is also subjected to change.

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A potent economic model can be created around biochar which can contain:

  • Local pyrolysis plants for small scale pyrolysis at village bases.

  • Medium-scale pyrolysis plants which caters to the need of one to two districts. It can be integrated with the present local infrastructure.

  • Large scale pyrolysis plants can take in huge input from organized farmlands & distribute to a maximum of five districts.

  • Seasonal biochar plants, especially in India, seasonal pyrolysis plants can be made available after integrating them with the present infrastructure.

  • Organic waste pyrolysis plans which can take input from urban areas.

The model presented is just an example of how we can restructure the present infrastructure to take up the task of production & distribution of biochar & complimenting the same model, an influx in the number of local companies & firms can be seen which are directly or indirectly associated with this black gold. Notable companies involved in this sector are, GNG agritech & waste management co., Appropriate Rural Technology Institute ARTI, Bio Manure production, Centre for Application of Renewable Energy, Development Alternatives, Samuchit Enviro Tech Pvt Ltd, etc.

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Agronomic & global benefits of biochar


Due to the chemical action of artificial agents, soil undergoes various degrading stages. The present methods affect soil quality in various ways, for example, it increases petroleum hydrocarbon & decreases microbial action & activities, transforms high concentration metalloids to low concentration. All of this combined presents a danger for local as well as global environmental conditions.


Besides it also affects soil quality, in the long run, decreasing its fertility & productivity. The production quota is to be met at any cost owing to population growth so the soil is treated more roughly with a high concentration of chemicals resulting in total loss in productivity of the soil.


Biochar presents a way to nourish the soil by treating it gently & maintaining production quantity at the same time. The maintained soil quality will increase productivity in the long run.


Most of the global economy is now shifting towards a more sustainable approach towards development & in the field of agriculture & agronomics, biochar is presented in the inner circles of this approach. It helps in reducing carbon footprint substantially as 1 ton of biochar reduces approximately 3 tons of CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere.


The increased emphasis on the reduction of the carbon footprint of any nation was unanimously decided in the UN Paris accords. In response to that call, India can use its vast agricultural resources to fulfill the goal. Instead of appointing expensive technologies, this can prove to be a cost-efficient & path-breaking method in the field of agronomics.

India is blessed with vast fertile regions & the problem of air pollution, owing to subtle burning has risen as a major concern in the past decade. To battle this problem specifically,



India can start incentivizing & promoting the use of such cost-efficient methods to achieve its objectives or reduction in carbon level & organic waste management.


The absolute need of the hour is that of pre-emptive response & prevention of any more degradation of the present quality of the ecological system. In addition to that, a proper infrastructure addressing the repair & nourishment should be developed if the goal of sustainable development is to be achieved.

Reference links:

  • https://www.bakerinstitute.org/research/economic-assessment-biochar-benefits/

  • https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/59367/items/1.0042676

  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0570178319300405#:~:text=Biochar%20have%20made%20substantial%20breakthroughs,subsequently%2C%20becoming%20a%20value%2Dadded

  • https://biochar-us.org/sites/default/files/presentations/3.3.3%20Timmons%2C%20David.pdf

  • https://issuu.com/shellcenter/docs/2015_annual_report_scs-draft_4a?platform=hootsuite

image reference

  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0570178319300405

  • https://www.wakefieldbiochar.com/corporate-sustainability-biochar/

  • https://pureadvantage.org/news/2016/06/28/biochar/


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