Biochar: Black Gold or False Promises?

Oak Shelter

Black carbon in the form of charcoal has been used for millennia in agricultural settings. Biochar, defined as black carbon that is produced for agriculture and carbon sequestration from renewable and sustainable biomass, has only recently been formally evaluated as a soil amendment for production crops. Research results to date underscore the observation that not all biochars are created equal. Biochar’s agronomic impacts on plant yields are linked to soil types, differences in the composition and moisture content of the original parent feedstock for biochar production, pyrolysis production conditions (traditional vs. advanced pyrolysis systems, fast vs. slow pyrolysis), and post-production handling.


John Gaunt, Carbon Consulting, Ithaca, NY;
David Shearer, Full Circle Biochar, San Francisco, CA.


Hansel Kern, Kern Family Farm, North Fork, CA.

This workshop is approved by the American Society of Agronomy for (1.5) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Certified Crop Advisors (CCA).